Friday, June 06, 2014


The title of this book is slightly misleading. Instead of being a collection of stories where the characters FaceOff,it most of the stories involve characters teaming up. Of course, TeamUp wouldn't really have been as cool of a title.

As this book was written to benefit the International Thriller Writers, the characters in question are from popular thriller series. At least I assume they're popular. I'm not really all that well read in the genre and mainly picked the book up for the Repairman Jack story and the story with Grayson Pierce of Sigma Force. While most of the stories weren't super great, I generally enjoyed them and will probably try to read the original series the various characters came from.

I might as  well give my thoughts on the individual stories:

"Red Eye" featuring Denis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie and Michael Connely's Harry Bosch - I definitely enjoyed this story of a detective and a cop teaming up to rescue a little girl from a pedophile. It was a good lead off for the book.

"In the Nick of Time" featuring Ian Rankin's John Rebus and Peter Jame's Roy Grace - This one was more of mystery than a thriller. It is about two British cops solving a 50 year old stabbing case after a man confesses on his deathbed. It wasn't as action-filled as I'd expect from a thriller, but it was still good.

"Gaslighted" featuring R. L. Stine's Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy and Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child's Aloysius Pendergast - I did enjoy this one, but I was rather disappointed by how little a part Slappy played in the story. Still, not having read the Goosebumps books, for all I know he could have just sat there and stared at people in them, too.

"The Laughing Buddha" featuring M. J. Rose's Malachai Samuels and Lisa Gardener's D. D. Warren - This is another one that's a bit more of a mystery than a thriller. It involves the murder of an antiques dealer and reincarnation, which does make for a good story. While I enjoyed it, I don't think the crossover aspect worked that well and almost felt tacked on.

"Surfing the Panther" featuring Steve Martini's Paul Madriani and Linda Fairstein's Alexandra Cooper - Legal thrillers aren't my cup of tea. I did still enjoy it, but not as much as the others.

"Rhymes with Prey" featuring Jeffery Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme and John Sandford's Lucas Davenport - This was definitely my least favorite story in the collection, which is unfortunate as it is also by far the longest story in the collection. I think the length might be part of the issue I had with this, as the story just seemed to drag.

"Infernal Night" featuring F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack and Heather Graham's Michael Quinn - This was the story I was most looking forward to, and while I enjoyed it, it didn't feel very Repairman Jack-ish. I think it might just be that Jack works best in New York, and this is set in New Orleans.

"Pit Stop" featuring Raymond Khoury's Sean Reilly and Linwood Barcaly's Glen Garber - This was one of the more fast-paced stories. It involves a car chase, a kidnapped girl, and a deadly bioweapon. It's a good story.

"Silent Hunt" featuring John Lescroart's Wyatt Hunt and T. Jefferson Parker's Joe Trona - While this story starts off slow, it has a lot of action involving Mexican drug traffickers and a gold mine. It's a cool story with an ending I liked a lot.

"The Devil's Bones" featuring Steve Berry's Cotton Malone and James Rollin's Gray Pierce - This is the story I was second most anxious to read, and I actually enjoyed in more than the Repairman Jack story. This is a team up that worked very well, and produced a story with lots of action.

"Good and Valuable Consideration" featuring Lee Child's Jack Reacher and Joseph Finder's Nick Heller - Two thriller heroes walk into a bar ... it sounds like some sort of joke, but it's the premise of this story. It's not a bad story but it's not as actiony as I'd like for the finale of a collection of thrillers.

While the book could have been better, it's still well worth reading, especially since it supports a worthy cause.

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