Edited by Lee Child with 22 bestselling
Interviewer: Elise Cooper
by Lee Child is the sequel to the first anthology, FaceOff,
published three years ago. In both cases twenty-two
bestselling authors collaborated to write eleven riveting
tales. All are members of the International Thriller
Writers who donated their stories and time with all
the proceeds from the books going to support the dues
of the ITW membership.
In this latest edition, the stories flowed and the characters
worked seamlessly together to solve the case, in part
because each author read at least one of the other’s
novels. Below is an interview with the authors, and
the order is the same as presented in MatchUp.
For fans and new readers alike there is also a shout
out about the authors’ most recent books.
Berry is the managing editor, but he also worked
with Diana Gabladon to write the short story chapter,
Past Prologue. He explained, “Lee Child,
the editor, and myself looked for unique pairs, either
people who would not naturally write together, or characters
that would not naturally be in the same setting. Basically
characters that live in different worlds but come together
for the short story. Because FaceOff was so
successful, a bestseller, Lee and I wanted to stay with
the same formula. We took that idea and adjusted it
to have a male/female team. Each writer picked the character
they wanted to include, an iconic one, not a supporting
one. The setting could range from a neutral place to
a world of one of the characters.”
Brown and C. J. Box are two top western writers
paired together. In Honor & … Lee
Coburn and Joe Pickett joined forces to defeat a white
supremacist group. What worked best for these authors
was to have C. J. write the first draft because Sandra
had not previously written a short story. Since Brown’s
book Lethal ends with Coburn touching down
in Jackson Hole, Wyoming the setting was a no-brainer.
Kathy Reichs and Lee Child wrote Faking
a Murder, bringing together the famous characters
Jack Reacher and Temperance Brennan. She was a consultant
on the cause of death of an Air Force colonel; did he
commit suicide or was murdered. Fast forward to today
where a journalist supposedly uncovered evidence that
questions her findings. After he is found dead she is
a person of interest in his murder, accused of planning
it to save her reputation. In enters Reacher who knows
the facts and uses his street smart to help clear her
Lynds and David Morrell write stand-alones
whose realistic characters make readers yearn for more,
but alas these featured characters very rarely reappear.
Rambo On Their Minds brings back Liz Sansborough,
Simon Childs, and the spirit of Rambo. These original
co-founders of the International Thriller Writers put
their minds together to come up with a story mixing
in Lynds espionage and Morrell’s action when Liz,
a former CIA operative is captured by the Russian Mafia
and Simon, an MI6 agent, temporarily assigned to the
FBI, must rescue her. Because Rambo was killed in the
novel First Blood,
Rambo’s essence had to be used without having
him physically appear.
Karin Slaughter and Michael Koryta
paired together to write Short Story. It takes
place in the 1990s since Karin’s character Jeffrey
Tolliver was killed in a one of her previous novels.
Someone steals a 1968 Mustang and ends up getting murdered,
with Tolliver a person of interest. Eventually he teams
up with DEA agents Joe Pritchard and Lincoln Perry to
find the real killer.
Charlaine Harris and Andrew Gross both
told of how hard it was to find a story that could involve
their main characters Harper Connelly and Ty Hauck.
Being different as day and night, Harper locates dead
bodies, while Ty is a gritty detective. Together they
have to find Stephanie Winters who disappeared.
Lisa Scottoline and Nelson DeMille, two
legendary thriller authors, combined action, mystery,
and humor in the Getaway. Spearheaded by the
loss of a dog, Max, John Corey and Bennie Rosato end
up meeting in the wilderness where they find a possible
terrorist cell operation.
J. A. Jance and Eric Van Lustbader
combined in Taking The Veil. This was a true
collaboration since the characters, Ali Reynolds and
Bravo Shaw, were placed in Jance’s setting in
Arizona, and the plotline was his, a medieval type of
story with religious connotations.
MatchUp is the perfect anthology
for thriller fans allowing them to match wits with the
bestselling authors as they try to solve the cases.
The stories were entertaining and brilliantly written.
Anyone enjoying thrillers will relish theses.
Books of the Month
in Mystery, Thriller