edited 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
Steve 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.”
Sandra 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 name.
Gayle 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