First Thrills: High-Octane Stories from the Hottest Thriller Authors

Lee Child, Editor, Steve Berry, Afterword by, Sean Michael Bailey, Contribution by, Ryan Brown, Contribution by, Ken Bruen, Contribution by, Bill Cameron, Contribution by Forge 25.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2648-5
Child, the creator of the Jack Reacher series (Gone Tomorrow, etc.), offers a mixed bag in this anthology of 25 original stories by members of ITW (International Thriller Writers), divided between fledgling authors and established names such as Gregg Hurwitz, Stephen Coonts, and Heather Graham. Daniel James Palmer and Michael Palmer’s “The Dead Club,” in which a greedy doctor joins a betting club that gambles on when unidentified patients will expire, does the best job at making the genre work in short form. Child, by contrast, misses the mark with the less than gripping “The Bodyguard,” an account of how the narrator became an ex-bodyguard. Of the newcomers, Rip Gerber’s “Last Supper,” about a grieving widower’s plot for revenge, is well-paced and compelling, while Ryan Brown’s supernaturally tinged “Suspended” isn’t. Other contributors include Ken Bruen, John Lescroart, and Karin Slaughter. Steve Berry, ITW’s current president, provides an afterword. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/26/2010
Release date: 06/01/2010
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