Book 228: FACEOFF Review

FACEOFF edited by David Baldacci
ISBN: 9781476762067 (hardback)
ISBN: 9781476762081 (ebook)
ASIN: B00GEEB3WK  (Kindle edition)
Publication date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

For the first time ever the world’s greatest thriller characters meet head-to-head in 11 electrifying stories.

Where else will you be able to read about Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme meets John Sandford’s Lucas Davenport? Fans of Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone and James Rollins’ Gray Piece have waited for years to see those characters together. Then there’s Lee Child’s Jack Reacher meeting up with Joseph Finder’s Nick Heller in a bar in Boston. Steve Martini’s Paul Madriani becoming entangled with Linda Fairstein’s Alex Cooper. Plus, you can’t forget the ever-odd Aloysius Pendergast coming face to face with the scary world of R.L. Stine.

In an unprecedented collaboration, twenty-three of the world’s bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers have paired their series characters in an eleven-story anthology curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW). Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci, FACEOFF is a who’s who of not only the most beloved contemporary thriller writers, but also their iconic characters–putting them head-to-head with their most worthy opponents.

As worlds collide, the characters you think you know best are thrown into unpredictable situations and partnered with, pitted against, and in some cases, romantically entangled with, characters you’d never suspect–and some that you would. With introductions to the stories that describes the writers, their characters, and a bit about the story’s creation, FACEOFF is truly a treasure trove for thriller fans.

Rhymes with Prey is the short story that features Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs from Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series and Lucas Davenport from John Sandford’s Prey series. I’ve read all of the Lincoln Rhymes books in the past and am a huge fan, but this was the first time I’ve read anything by John Sandford. (Yes, his books are going on my TBR list!) As with the other stories in this anthology, this was a fast-paced and masterful story. Lucas Davenport has been asked to come to New York to assist his friend, NYPD officer Lily Rothenburg in an investigation of a series of murders. Lily fears that these drug-related murders of Latino women may be affiliated with one of the NYPD’s Narcotics squad. Since she isn’t quite sure who she can trust in-house, she has requested Lucas to assist. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs have been dealing with the forensic evidence from these murders. This two-pronged approach to the investigation quickly reveals that there may be an artistic link to the murders, in addition to the possible police link. All four are pushed to race against the clock as political pressure is applied to the department to quickly solve the case. Can they bring in a suspect, the right suspect, and close the case before the investigation becomes a witch hunt?

Rhymes with Prey was, simply speaking, an amazing read. It was impossible to tell where one writer left off and the other began. The authors were able to provide just the right amount of background into each character to make them familiar to the reader. The action was nonstop and wholly believable. I actually read FACEOFF in one sitting even though I was fighting off a migraine episode. (Yes it is simply that good.)

I’m sure most of you have realized by now that I really enjoy reading mystery-suspense-thrillers. What you may now know is that I’m not really a big fan of short stories or anthologies. However, when you’re given the opportunity to read a collection of short stories featuring some of the best authors and characters in thrillerdom you obviously say “YES!” I just need to add that reading FACEOFF has changed my attitude toward short stories and anthologies for the good. The best thing is I now have a slew of new-to-me authors to begin reading and tons of books to add to my TBR list. If you are a fan of any of these thriller writers or just a fan of short story anthologies, then FACEOFF is a must read.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via Media Muscle | BookTrib. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Book 123: THE KILL ROOM Review

The Kill Room (Lincoln Rhyme #10) by Jeffery Deaver
ISBN:  9781455517060 (hardcover)
ISBN:  9781455517077 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00A4H1UW6 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: June 4, 2013 
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Robert Moreno, an American citizen living in South America, is shot in the Bahamas by a sniper. The killing was commissioned by the U.S. government, who received a tip-off that Moreno was planning a terrorist attack on a U.S. oil company headquarters. But this intelligence was fatally incorrect: anti-American Moreno ordered a protest at the oil company, not an attack.

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are drafted in to investigate. While Sachs traces Moreno’s steps in New York, Rhyme travels to the scene of the crime in Nassau, where he finds himself on a dangerous path trailed by the sniper himself. As details of the case start to emerge, the pair discover that not all is what it seemed. Can they achieve justice and escape with their lives intact?

He’s back! Lincoln Rhyme is back and is hard at work with his coterie of crime-busters: Amelia Sachs – police officer, fellow criminalist and love interest; Lon Sellito – police detective and friend; Mel Cooper – forensic scientist extra ordinaire; police officer and budding criminalist, Ron Pulaski (fondly referred to as the “Rookie”); and, Thom Reston, Lincoln’s health aide and general assistant. This time Lincoln and friends are asked to work a little outside the system to help determine if an innocent American was killed due to faulty intelligence. The culprit is the U.S. Government, or more specifically the National Intelligence Operations Service or NIOS. The initial problem: how do you catch a killer that hasn’t killed on US soil and seems to have left little, if any, evidence? An even bigger problem arises when it appears that NIOS seems to become aware of the investigation and is willing to do anything to make it disappear.

The Kill Room is an amazing thriller read that provides a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, surrounded by an enigma. Lincoln and friends must try to determine why Moreno was targeted, who the actual shooter was, and who leaked the information to the district attorney’s office in the first place. The investigation seems to go nowhere fast as there is little physical evidence and the crime scene is more than a thousand miles away. Fortunately, Lincoln doesn’t allow this to stop him from going forward. With the help of the NYPD computer crimes department, tips from a friendly FBI agent, and a trip to the Bahamas and help from a friendly Bahamian police detective, the investigation takes off with a bang. It literally becomes a game of cat-and-mouse as Lincoln and friends attempt to uncover the truth and aide in obtaining justice for a presumably innocent man, while staying one step ahead of NIOS and its operatives. Mr. Deaver provides amazing characters and plausible action that pulled me in from the first page to the last. Each book in this series seems to provide details and better insight into both Lincoln Rhymes and Amelia Sachs, as if a new piece of their personality puzzle is being revealed. The reader is kept guessing until the very end if the bad guys are really the bad guys or not. 

The Kill Room provides a fascinating look into the shades of grey that obviously accompany any intelligence gathering operations. Details can always be interpreted in a myriad of ways, and sometimes those interpretations may lead to an incorrect conclusion. If you enjoy thrillers with a hint of government conspiracy and terrorism, then you definitely want to read The Kill Room.

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Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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