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

Lee Child , Steve Berry
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)


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Book Description

June 22, 2010

New York Times bestselling author Lee Child and the International Thriller Writers, Inc. present a collection of remarkable stories in First Thrills.  Showcasing many of the organization's bestselling authors as well as rising stars in the genre, here are twenty-five brand-new, never-before published, stories packed with murder, mystery, and mayhem.

*A cunning criminal thinks he can use a child to take the rap for his crimes.

*A hospital intern turned body-snatcher.

*A priest who comes face to face with his wife’s murderer on death row.

*A confederate soldier comes home to his love, but changed by more than just the war….he comes back wrong.

*The discovery of a flying saucer in the deep sea brings one man to the brink of a massive revelation.

*A dying man’s last request proves to his ex-wife that he’s still rotten to the core. 

*A clandestine operative finds himself caught in a wicked game of confusion . . . but who is calling the shots?  

 No matter what type of thriller you read, you’ll find something here that will entertain you . . . and perhaps a new writer you’ll cherish for years to come.


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This is hands down one of the best short story collections you're ever likely to read. The brainchild of the (relatively new) International Thrillers Writers organization, the book features never-before-published stories by such notables as Jeffery Deaver, Michael Palmer, Gregg Hurwitz, Stephen Coonts, John Lescroart, Karin Slaughter, and Lee Child (who also serves as the book's editor). Alongside them, you'll find top-notch short fiction from names that might be less familiar—J. T. Ellison, CJ Lyons, Sean Michael Bailey—but they are writers who certainly won't remain unfamiliar for long. The stories fit under the most inclusive of thriller umbrellas, but many contain elements of mysteries, science fiction, and horror as well. They feature an equally diverse cast of characters, too, ranging from con men and killers to aliens, ghosts, and zombies. In many short story collections, there are a few standouts. Here, nearly the entire lineup stands out. Lescroart's “The Gato Conundrum,” for example, is a fine spy thriller that moves through Italy, England, Russia, France, and the U.S., all in 20 pages. Heather Graham's “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” combines grisly horror with a historical setting. Theo Gangi's “Eddy May” is a seemingly straightforward story about a pair of con artists that turns out to be not straightforward at all; in an anthology full of plot twists, Gangi's definitely out twists them all. A masterful collection. --David Pitt

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765326485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765326485
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,041,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Questions from Readers for CJ Lyons

Q
Hard Fall was to be the next book after After Shock, is it not written yet?
Shirley J. Patterson asked Jan 12, 2014
Author Answered

Hi Shirley! Yes, HARD FALL is the next Lucy book--I will have other books published beforehand. No, HARD FALL isn't finished yet...AFTER SHOCK just came out less than two weeks ago, so I need a little time to breathe before returning to Lucy's high-intensity world!

CJ Lyons answered Jan 19, 2014

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
As with many readers of genre fiction of my age, I cut my teeth on thrillers and mysteries with short stories, beginning with Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown and The Thinking Machine, and then working my way into the Hardy Boys before making a quantum jump to Mike Hammer and Shell Scott. Short stories in general are beginning to make a comeback, even if the venues for such material remain somewhat scarce.

The International Thriller Writers Organization has been doing something about that, publishing collections of original short thriller and crime fiction on a regular basis. The latest of these, FIRST THRILLS, is a masterpiece, comprised of 25 stories that each possesses some quality for recommendation. Nicely balanced between well-known authors and those who will be soon, it is a smorgasbord for readers who require an introduction to the thriller genre but are unsure where to begin. Those who are familiar with some of the contributors will enjoy encountering them in a somewhat different context --- short fiction --- as well as discovering new authors to place on their "must read" lists.

If there is one pervasive element that runs through FIRST THRILLS, it is the apparent inclination of at least some of the authors to take steps outside of their respective comfort zones. John Lescroart's "The Gato Conundrum" is an example. Lescroart, best known for his legal thrillers featuring Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky, here taps into his inner Robert Ludlum with a haunting tale of espionage that is complete in less than 20 pages. Lee Child's "The Bodyguard" is not a Jack Reacher story.
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46 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling short stories... January 14, 2011
By CF
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading this book you know instantly why authors like Child and Deaver are so successful. They arrest the readers attention with each sentence and every word. You want to know which way the story will go... what will happen to the protagonist? Their stories are never foreseeable and that's their secret. You'll have the impression, Child or Deaver live for writing books. And both stories are equal to their stories about Jack Reacher and Lincoln Rhyme. A very good reading.

So their stories are like a benchmark to the other short stories of newcomers. For example Gregg Hurwitz (The Thief), Rip Gerber (Last Supper) and Alex Kava/Deb Carlin (After Dark) have certainly the potential for writing bestsellers. Their books are like the ones from Child and Deaver. Thrilling.

But this book contains also stories which are ... boring. That's not the place for giving a whole summary. If you like thrillers, this is your book to read. You'll get an impression, which author is able to bind your attention. So this book is a very good decision-making aid for buying new books of relatively unknown writers. That and some very good stories are the reason for 5 stars.

(Please, all you readers, forgive my english. It's just the second review I wrote in english. I promise, I'll improve my english.)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars plenty of chills and thrills June 26, 2010
Format:Hardcover
This twenty-five suspense thriller collection is an interesting way for readers to meet new writers while established authors have an opportunity to thank the audience and the publishing companies by providing entries to First Thrills. "The Dead Club" by Daniel James Palmer and Michael Palmer is the best bet as wagering on death mirrors real life gambling pools. Other strong entries include "The Thief" by Greg Hurwitz and Ken Bruen's "Wednesday's Child". None of the entries from the veterans or the rookies are bad, but few are excellent. Still fans will enjoy dining with Rip Gerber, Sean Michael Bailey and other newcomers and vets like Stephen Coonts, John Lescroart, Karin Slaughter and Heather Graham as each provides readers with plenty of chills and thrills.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Writers...Great Stories December 9, 2011
By LATeach
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this. I don't often read short stories, but this gave me quick reads and the chance to discover new writers (New to me)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection highlighting new crime writers June 18, 2011
Format:Hardcover
Ho ho Amazon, this item was edited by Lee Child, not by Bill Cameron.

Since the 1980s, the literary quarterly GRANTA has published every 10 years a volume of writings of people it considers the most promising young British and American writers, always in separate volumes. Reading back these issues, they surely confirmed budding talent, proven later on by solid careers, sales and reputations in writing.
But how to provide an audience for budding crime writers? In 2007, the newly-founded International Thrillers Writers, Inc (IWF) published "Killer Year 2007", a collection of crime stories by newcomers. This formula did not work commercially.
Wherupon IWF and established crime writers came with this 2011 alternative: "First Thrills", edited by Lee Child, a collection of 25 crime stories written by 12 bestselling authors and 13 ambitious starters. Most stories stand alone, a few were written by e.g. pairs of practitioners of law enforcement or medicine with established crime writers. But it must be said that few of the aspirants had a clean publishing sheet. The competition to be included in this volume must have been ferocious.
The collection covers many sub-genres and is balanced re m/f contributions. No reader will read them all from start to finish. So this reader's choice in terms of names is irrelevant: All 25 stories are at least pretty good. Half of them are very good, and in my choice of the best six stories female writers outnumber males five to one. Find out who they are. Recommended reading!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy
It is not good.
Beginning writers should be reviewed better before they produce garbage like this. The lee Child part was good though.
Published 12 days ago by Hein Franken
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
Really enjoyed this mixed bag of books. Will read anything that mentions Lee Child and with other favourite authors it was well worth it. Difficult to put down.
Published 1 month ago by lynda bradford
4.0 out of 5 stars Short and punchy
Fast, easy reading while managing to maintain a sense of foreboding and drama. Often with a twist at the end....
Published 3 months ago by Andre Hubner
2.0 out of 5 stars Short Story Collection
Beh, I enjoyed some and slogged through others. Given the price, I'd say it was worth it, might be a good way to introduce yourself to some new writers.
Published 3 months ago by Darrell Van Wagner
1.0 out of 5 stars total waste of money and time. immature,lacking plot simply tacky
total waste of money and time. immature,lacking plot simply tacky. Corse language, much violence. If you purchase it you were warned
Published 4 months ago by Richard Blair
3.0 out of 5 stars givitago!
Only liked half of the stories? -want more Jack Reacher!! -(LEE CHILD) -please write more!!! -guess, I got spoilt, with Jack! -others, not all, that interesting ....
Published 5 months ago by Vivienne Pie
3.0 out of 5 stars NO BAD
Not the epitome of fine reading but still very readable not a bad plot line and for a weekend read you couldn't do better.
Published 5 months ago by RIVER
5.0 out of 5 stars First Thrills Lee Child
Books of this material, have been of interest always to me,gives an incite to the writer on matters of this kind,
Published 5 months ago by wendy
5.0 out of 5 stars first thrills
Because Lee Child's books are never boring, and his brilliant way of expressing himself, is a joy to read every time!
Published 6 months ago by chocoholic
5.0 out of 5 stars First Thrills
A great collection of short stories from the well known authors. Interesting little snippets that did not disappoint at all.
Published 8 months ago by Jules
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