Friday, June 20, 2014

My take on: FaceOff

I rarely read short stories. I don't know why. I guess I'm just not a fan of keeping stories and plots within one book. But............sometimes one of these books makes it on my reading pile.

I was intrigued by the concept of FaceOff. Several of today's best-selling thriller authors team up and have their iconic characters "faceoff" vs. each other? I was definitely intrigued. First, how does this work? The authors are published by various publishing houses. I work for a children's publisher, and I know such an endeavor is HARD! Long story short, all of the writers for this book are members of the International Thriller Writers, the stories for the book are donated on behalf of the organization, the proceeds go to the organization, and author David Baldacci serves as editor.

Some of the stories worked for me, and some didn't. But overall I enjoyed the book. My favorite was Rhymes With Prey, written by Jeffery Deaver and John Sandford. Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs team up with Sandford's Lucas Davenport and Lily Rothenburg. Several years ago, I saw the movie version of The Bone Collector, so I kept picturing Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie in their roles as Rhyme and Sachs. Several Latina women have been murdered in NYC, and it's a race against time to stop the murderer before he strikes again. When they have a suspect, Lily is implicated in a subsequent crime. Is someone trying to frame her? OF COURSE! This worked as a short story, but it totally could have worked as a full-length book. A movie would be nice too! I was speed reading this one. I kept thinking, they're going to get Lily out of this mess. 

Red Eye written by Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly, featuring their characters Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch respectively was pretty good, too. Why do I say "pretty good"? I could see the differences in their writing style. Bosch descends upon Boston to search for a suspect in an unsolved murder. I felt like I was in Kenzie's head, and I connected to his character. With Bosch narrating, I felt like I was reading a different story.

R.L. Stine's Slappy the Ventriloquest and Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's Aloysius Pendergast was the strangest pairing. A dummy vs. a real person? How can that work? There are definitely some elements of magical realism. Aloysuis wakes up in a mental institution and doctors are trying to convince him that he's locked up for his own good. They're trying to convince him that his memories of life as an FBI agent aren't memories, instead they are hallucinations. The scenes with the dummy just didn't work for me. I don't think I full understood that plot. I might have to read it again.

Overall, this was a clever and unique way to get these writers to collaborate. There are short cuts taken at every corner by the characters, but it works and I hope they do it again!
Rating: Superb

Note: I received a copy from Meryl L. Moss Media Relations as part of a blog tour.

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