BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blog Tour Review of FaceOff, edited by David Baldacci

Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Format Read: print ARC
Source: PR firm in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | OmniLit* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci and including stories by Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, and more, this one-of-a-kind anthology pulls together the most beloved characters from the best and most popular thriller series today. Worlds collide!

In an unprecedented collaboration, twenty-three of the world’s bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers have paired their series characters—such as Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, and Lincoln Rhyme—in an eleven-story anthology curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW). All of the contributors to FaceOff are ITW members and the stories feature these dynamic duos:

· Harry Bosch vs. Patrick Kenzie in “Red Eye,” by Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane

· John Rebus vs. Roy Grace in “In the Nick of Time,” by Ian Rankin and Peter James

· Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy vs. Aloysius Pendergast in “Gaslighted,” by R.L. Stine, Douglas Preston, and Lincoln Child

· Malachai Samuels vs. D.D. Warren in “The Laughing Buddha,” by M.J. Rose and Lisa Gardner

· Paul Madriani vs. Alexandra Cooper in “Surfing the Panther,” by Steve Martini and Linda Fairstein

· Lincoln Rhyme vs. Lucas Davenport in “Rhymes With Prey,” by Jeffery Deaver and John Sandford

· Michael Quinn vs. Repairman Jack in “Infernal Night,” by Heather Graham and F. Paul Wilson

· Sean Reilly vs. Glen Garber in “Pit Stop,” by Raymond Khoury and Linwood Barclay

· Wyatt Hunt vs. Joe Trona in “Silent Hunt,” by John Lescroart and T. Jefferson Parker

· Cotton Malone vs. Gray Pierce in “The Devil’s Bones,” by Steve Berry and James Rollins

· Jack Reacher vs. Nick Heller in “Good and Valuable Consideration,” by Lee Child and Joseph Finder

So sit back and prepare for a rollicking ride as your favorite characters go head-to-head with some worthy opponents in FaceOff—it’s a thrill-a-minute read.

Bea's Thoughts:

I was excited about this book from the time I first read about it so when the PR firm emailed to ask if I wanted to review it as part of a tour, of course I said 'yes!' While I've heard of all of these authors, there were many I had never read or only read one story and that quite a while ago. Anthologies can be a great way to try out new authors and this anthology is packed with stories from best-selling authors in the mystery and thriller genres. The twist is that each story is written by two authors together and features their signature characters.

The downside to this method is that it can be a real challenge not to have one character dominate the story. That happened in a few of them but for the most part, the authors found a balance so that their characters got equal star time. At the beginning of each story, we get some background on how the authors chose the characters and the story, and how they approached writing the story. I appreciated the extra info but you can easily skip the set-up and jump into the story if that's your preference.

Since many of the authors are ones I haven't read yet, and I wanted to focus on one story for the post, I went with "Surfing the Panther" by Steve Martini and Linda Fairstein as I'm a big fan of Fairstein's Cooper series (though I'm several books behind at the moment). Unhappily for me, this was one of several stories where one character dominated and it was Martini's Madriani (say that 10X fast!). I liked Madriani well enough and I'm intrigued enough to try a full-length book with him in it but Cooper was shortchanged in this story. She doesn't really play a big part and she's far more strident in this story than in her own books. I think too that I missed her usual sidekicks though they really wouldn't have fit into this story. The story itself is a classic con with some twists that experienced thriller readers will likely see coming. There was an emphasis on exposition and not very much action. The ending, while somewhat predictable, was satisfying.  

While that story didn't thrill me, there were several standouts: "The Laughing Buddha" by M.J. Rose and Lisa Gardner, "Infernal Night" by Heather Graham and F. Paul Wilson, and "Good and Valuable Consideration" by Lee Child and Joseph Finder.

Intriguing premise, excellent variety, and kick ass authors - if you enjoy thrillers and mysteries and you're already a fan of these authors or you want to try them for the first time, you should get "FaceOff".


  1. a whole book of different thrillers all to together, sounds good to me! Thanks for putting this one on my radar.

  2. This sounds like something my FIL and the Mister would enjoy, I love a lot of the authors mentioned but can't get into short stories myself. Great review Bea!


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