The incredible follow-up to FaceOff features twenty-two of the world’s bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers pairing their series characters in an eleven-story anthology curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW). MatchUp takes the never-before-seen bestseller pairings of FaceOff and adds a delicious new twist: gender. “Think Dancing With the Stars, but with mysteries” (Booklist) as eleven of the world’s best female thriller writers from Diana Gabaldon to Kathy Reichs to Charlaine Harris are paired with eleven of the world’s best male thriller writers, including John Sandford, C.J. Box, and Nelson DeMille, among others. “This box holds a chocolate or two that will be to everyone’s liking” (Kirkus Reviews).
In these innovative stories, their beloved protagonists, Lee Coburn, Joe Pickett, and Jack Reacher—just to name a few—team up to unnerve and satisfy thriller fans worldwide. All of the contributors are ITW members, and the project is edited by ITW member and #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child. The lineup includes:
Sandra Brown’s Lee Coburn vs. C. J. Box’s Joe Pickett
Val McDermid’s Tony Hill vs. Peter James’s Roy Grace
Kathy Reichs’s Temperance Brennan vs. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher
Diana Gabaldon’s Jamie Fraser vs. Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone
Gayle Lynds’s Liz Sansborough vs. David Morrell’s Rambo
Karin Slaughter’s Jeffrey Tolliver vs. Michael Koryta’s Joe Pritchard
Charlaine Harris’s Harper Connelly vs. Andrew Gross’s Ty Hauck
Lisa Jackson’s Regan Pescoli vs. John Sandford’s Virgil Flower
Lara Adrian’s Lucan Thorne vs. Christopher Rice’s Lilliane
Lisa Scottoline’s Bennie Rosato vs. Nelson DeMille’s John Corey
J.A. Jance’s Ali Reynolds vs. Eric Van Lustbader’s Bravo Shaw
About the Author
Lee Child, previously a television director, union organizer, theater technician, and law student, was fired and on the dole when he hatched a harebrained scheme to write a bestselling novel, thus saving his family from ruin. Killing Floor went on to win worldwide acclaim. The Midnight Line, is his twenty-second Reacher novel. The hero of his series, Jack Reacher, besides being fictional, is a kindhearted soul who allows Lee lots of spare time for reading, listening to music, and watching Yankees and Aston Villa games. Lee was born in England but now lives in New York City and leaves the island of Manhattan only when required to by forces beyond his control. Visit Lee online at LeeChild.com for more information about the novels, short stories, and the movies Jack Reacher and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise. Lee can also be found on Facebook: LeeChildOfficial, Twitter: @LeeChildReacher, and YouTube: LeeChildJackReacher.
Sandra Brown is the author of sixty-eight New York Times bestsellers, including Mean Streak, Deadline, Low Pressure, and Smoke Screen. Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, most of which remain in print. Sandra and her husband, Michael Brown, live in Arlington, Texas.
C.J. Box is the New York Times bestselling author of fifteen novels including the award-winning Joe Pickett series. Box has won the Edgar Award for Best Novel as well as the Anthony, Macavity, Barry, and Le Calibre .38 awards. His novels have been translated into twenty-five languages. Box lives outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Val McDermid is the author of many crime novels and has created the notable characters Lindsay Gordon, Karen Pirie, Kate Brannigan and Tony Hill. Her novels have been translated into forty languages and have sold over 16 million copies. Visit her online at ValMcDermid.com.
Peter James is the #1 international bestselling author of the Roy Grace series, with more than eighteen million copies sold all over the world. His novels have been translated into thirty-seven languages and many are in development for TV and film including the Roy Grace series. All of his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police, with whom he does in-depth research. He lives in England.
Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead was a #1 New York Timesbestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. A Conspiracy of Bones is Kathy’s nineteenth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels. Dr. Reichs is one of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and as a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She divides her time between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec. Visit Kathy at KathyReichs.com.
Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling Outlander novels, described by Salon magazine as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting ‘Scrooge McDuck’ comics.” Dr. Gabaldon holds three degrees in science: Zoology, Marine Biology, and a PhD in Quantitative Behavioral Ecology, (plus an honorary degree as Doctor of Humane Letters). Diana and her husband, Douglas Watkins, have three adult children and live mostly in Scottsdale, Arizona. Visit her online at DianaGabaldon.com.
Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Patriot Threat, The Lincoln Myth, The King’s Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor’s Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into forty languages with 19,000,000 copies in fifty-one countries. For more information, visit SteveBerry.org.
Gayle Lynds is the New York Times bestselling author of Masquerade and Mosaic, and coauthor with Robert Ludlum of The Hades Factor and The Paris Option. Born in Nebraska and raised in Iowa, she has been a reporter for The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, editor of Santa Barbara magazine, and a think-tank editor with top-secret clearance. She lives in California with her husband, novelist Dennis Lynds. Romantic Times named Mosaic "thriller of the year." Visit her online at GayleLynds.com.
David Morrell is the critically author of First Blood, the novel in which Rambo was created. He holds a PhD in American literature from Penn State and was a professor in the English department at the University of Iowa. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic spy novel, The Brotherhood of the Rose (the basis for the only television mini-series to be broadcast after a Super Bowl). An Edgar and Anthony finalist, a Nero and Macavity winner, Morrell is a recipient of three Bram Stoker Awards from the Horror Writers Association and the prestigious Thriller Master award from the International Thriller Writers organization. His writing book, The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing, discusses what he has learned in his more than four decades as an author. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Visit him online at DavidMorrell.net.
Karin Slaughter is acclaimed storyteller published in thirteen languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe. Her eighteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar Award–nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Visit her online at KarinSlaughter.com.
Michael Koryta is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages and have won or been nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Edgar Award, Shamus Award, Barry Award, Quill Award, International Thriller Writers Award, and the Golden Dagger. Visit him online at MichaelKoryta.com.
Charlaine Harris is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for over thirty years. She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area. She has written four series, and two stand-alone novels, in addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and graphic novels (cowritten with Christopher Golden). Her Sookie Stackhouse books have appeared in twenty-five different languages and on many bestseller lists. They’re also the basis of the HBO series True Blood. Harris now lives in Texas, and when she is not writing her own books, she reads omnivorously. Her house is full of rescue dogs.
Andrew Gross is the author of the New York Times and international bestsellers Everything to Lose, No Way Back, 15 Seconds, Eyes Wide Open, Reckless, Don’t Look Back, The Dark Tide, and The Blue Zone. He is also coauthor of five #1 bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. Visit him online at AndrewGrossBooks.com
Lisa Jackson is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than eighty-five novels, including Afraid to Die, Tell Me, You Don’t Want to Know, Running Scared, Without Mercy, Malice, and Shiver. She is also the coauthor of the Colony series, with her sister, Nancy Bush. There are over 20 million copies of Lisa Jackson’s books in print in twenty languages. She is a recipient of the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award and has also been honored with their Career Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense. Born in Oregon, she continues to make her home among family, friends, and dogs in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her at LisaJackson.com.
John Sandford is the author of twenty-four Prey novels; the Virgil Flowers novels, most recently Storm Front; and six other books. He lives in New Mexico.
Lara Adrian is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of the Midnight Breed vampire romance series, with nearly 4 million books in print and digital worldwide and translations licensed to more than twenty countries. Visit her online at LaraAdrian.com.
New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice is the son of author Anne Rice and the late poet Stan Rice. He lives in Los Angeles.
Lisa Scottoline is a # New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author of thirty-two novels which have sold over 30 million copies in thirty-five countries. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for The Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Chick Wit”—a witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective. Lisa reviews popular fiction and nonfiction, and her reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, and she has also served as president of Mystery Writers of America. Visit her online at Scottoline.com.
Nelson DeMille is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty novels, six of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers. His novels include The Deserter, (written with Alex DeMille), The Cuban Affair, Radiant Angel, Plum Island, The Charm School, The Gold Coast, and The General’s Daughter, which was made into a major motion picture, starring John Travolta and Madeleine Stowe. He has written short stories, book reviews, and articles for magazines and newspapers. Nelson DeMille is a combat-decorated U.S. Army veteran, a member of Mensa, Poets & Writers, and the Authors Guild, and a member and past president of the Mystery Writers of America. He is also a member of the International Thriller Writers, who honored him as 2015 ThrillerMaster of the Year. He lives on Long Island with his family.
J.A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the Ali Reynolds series, the J.P. Beaumont series, and the Joanna Brady series, as well as five interrelated Southwestern thrillers featuring the Walker family. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona. Visit her online at JAJance.com.
Eric Lustbader is the author of nearly forty novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Ninja, which introduced Nicholas Linnear, one of modern fiction’s most beloved and enduring heroes. In 2004, Mr. Lustbader was chosen by the estate of the late Robert Ludlum to continue the Jason Bourne novels, and has published eight international bestselling works to rave reviews. He is also the author of two successful and highly regarded series of fantasy novels, The Sunset Warrior Cycle and The Pearl Saga. He and his wife Victoria are residents of the South Fork of Long Island.
Date of Birth:1954
Place of Birth:Coventry, England
Read an Excerpt
MatchUp SANDRA BROWN AND C. J. BOX
SANDRA BROWN BEGAN WRITING IN 1981. Before that she worked as a model and in television, including weathercasting and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program PM Magazine. And though she’s published over seventy novels, with over eighty million copies in print worldwide, she admits to one handicap.
She’s short story challenged.
“It’s just not something I’ve written a whole lot of,” she says.
Luckily, C. J. Box does not suffer from that affliction, which made him the perfect partner for Sandra. Chuck is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, and small-town newspaper reporter, and he’s even owned an international tourism marketing firm. He has over twenty novels to his credit, and short stories are not unfamiliar. He also has a character, Joe Pickett, so the idea was to connect Sandra’s Lee Coburn with Pickett. By a stroke of great luck, at the end of Sandra’s 2011 novel Lethal, Coburn ended up in, of all places, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Which is Joe Pickett country.
Talk about fate.
Everything just got easier after that.
Together, Sandra and Chuck plotted the story. Then Chuck wrote the first draft and sent it to Sandra for an edit and rewrite. They went back and forth, until both were pleased with the outcome. Chuck’s comment summed it all up.
“Sandra was a dream to work with it.”
You’re going to like this unexpected encounter between two of the most rugged protagonists out there today. Both harken back to another time, and the story’s title poses an interesting question.
Honor & . . .
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was impressed with the stories, they kept getting better and better. Some of the main characters I had never heard of, but I will search them out from now on. Thank you for an excellent reading experience.
Match Up is an anthology of eleven short stories written by twenty-two authors. Lee Child edited, wrote the forward and also contributed to one of the stories. All the authors are published (no novices here) and most are well-known. But not all are experienced in writing short stories, or in collaborating with other authors. Each story is prefaced by some commentary about how the collaboration worked, and there is an author biography for each one at the end. It’s an interesting concept, to match up eleven male/female authors and get them to create a story that brings together characters for whom they are each well known. Thus we have Ty Hauck investigating with Harper Connelly in a story which, sadly, sees Tolliver Lang take a back seat. Jeffrey Tolliver teams up with Joe Pritchard and Lincoln Perry, Tempe Brennan gets a much-needed hand from Jack Reacher, Cotton Malone finds himself in 18th Century Scotland meeting a certain Jamie Fraser, and so on. Some are straight up crime fiction, but there are a few with paranormal elements, and there’s plenty of humour. For die-hard fans of the authors featured, this will be a little extra dose of their favourite characters; for readers unfamiliar with the authors, this provides a taste of the author’s work, maybe giving them an idea of what the fuss is about. They are all short stories, so not much time investment is needed, most are excellent and some even add a little to the character’s back story. Quite enjoyable.
I'm leaving the cover of Matchup a little larger this time so you can see the wealth of authors who contributed to this compilation. But if you look again, you'll see that they are paired - pairings that you wouldn't expect to see. For in Matchup, two well known authors have take their signature characters and co-written a short story featuring the two. Lee Child is the editor and he provides a small commentary before each story, giving some background on the authors as well as the collaboration. I have read many of these authors and it was nice to see familiar characters again, but a few were new to me. Matchup was a great way to get idea of who these characters were. Some of the pairings had me wondering how in the world two quite different leads would work together. Diana Gabaldon and Steve Berry? Sandra Brown and C.J. Box? Well, the answer is - really well. The stories are clever, fun to read and satisfying. I enjoy short story collections as you can pick them up and down, easily (and satisfyingly) finishing a story at a short sitting. I chose to listen to Matchup and I'm so glad I did. There are a number of narrators as well. I had listened to some of them before, but a few were new to me. This was also a great opportunity to discover some new audio book readers. It's really hard to pull out favourite stories, as I did truly enjoy them all. But if pressed I would say Lee Child and Kathy Reichs were a favourite. Tempe bossing Reacher around was great fun. And I also really liked Karin Slaughter and Michael Koryta. Koryta was new to me, but I am going to pick up one of his Joe Pritchard books after this introduction. Slaughter gives us a look at a young Jeffery Tolliver that was fun. I am a huge fan of both Peter James and Val McDermid. Having both Tony Hill and Roy Grace on the same case was wonderful. I really enjoyed Matchup and hope we can see another collection such as this.
I'm not through the book yet, but I've liked everything so far. And then there's the vampire story. ?????
This is a great mystery/thriller anthology. These short stories are definitely unique, since they are written by paired up authors. Some you not even expect to be writing together. Many of the 22 authors were familiar to me, but I also have a few new ones that I'm anxious to check out. I'd also read Faceoff when it was released, which is why I picked up Matchup to read. Very well done. Might there be another anthology in the works?
“Matchup” is a must-have anthology for every mystery reader. It is a collection of eleven unexpected short stories by twenty–two top mystery writers. In this collection, each female author was paired with a male writer, and each diverse pair collaborated on one story. These partnerships produced some outstanding tales with complexity and surprise. I previously read “Faceoff” and thought nothing could beat that anthology, but this one certainly comes close, perhaps even outdoing that book. These partnerships will probably never write together again, making the collection even more intriguing. A collection such as this allows a fan of mystery books to read and finish a compelling story all in one sitting. It is perfect for plane trips, car rides, appointments, or while waiting for car repairs. (You know where I have been this week.) I always have a couple of anthologies ready to pick up when I leave the house. With this one, I have already read a couple of the selections more than once because they were just so off-the-wall interesting. I received an advance copy of this collection from Simon and Schuster to review, and it makes great reading when waiting for others (CHILDREN) to finish practice, or lessons, or games, or meetings, or afte-rschool events – and the list goes on! I can read these mystery “matchups” again and again and love them each time.