Lee Child: First Thrills

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Lee Child First Thrills
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First Thrills: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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High-Octane Stories from the Hottest Thriller Authors Con men and killers, aliens and zombies, priests and soldiers – just some of the characters that kill and thrill in this compelling collection of gun-toting, double-crossing, back-stabbing, pulse-pounding stories. Jeffrey Deaver investigates the suspicious death of a crime-writer in 'The Plot'; Karin Slaughter's grieving widow takes revenge on her dying ex-husband in 'Cold, Cold Heart'; Stephen Coonts discovers a flying saucer in the depths of the ocean in 'Savage Planet' and John Lescroat's secret field agent finds himself caught up in a complex game of cat-and-mouse in 'The Gate Conundrum'. Handpicked by world number one Lee Child, celebrity authors and stars of the future are brought together, writing brand-new stories, especially commissioned for this must-have collection. Whether you're reading today's bestseller or tomorrow's phenomenon, grisly horror or paranoia thriller, historical suspense or supernatural crime, one thing's for certain. You'll be thrilled to the core.

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Lee Child, Gregg Hurwitz, CJ Lyons, Rip Gerber, Alex Kava, Deb Carlin, Ken Bruen, Theo Gangi, Jeffery Deaver, John Lutz, Lise S. Baker, Michael Palmer, Daniel James Palmer, Grant McKenzie, John Lescroart, Bill Cameron, Stephen Coonts, Ryan Brown, Sean Michael Bailey, Heather Graham, Rebecca Cantrell, Kelli Stanley, Wendy Corsi Staub, Cynthia Robinson, J. T. Ellison, Marc Paoletti, Karin Slaughter, Karen Dionne

First Thrills

First published in the United States of America in 2010 by St. Martin’s Press.

Copyright Acknowledgments

Introduction copyright © 2010 by Lee Child

“The Thief” copyright © 2010 by Gregg Hurwitz

“Scutwork” copyright © 2010 by CJ Lyons

“The Bodyguard” copyright © 2010 by Lee Child

“Last Supper” copyright © 2010 by Rip Gerber

“After Dark” copyright © 2010 by Alex Kava and Deb Carlin

“Wednesday’s Child” copyright © 2010 by Ken Bruen

“Eddy May” copyright © 2010 by Theo Gangi

“The Plot” copyright © 2010 by Jeffery Deaver

“Eye of the Storm” copyright © 2010 by John Lutz and Lise S. Baker

“The Dead Club” copyright © 2010 by Michael Palmer and Daniel James Palmer

“Underbelly” copyright © 2010 by Grant McKenzie

“The Gato Conundrum” copyright © 2010 by John Lescroart

“The Princess of Felony Flats” copyright © 2010 by Bill Cameron

“Savage Planet” copyright © 2010 by Stephen Coonts

“Suspended” copyright © 2010 by Ryan Brown

“Invisible” copyright © 2010 by Sean Michael Bailey

“When Johnny Comes Marching Home” copyright © 2010 by Heather Graham

“On the Train” copyright © 2010 by Rebecca Cantrell

“Children’s Day” copyright © 2010 by Kelli Stanley

“My Father’s Eyes” copyright © 2010 by Wendy Corsi Staub

“Program with a Happy Ending” copyright © 2010 by Cynthia Robinson

“Killing Carol Ann” copyright © 2010 by J. T. Ellison

“Chloe” copyright © 2010 by Marc Paoletti

“Cold, Cold Heart” copyright © 2010 by Karin Slaughter

“Calling the Shots” copyright © 2010 by Karen Dionne

Afterword copyright © 2010 by Steve Berry

We dedicate this collection to

our friends and families for their unending support

and to our readers: you are the reason we do what we do.

Because of all of you, we can write what we love.

Thanks for reading!


A lot of people work very hard behind the scenes to bring a book to life. A collection like this involves even more work because of the number of authors involved. We would like to thank these unsung heroes:

Scott Miller and everyone at Trident Media Group, for their unending enthusiasm and hard work in bringing this project to life.

Our editor, Eric Raab, his assistant, Whitney Ross, and everyone at Tor/Forge, for taking our words and giving them a home.

International Thriller Writers’ board of directors, for their inspiration and guidance. The ITW staff who work tirelessly to keep everything in working order. ITW’s Debut Author Program, which provides new authors with support, encouragement, and camaraderie.

And, finally, our guardian angels: Lee Child, Steve Berry, Liz Berry, Jon Land, Kim Howe, and Eileen Hutton.

Thanks, guys! We couldn’t have done any of this without you!

Introduction by Lee Child

As of this writing, the International Thriller Writers, Inc. organization-ITW-is a little more than five years old. It grew quickly and strongly and in short order became very good at what such organizations are supposed to be good at, but what was fascinating was the way it ebbed and flowed and tested uncharted areas and developed skills and interests that were new. Its annual conventions-ThrillerFests-were immediately distinctive. Its internal disciplines were immediately professional. But I believe its support of new members will be most remembered.

New authors face a tough challenge. Publishing was never an easy field to break into, and it gets harder all the time. Sometimes lightning strikes, but for most of us, a career is built slowly and painstakingly, year on year. The first couple of years are crucial. Early buzz means survival. Established ITW members know that-indeed, how could they not? By definition, they all survived that test, and they all remember it well. So, early and organically, the organization felt its way into a situation where sending the elevator back down became a major priority.

Not that it wasn’t a two-way street. Our first debut generation organized itself into Killer Year 2007, and ITW recognized a great idea and ran with it. Some members of that class are now three or four books into stellar careers and are well on their way to becoming household names. The obvious quality of their emerging talent reinforced ITW’s commitment, and the organization stepped up its efforts and developed a solid program of support. Inside the organization, debut authors get access to advice and mentoring, and they mix with the biggest names on an equal footing.

And outside the organization, they get exposure, in the kind of volume you’re holding right now. This is a short-story anthology, and it’s intended to function as a sampler, as a shop window. Read these stories, and you’ll sense the talent the same way we did, and you’ll be excited to pick up the participants’ full-length novels, and buzz will build, and the participants will survive the crucial first year or two, and careers will be started, and the next generation of household names will be forged.

But publishing is a tough business, especially right now, and we were realistic enough to know that readers would be a little reluctant to buy a book by people they had-by definition-never heard of. So the call went out for big names to help. The idea was to sprinkle some major attractions in the shop window, to draw your eye. And the response was overwhelming. Eleven big bestsellers immediately offered to join in. Alphabetically, Ken Bruen, Stephen Coonts, Jeffery Deaver, Heather Graham, Gregg Hurwitz, Alex Kava, John Lescroart, John Lutz, Michael and Daniel Palmer, Karin Slaughter, and Wendy Corsi Staub all contributed stories-free, gratis, and for nothing, simply because they remembered their debut years and didn’t want to stand by idle. Among them they sell many millions of books a year, and we think they brighten up the shop window enormously. Their enthusiasm was so infectious, even I was moved to contribute a story.

But don’t let the established names’ glitter and glamour distract from the thirteen new names here. Again alphabetically, we are proud to present Sean Michael Bailey, Ryan Brown, Bill Cameron, Rebecca Cantrell, Karen Dionne, J. T. Ellison, Theo Gangi, Rip Gerber, CJ Lyons, Grant McKenzie, Marc Paoletti, Cynthia Robinson, and Kelli Stanley. Read them, and I think you’ll agree that the only real difference between the big names and the new names is chronology. Fifteen years from now the new names will be the big names. Their talent is amazing.

Which actually explains why the eleven big names-plus me-agreed to help. Of course there’s an element of altruism involved-unsurprisingly, since thriller writers are the nicest people you could hope to meet-but there’s a little self-interest, too, because writers are first and foremost readers, and like any other readers, we want a constant stream of great new stuff to consume. This is our way of making sure we get it. So join us-you won’t regret it.

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