New York Times best-selling author Lee Child has teamed up with the International Thriller Writers for First Thrills, a showcase of many of the organization’s best-selling authors as well as rising stars in the genre.
First Thrills includes never-before-published stories by New York Times best-selling authors including Lee Child, Stephen Coonts, Jeffery Deaver, Heather Graham, Joan Johnston, John Lescroart, Alex Kava and Deb Carlin, Michael Palmer (with Daniel James Palmer), Karin Slaughter, and Wendi Corsi Staub.
This collection also serves as a great introduction to those whom the ITW has christened its rising stars, including Sean Michael Bailey, Ken Bruen, Ryan Brown, Bill Cameron, Rebecca Cantrell, Karen Dionne, JT Ellison, Theo Gangi, Rip Gerber, Gregg Hurwitz, C. J. Lyons, Grant Mackenzie, Marc Paoletti, Cynthia Robinson, and Kelli Stanley.
©2010 Lee Child (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
If you are a fan of short stories, this is a rare collection of thrillers. Until I found this collection, I wasn't aware that thriller writers had their own genre organization, International Thriller Writers (ITW). Some of the stories may not seem to be proper thrillers, lacking international intrigue or violence. Listening carefully to the Introduction and Afterword, I learned that a thriller must have four key elements: facing danger, searching for truth, avoiding despair and finding hope. Defined thus, these are definitely thrillers!
This is a meaty collection. It showcases a wide variety of approaches by both new and established authors. I only found one story truly disappointing.
I've read negative reader reviews of other ITW collections. If you are considering this collection because you are a fan of one of the big-name authors, please remember that these are short stories, not novels. A short story does in less than 7500 words what a novel needs 50,000+ words to do. One of the best short story examples I can think of is Arthur C. Clarke's "The Star", which won the Hugo Award for 1956. If a novel is a full course meal, think of a good short story collection as a plate of hors d'oeuvres...tasty morsels that make you go, "Wow!"
ok so there were a few authors who were just -ok.
but by in large i had my phone with me, audible loaded, and whenever i had a break especially on the ride home, i was always entertained,
i want to see MORE of these kind of short story anthaologies from various authors, very addictive!
This book fell far short of living up to what the title claims. High octane stories? I don't think so. As an example, one story, "Chloe", was about a son helping his gangster father on the run go to the bathroom at a service station - that was the whole story. Oooh, I was on pins and needles - NOT! I figured with the multiple authors and stories, I'd be sure to get some good ones, but alas, it was just one mundane story after another. There was only one stand-out story that actually had a decent plot (Michael Palmer). I wish I could get my credit back.
I was amazed to hear the credits of some of these writers -- NYT bestsellers time and time again, but the fiction was pretty rank. There are only a few stories worth listening to. If you like the thriller/mystery genre and want some entertaining short fiction, I'd recommend checking out Jefferey Deaver's short story collections (Twisted, More Twisted, Nocturne). His was one of the better written stories in this collection, and it's not the best of his short fiction.
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