This "highly recommended" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) collection edited by New York Times bestselling author Lee Child pairs the beloved characters of twenty-two internationally bestselling writers in "a must-read for fans of the thriller genre" (The Real Book Spy).
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

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DeirdreWA
Mar 30, 2021

Good story telling, but left me wanting more - more story line, more of the characters/development, etc. I guess short stories are just not for me, but if you want a taste of an experience written by well known mystery/adventure authors that's light, without depth, these are for you.

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emerge
May 03, 2019

I love these collections. Some days it’s so hard to find time to block out the rest of the world & disappear into a great book. With these shorties, you can spend 20 minutes in your favourite hiding spot & enjoy a complete story from some of the best known thriller writers.

Each is a collaboration between 2 authors & there are some interesting pairs here. There are 11 tales in all, representing a diverse range of sub genres…..contemporary, historical, paranormal, romance & pure crime. Everyone will have their personal favs so I won’t review them all. Instead, here are some random thoughts & my top 3 picks.

If you read thrillers at all you’re going to recognize these iconic characters who have become just as famous as their creators. Dr.Temperance Brennan, Cotton Malone, Reacher, Carol Jordan & Roy Grace are just a few. But I bet you didn’t expect to run across John Rambo (yes, THAT Rambo…). Even that F**kin’ Flowers puts down his fishing rod long enough to get in on the action. And for every reader who swoons when Jamie Fraser walks by, kilt a-swinging….well, nuff said.

My picks were “Faking a Murderer” starring Dr. Temperance Brennan & Jack Reacher; “Deserves to be Dead” featuring Virgil Flowers & Regan Pescoli; and “Short Story” with Joe Pritchard & a young Jeffrey Tolliver.

As with all collections, some of the collaborations are more successful than others but the list of winners will vary from reader to reader. As much as I enjoy catching up with “old friends”, this is also a great way to try on a new-to-you author & maybe find another series to add to your groaning TBR pile.

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cambridgedon
Jan 10, 2019

Came here as a Lee Child fan and was glad he teamed up with Kathy Reichs in 'Faking a Murderer' so Jack Reacher and Temperance Brennan could intersect in one of the three best stories out of the eleven collaborations between a male and a female writer. One of the others was 'Rambo on Their Minds,' a collaboration of David Morrell and Gayle Linds. The other was 'Deserves to be Dead' by John Sandford and Lisa Jackson. Honourable mention goes to the paranormal effort from Diana Gabaldon and Steve Berry, 'Past Prologue' which clearly wins style points for its first person, present tense presentation. 'Taking the Veil' by Eric Van Lustbader and J. A. Jance is the poorest effort due to its dull narrative style.

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bobholdsworth
Feb 18, 2018

Started the book because I'm a Lee Child fan. Loved the book because I've discovered several new authors to read. Eleven short stories each co-written by two established authors. Quick reads, nice variety of story lines. Now I'm off to search for books by the authors I enjoyed.

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ladyoflorien
Dec 07, 2017

I enjoyed the collaborations of the authors in this anthology. As is usual in an anthology, I really enjoyed some short stories and others, not so much. Still, if you're a fan of suspense, it's a good read.

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candlesticktroughs
Oct 31, 2017

....then comes the baby carriage!

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drawgers
Oct 29, 2017

Admittedly, I did not read all the stories in this anthology, only ones by authors and featuring characters I already have read. So my opinion is limited to those. But I thoroughly enjoyed reading a new story with Harper Connelly by Charlaine Harris, a new Joe Pickett adventure by C.J. Box, a short story about Jack Reacher by Lee Child. Their interactions with new-to-me characters by authors I am not familiar with were fun but not going to be enough to entice me to read novels of such.

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NRBBrady
Oct 09, 2017

This was not my favorite in terms of representation of what some of my favorite authors provide. You know how some books you know when you finish that you will someday definitely want to re-read? This is not one of them.

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darladoodles
Jul 19, 2017

I love the premise of this anthology and found the stories to be as enjoyable as I had anticipated. These authors are respected members of the thriller genre and write about a wide variety of characters. Putting them all in one volume is like hitting the midnight buffet on a cruise ship. Bonus!

Some of my favorite stories were "Faking a Murderer", "Rambo On Their Minds" and "Getaway" although I read each one with relish.

Reading about how the stories came together was also an enlightening piece of the package. I heartily recommend this short story collection along with the earlier "FaceOff."

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