Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Killer Year: Stories to Die For edited by Lee Child

I don't know if it would have been better to read Killer Year: Stories to Die For... when it originally came out in 2008 or not. With the 2015 paperback release, the author biographies have been updated. We now know what happened with the "Class of 2007".

In 2007, a number of debut thriller writers decided to band together to publicize their first efforts, and work together to promote each other. The International Thriller Writers organization, ITW, decided to take those authors under their wing, and members mentored the debut "class". As part of the efforts, they put together a "sampler" as editor Lee Child calls it, a collection of short stories by the members. Their mentors introduced the pieces; Lee Child edited the book; M.J. Rose explained the background; and Laura Lippman wrote the afterword. A couple established thriller writers included stories.

There isn't a bad story in the entire collection. Each of the authors shows their mastery of the short story and the thriller genre. There are fascinating stories of revenge, crime, and, even humor. What is equally fascinating is the class itself. In the last eight years, those debut authors have gone on to become hard winning authors, household names if you read thrillers, and, in the case of Jason Pinter, a publisher as well as an author.

It's difficult to review a collection of stories. And, each one of these stories deserves to be read and appreciated, not just reviewed. So, the best way to handle this is a roll call. If you're a thriller reader, and don't recognize a name, look for a book. Or, pick up Killer Year: Stories to Die For so you can discover every author in that "Class of 2007".

So here's the list of those debut authors, all deserving recognition. Kudos to Brett Battles, Robert Gregory Browne, Bill Cameron, Toni McGee Causey, Sean Chercover, J.T. Ellison, Patry Francis, Marc Lecard, Derek Nikitas, Gregg Olsen, Jason Pinter, Marcus Sakey, and Dave White.

Killer Year: Stories to Die For... edited by Lee Child. St. Martin's Paperbacks. 2015. ISBN 9781250067326 (paperback), 331p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I've read a few of the authors on the list. So far, Brett Battles is by far my favorite. In fact I'm reading one of his Jonathan Quinn books now.


Lesa said...

Just a terrific list of authors, Jeff, and this book is a good introduction.