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Killer Year: Stories to Die For...From the…

Killer Year: Stories to Die For...From the Hottest New Crime Writers

by Lee Child (Editor)

Other authors: laura Lippman (Afterword)

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Showing 5 of 5
I am so saddened by this collection. This is one that I had on my shelf for a little while to read. I finally picked it up not expecting to enjoy every story but the majority. This is because it featured some of my favorite authors as well as the genre of this collection is right up my book reading alley. I read the first three stories with hardly any interest, than I jumped around and picked a few more stories to read and again I could not find myself connecting with any of the stories. This is why I am saddened by this collection. I had high hopes for this anthology. I did not attempt to read any more of the stories in this anthology. In fact, I can not really remember the ones that I did read. ( )
  Cherylk | Dec 19, 2015 |

It's a nice concept - a group of sucessful crime writers, have agreed to be mentors to a group of up and coming new writers. Most have already published a debut novel, and these are short stories in a similar vein. None of the famous authors have included any of their work, just a brief paragraph of introduction. And while all of the short stories were OK, none were bad, equally none were really that gripping either. Granted a short crime story is a very hard format to pull off well. Crime storioes work from detailed clues, a building of suspense and tension, and a twisted ending, or clever deduction work. All of these bar the twisted ending, take a lot of prose to establish - hence we have a collection of stories all following a similar theme - the unreliable narrator - without any of the talent that say Ronald Dahl or Forseyth manages.

The stories are set in various US locales and times, from mid Westerns to modern cities. Mostly they feature teenagers, but there are a few cops and PIs in there too, and as athe title suggets lots of deaths and murders, from the victims POV but also the murderers, and the detective. A smattering of sex and a bit of violence, but again nothing particularly noteworthy.

None of the stories stood out individually enough for me remember them by author or by title, which is probably condemnation enough. ( )
  reading_fox | Dec 14, 2009 |
It has only been in the past 10 months or so that I've started seeking out short stories. In the introduction to Killer Year, Lee Child likens the collection to sampler LPs that came out in the late sixties with twelve tracks by different bands perhaps two of which you might have heard of. I had a similar thought that a book of short stories is like buying a CD. You base it on one or two tracks you've heard and hope that the other are as good. I know the reason I bought Chicago Blues; it had a story by Sean Chercover, "The Non Compos Mentis Blues."

When I read about Killer Year I was primed to get it.

The concept behind the collection is unique. The International Thriller Writers (ITW) was formed in 2004 to
" ... celebrate the thriller, enhance the prestige and raise the profile of thrillers, create a community that together could do more, much more than any one author--or even any one publisher."

A group of debut authors collectively banded together to achieve "creativity in numbers" by supporting each other. The ITW provided mentors to the Class of 2007 and Killer Year is the result of this initiative.

The other reason I picked up my copy as soon as it hit the shelves are the names involved. The mentors include Ken Bruen, Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen, Jeffery Deaver, and Duane Swierczynski. Three of the mentors also contributed stories: Ken Bruen, Allison Brennan, and Duane Swiercznski.

I was also familiar with several of the Class of '07 before I read it. Sean Chercover is here with a story featuring Ray Dudgeon who first appeared in his novel Big City, Bad Blood. Brett Battles is included and now has two successful books in his Cleaner series. Marcus Sakey also has a story in Chicago Blues and his first novel, The Blade Itself is an award winner.

There are a wide variety of stories - hard-boiled detectives, a con man, a couple that are actually rather poignant, one I don't know how to classify, and one I won't because it would give away the story. I read Killer Year from cover to cover and enjoyed all of it. So buy this book or, at least, talk your library into buying it. If you like crime fiction you won't be disappointed.

Consider also the versatility of the short story. Each story is self-contained which means you can finish a story without feeling compelled read the next chapter to see what happens and then the next chapter .... So short stories actually facilitate good sleeping habits.

Many of the writers have accounts on CrimeSpace, "a place for readers and writers of crime fiction to meet." It gives you an opportunity to communicate with authors and participate in discussions. Check it out.
  malundy | Oct 18, 2008 |
Now this book is definitely worth. . .well, maybe not dying for, but certainly the price of admission. I am a long time aficionado of short crime stories, cutting my teeth on borrowed Alfred Hitchcock collections and treasuring all of John D. MacDonald's early works -- but it is rare for me to find a compilation that has more than one or maybe two memorable pieces. This book is a find.

With an introduction by Lee Child and an afterword by Laura Lippman, the reader already knows some treats are in store between these covers. I've rarely been so entertained by a short story collection. From the perfect jewel of "A Perfect Gentleman" to the poignant "Crime of My Life", the book is full of exquisite little gems, and writers to keep an eye on.

Very highly recommended. ( )
  RachelfromSarasota | Jul 7, 2008 |
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Child, LeeEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lippman, lauraAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312374704, Hardcover)

Killer Year is a group of 13 debut crime/mystery/suspense authors whose books will be published in 2007. The graduating class includes such rising stars as Robert Gregory Browne, Toni McGee Causey, Marcus Sakey, Derek Nikitas, Marc Lecard, JT Ellison, Brett Battles, Jason Pinter, Bill Cameron, Sean Chercover, Patry Francis, Gregg Olsen, and David White. Each of the short stories displaying their talents are introduced by their Killer Year mentors, some of which include bestselling authors Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen and Jeffrey Deaver, with additional stories by Ken Bruen, Allison Brennan and Duane Swierczynski. Bestselling authors Laura Lippman and MJ Rose contribute insightful essays. Inside you'll read about a small time crook in over his head, a story told backwards with a heroine not to be messed with, a tale of boys and the trouble they will get into over a girl, and many more stories of the highest caliber in murder, mayhem, and sheer entertainment. This amazing anthology, edited by the grandmaster Lee Child, is sure to garner lots of attention and keep readers coming back for more.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:03 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Some of the rising stars in the crime, suspense, and mystery genres reveal their talents in an anthology of short stories, each of which is introduced by such mentors as Tess Gerritsen, Jeffery Deaver, and Lee Child.

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