Lee Child (editor)
St. Martin’s, Jan 22 2008, $24.95
This interesting anthology predominantly showcases new authors whose first crime-thriller tale was published in 2007. There are also two well written essays; “The Class of Co-opetition” by MJ Rose explains the state of the publishing industry was in trouble even before the recent economic crunch so much so that grandmasters like Lee Child agreed to mentor talented wannabes; Laura Lippman adds a historical “Coda” to the compilation and what led to it. The entries are for most part strong with no clinkers and prove a delightful way to meet some of the rising stars in the crime-thriller genres. The contributions run the gamut of the two genres with the emphasis on crime. The well written tales include a messenger from Rutgers (see “Righteous Son” by Dave White) to the wheelchair philosopher who understands that one is the difference between a burden of love and a bond of love (see “Gravity of Need” by Matthew Sakey) to Jason Pinter’s on the mark “The Point Guard” to the knife wielding female in “Runaway” by Derek Nikitas. Although M.J. Rose paints a gloomy pessimistic state for the industry, she is on target with her optimism that talent abounds as affirmed by this anthology in which surely someone sliced off the top of the glass so that it is no longer half but filled to the brim.