MatchUp is the follow-up to 2014’s FaceOff and teams up a female thriller writer with a male thriller writer. One of each writer’s main characters will pair up for a bit of mystery solving.

Each story begins with a brief introduction written by Lee Child. This intro gives details of the authors working together on their story and sometimes a bit about each author as well. I enjoyed this look at the writing of each short story and getting to know the authors too. Look for each story to take you between 30 and 60 minutes to read. This is great way to get a full story when you only have a few minutes to spare for reading.

Now for a quick look at each story.

  1. Lee Coburn and Joe Pickett in “Honor & …” by Sandra Brown and C.J. Box – 4 stars. I’ve never read Box before, but Lethal is one of my favorite Brown books. It was nice to see Coburn again and I’ll be adding the Pickett books to my TBR. He sounds like someone I would like to get to know. Their team up was packed with action and left me wanting more.
  2. Tony Hill and Roy Grace in “Footloose” by Val McDermid and Peter James – 2 stars. I’ve never heard of these two authors or their characters before and this story didn’t leave me with any inclination to give them a try. I realize these are short stories but this one was missing something. And I found it gross. Normally, blood and gore don’t bother me, but this time it did.
  3. Temperance Brennan and Jack Reacher in “Faking a Murderer” by Kathy Reichs and Lee Child – 4 stars. I’ve never read Reichs before but I am a fan of the earlier Reacher books. The story grabbed me and made me miss Reacher. I haven’t enjoyed the last couple of Reacher books, but this short story makes me want to give him one more try. And Reichs will certainly be going on my TBR.
  4. Jamie Fraser and Cotton Malone in “Past Prologue” by Diana Gabaldon and Steve Berry – 2 stars. I assume everyone knows Gabaldon for Outlander. I read Outlander and barely managed to finish it. It wasn’t for me. Berry, I’ve never heard of before. I’ve never enjoyed time travel stories, so I didn’t go in to this story with much hope. Time travel still doesn’t do anything for me. I find it too unbelievable and that ruins the whole story for me. My mind wasn’t changed about time travel stories with this one.
  5. Liz Sansborough and Rambo in “Rambo on Their Minds” by Gayle Lynds and David Morrell – 4 stars. So many authors that I’ve never heard of before! Lynds and Morrell are two more. My TBR is going to be an even bigger mess 😉 How did I not know that Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo was based on the book character created by Morrell? This story was well done. Lots of action and a fulfilling ending.
  6. Jeffrey Tolliver and Joe Pritchard in “Short Story” by Karin Slaughter and Michael Koryta – 3 stars. I’ve read Slaughter but not Koryta. Having not read the books that these characters appear in, I found the fact that three of the character’s names started with the letter P confusing. I couldn’t remember who was who half the time. Perhaps if I knew the main characters better, that would not have been the case? However, the story was interesting and I will be checking out books featuring the characters I was introduced to here.
  7. Harper Connelly and Ty Hauck in “Dig Here” by Charlaine Harris and Andrew Gross – 3 stars. Vampires. It’s how I discovered Harris, though the Sookie books are the only ones I’ve read. While I’ve come across Gross’ name before I’ve never read any of his work. This story doesn’t involve vampires, but the pace was steady though the story itself was nothing earth shattering.
  8. Regan Pescoli and Lucas Davenport in “Deserves to be Dead” by Lisa Jackson and John Sandford – 4 stars. I’m a fan of Jackson’s To Die series and was excited to see Regan paired up with Virgil Flowers. I haven’t read the Flowers books yet, but they’ve been on my TBR for a while. This short story inspired me to get to those soon. I wasn’t sure where this story was going when it started, but boy, oh boy, was it packed with action.
  9. Lucan Thorne and Lilliane in “Midnight Flame” by Lara Adrian and Christopher Rice – 3 stars. Adrian isn’t familiar to me at all, but Rice’s name rings a bell. Their contribution is interesting but not what I would call thrilling. The deepest of all the stories so far. It reminded me to be thankful for what I have in life, which seems a strange thing to earn from a paranormal story.
  10. Bennie Rosato and John Corey in “Getaway” by Lisa Scottoline and Nelson DeMille – 3 stars. I’ve read several Scottoline books though none of her Rosato books. Demile is a familiar name, but I haven’t read any of his work. I enjoyed the character development of this story. Though it was a short story and I’ve never met these characters before, I felt like I knew them. However, the character development took away from the ending, which I found anti-climactic.
  11. Ali Reynolds and Bravo Shaw in “Taking the Veil” by J.A. Jance and Eric Van Lustbader – 3 stars. You guessed it! I’ve never read these authors either. While I liked to their two main characters, their story? Meh! Not terrific but not terrible either.

I spent a lot of time in this review telling you if I had read or not read an author before. Sorry about that! But I found the fact of whether I had read an author before important to my enjoyment of the story. I think these stories would have been even more enjoyable if I knew some of these characters better.

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.


Rating:  3 Stars

Reviewer: Jennifer

Title: MatchUp

Release Date: June 13, 2017

Don’t miss any of the bookish fun. Subscribe now!