First Thrills: Short Stories

ISBN 13 : 9780765365354

First Thrills: Short Stories

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9780765365354: First Thrills: Short Stories

New York Times bestselling author Lee Child and the International Thriller Writers, Inc. present a collection of remarkable stories in First Thrills. Showcasing many of the organization's bestselling authors as well as rising stars in the genre, here are twenty-five brand-new, never-before published, stories packed with murder, mystery, and mayhem.

*A cunning criminal thinks he can use a child to take the rap for his crimes.

*A hospital intern turned body-snatcher.

*A priest who comes face to face with his wife's murderer on death row.

*A confederate soldier comes home to his love, but changed by more than just the war....he comes back wrong.

*The discovery of a flying saucer in the deep sea brings one man to the brink of a massive revelation.

*A dying man's last request proves to his ex-wife that he's still rotten to the core.

*A clandestine operative finds himself caught in a wicked game of confusion . . . but who is calling the shots?

No matter what type of thriller you read, you'll find something here that will entertain you . . . and perhaps a new writer you'll cherish for years to come.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :

The International Thriller Writers is an honorary society of authors, both fiction and nonfiction, who write books broadly classified as "thrillers." This would include (but isn't limited to) such subjects as murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and myriad similar subject areas.

ITW's mission is "To bestow recognition and promote the thriller genre at an innovative and superior level for and through our Active members; to provide opportunities for mentoring, education and collegiality among thriller authors and industry professionals; and to grant awards for excellence in the thriller genre."

One of the main purposes of the organization is to provide a way for successful, bestselling authors to help debut and midlist authors advance their careers. To that end, ITW has designed numerous, effective programs and events which promote debut and midlist writers and their work, sometimes in partnership with bestselling authors. In addition, ITW promotes literacy, gives money to worthy organizations, supports libraries, and advances the genre. Finally, it brings together almost a thousand writers, readers, publishers, editors and agents at its annual conference, ThrillerFest, as well as at CraftFest, a writing workshop program, and AgentFest, where aspiring authors can meet and pitch top literary agents.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

The Thief
 
GREGG HURWITZ
 
Momma came into the living room and asked where I got the Power Rangers pencil case and I didn't say anything. I just scrunched my eyes shut tight and pretended I'd gone away.
She said, "Tommy, you're a teenager. You can't keep stealing stuff from the kindergarten kids. If I call Mrs. Connelly and she says something went missing, you'll be in big trouble and you'll skip dinner."
The last part about skipping dinner floated in through my scrunched eyes and settled in my stomach and made it hurt. "I'm sorry," I said.
She sighed and pressed her hands to her curly brown hair. "I can't trust you, Tommy. And that's an awful thing."
When her mouth got like that it meant I should get out of her way for a while, so I went back to my room and sat on my bed. My dad left after I was born. I don't have a picture of him in my head. Just the picture on my bookshelf next to my comics. My favorite is Wolverine. No one knows how strong he is inside. He's got a skeleton made of adamantium. You never see it, really, just bits and parts, except one time he got in this plane crash and he burned down to his skeleton and I didn't like that at all. He looks like a normal guy, but I like that he's stronger than he looks, way stronger, beneath his soft skin. I'm fat. Momma says the proper term is "heavy," but I know what it's really called from the kids outside Mrs. Connelly's classroom at school. They aren't special, those kids, but I'd trade not being fat for not being special.
I could smell the pot roast from the kitchen and it made my stomach hurt some more thinking about not getting any because of a tin pencil case that you can see your reflection in even if it's wavery.
Momma says she can't trust me when it comes to stealing things. But that's not true, at least not always. Like I know that she keeps a shoebox full of money in her closet and I've never stolen that. And she has this pearl necklace and a CD of Frank Sinatra and I don't want those either. It's just some things I have to have. Like the long, shiny shoehorn I took from the Foot Locker. Or glowy green bubble gum people leave on sidewalks. We have a problem with the salt and pepper shakers from Momma's work, and she searches me before we leave just like the cops do black people on TV. And the cook at the diner just laughs and says, "Let him take 'em," and she says, "You have no idea what I put up with, Frank."
There was a knock at my door and she came in and sat next to me on the bed and I closed my eyes again, tight. She said, "It's okay. I forgive you."
So I said, "Can I keep the Power Rangers pencil case?"
Momma said, "No."
I opened my eyes. I said, "I thought you forgive me."
She sighed again and said, "Help me, Jesus."
So I said, "Okay. You can give back the pencil case," because I don't like when she brings Jesus into it.
The doorbell rang, and she said, "Oh, that'll be Janice."
Ms. P works with Momma at the diner and they go to movies sometimes and do each other's hair and drink pink wine out of the skinny glasses. I followed Momma out to the front door. Ms. P said, "Who's that handsome fellow there?" like she always does even though she knows it's just me. Ms. P wears pretty magenta lipstick like in the sunset I drew in Mrs. Connelly's class. I like sunsets.
I didn't say anything about not eating pot roast and Momma must've forgotten because I took two servings and even had grape juice. I liked the sound of Ms. P's voice in our kitchen. We don't have people come over to our house much. Usually, Momma goes out and leaves a TV dinner in the microwave and the numbers already put in so I just have to push the green button. I watched Ms. P's magenta lips all through dinner. They crinkled and smiled. Magenta is my favorite color.
After, Momma said, "Why don't you go read your comic books?"
And I said, "I don't read them. I look at the pictures."
And Momma said, "Well, whatever, same difference."
I never know what she means by "same difference" since the two words don't really go together and they sort of cancel each other out if you ask me, but no one ever asks me. So I went to my room. But I didn't really go to my room. I opened and closed my door and then I tippy-toed down the hall again so I could listen to Momma and Ms. P. That wasn't very nice of me, but I'm home alone most nights so when I can hear other people talking in the house, it's a treat.
I hid behind the little half table at the end of the hall. Ms. P's purse was there, right by my head, and her keys, which had more key chains than keys, which made no sense.
Momma kept saying, "It's so hard, Janice."
And Janice kept saying, "I know, honey. I know. But he's a sweet kid."
And Momma said, "I feel so alone," which made me feel weird because Momma's not alone, since I live with her.
Momma said, "Sometimes I just miss grown-up company, you know?"
And Ms. P said, in a different kind of voice, "I know." Then she said, "There was that salesman I fixed you up with last year."
Momma said, "He was nice and owned a house, unlike the jerks I used to date. Maybe that's why it didn't work. He wasn't enough of a loser to interest me."
They laughed about that. Then Ms. P said, "I heard he met someone, moved to Cleveland."
"Maybe I blew it," Momma said. "He was very nice. Plus he wasn't hard on the eyes."
Then Ms. P said something in a low voice and they both laughed.
My shin itched so I reached to scratch it and I hit the table and Ms. P's keys jangled and I said, "Oops."
Momma said, real pointy-like, "Tommy!"
And I said, "Uh-oh."
And Momma said, "Come out here, Tommy."
And I didn't say anything. I just hugged my knees and squeezed my eyes shut but then I heard some rustling and opened my eyes and Momma was standing right there.
I said, "I'm sorry."
She said, "Remember the guest rule when I'm in the living room?"
And I said, "Oh yeah," like I'd just remembered it, but I don't think she believed me.
As I went down the hall, I heard Ms. P say, "You're too buttoned up in all this. You deserve something for  you. A warm little something on the side."
But Momma just gave a giggle and said, "I can barely remember."
I went into my room and closed the door, which made me sad because I couldn't have their voices keep me company, but a closed door was part of the guest rule. So I played for a while and then read Batman until I got to the Joker, who always scares me too much because he smiles all the time but he's not happy. And someone like that you can't trust. And that's an awful thing.
After a while, I heard the front door close and then I heard Ms. P's car drive off and then Momma came in my room and stared at me and said, "You look ridiculous. Where'd you get that lipstick?"
The next night I walked home after school alone. The fourth graders followed a few blocks like they sometimes do and threw rocks, but they didn't mean anything because they threw little pebbles not like the real bullies. The fourth graders were just jealous because they weren't in the special class. At least that's what Mrs. Connelly says. And they never throw real rocks because they know if they do I'll sit on them and they don't like that very much at all.
I got home and ran into the kitchen and checked the microwave, like I always do first thing. But it was bad news. There were numbers punched in already, which meant that Momma was working a night shift and she wouldn't be home until after dinner. That made my stomach go all achy, but not big achy like when I ate all those hot dogs and threw up in the back of Ms. P's Mustang named Coop.
The doorbell rang and I ran over, excited, and opened the front door even though Momma always tells me not to. A guy stood there. He wore overalls with stains on them and he had big shiny arms and black tangly hair down over his eyes. A silver pen stuck up out of the bibby part of his overalls. In front of our house was a beat-up brown truck.
He said, "Is your dad home?"
And I said, "I don't have a dad. I live with Momma."
And he smiled a real toothy smile like in the soap operas and said, "I fix driveway cracks. I finished the house up the street a bit early today and I noticed you had some in your driveway. Cracks."
I said, "I didn't do it."
He stared at me sort of funny, then said, "Is your mom home?"
I said, "No."
He ducked his head a little to look past me into the house and said, "It's just you and your mom living here?"
I said, "Can I have your pen?"
He pulled the shiny silver pen from his overalls and turned it so it caught the light. It sparkled a bit. He said, "This pen?"
I said, "Yeah."
He said, "This one right here?"
I said, "Yeah."
He said, "You won't tell your momma I gave you this pen?"
"Oh, no," I said. "No sir."
He handed me the pen and walked back to his truck. After a few tries, his truck started and he drove off.
I went into Momma's room and played in her closet. She's got this one shirt that I like to pet that's all shimmery like snakeskin. I took it a few times but she always notices right away so I don't take it anymore. I wasn't supposed to touch it neither but Momma wasn't home and what was I supposed to do? Next I took the lid off the shoebox and looked at the rows of green bills. Momma gets paid a lot in cash--her tips, she calls it, but the tips of what?--and if she keeps it in the shoebox instead of a bank then she gets to keep more of it instead of the damn government stealing it, which is weird because I thought it was harder to steal from a bank. It's the only time Momma says "damn" except when she's talking about her damn life insurance which she has so she'll know I'll be taken care of if something ever happens to her. The damn life insurance costs her an arm and a leg and I don't even know where to start with how many ways that doesn't make sense. If something happened to Momma she'd go to heaven and I'd go to the home where some of the other kids in Mrs. Connelly's class live and they get movie nights and chocolate ice cream if they earn points ...

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Description du livre Starscape, United States, 2011. Paperback. État : New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. New York Times bestselling author Lee Child and the International Thriller Writers, Inc. present a collection of remarkable stories in First Thrills. Showcasing many of the organization s bestselling authors as well as rising stars in the genre, here are twenty-five brand-new, never-before published, stories packed with murder, mystery, and mayhem. *A cunning criminal thinks he can use a child to take the rap for his crimes. *A hospital intern turned body-snatcher. *A priest who comes face to face with his wife s murderer on death row. *A confederate soldier comes home to his love, but changed by more than just the war.he comes back wrong. *The discovery of a flying saucer in the deep sea brings one man to the brink of a massive revelation. *A dying man s last request proves to his ex-wife that he s still rotten to the core. *A clandestine operative finds himself caught in a wicked game of confusion . . . but who is calling the shots? No matter what type of thriller you read, you ll find something here that will entertain you . . . and perhaps a new writer you ll cherish for years to come. N° de réf. du libraire AAS9780765365354

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Description du livre Starscape, United States, 2011. Paperback. État : New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. New York Times bestselling author Lee Child and the International Thriller Writers, Inc. present a collection of remarkable stories in First Thrills. Showcasing many of the organization s bestselling authors as well as rising stars in the genre, here are twenty-five brand-new, never-before published, stories packed with murder, mystery, and mayhem.*A cunning criminal thinks he can use a child to take the rap for his crimes.*A hospital intern turned body-snatcher.*A priest who comes face to face with his wife s murderer on death row.*A confederate soldier comes home to his love, but changed by more than just the war.he comes back wrong.*The discovery of a flying saucer in the deep sea brings one man to the brink of a massive revelation. *A dying man s last request proves to his ex-wife that he s still rotten to the core. *A clandestine operative finds himself caught in a wicked game of confusion . . . but who is calling the shots? No matter what type of thriller you read, you ll find something here that will entertain you . . . and perhaps a new writer you ll cherish for years to come. N° de réf. du libraire AAS9780765365354

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