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The new story collection FaceOff sounds as if it's about hockey, a sport that rarely makes the best-seller list.

But FaceOff, which lands on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list at No. 43, involves no goalies or penalties for high-sticking. It does feature unsolved crimes that unfold in 12 stories, edited by best-selling thriller writer David Baldacci.

In each of the stories, two novelists match the wits and talents of their best-known fictional characters. The "faceoffs" include Dennis Lehane's Patrick Kenzie vs. Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch and Lee Child's Jack Reacher vs. Joseph Finder's Nick Heller.

Booklist calls the collection "a thriller reader's ultimate fantasy."

All the contributors are members of the International Thriller Writers, a group that claims 2,100 members around the world who have more than 3 billion copies of their books in print. Many will gather at ThriilerFest IX in New York July 8-12.

Baldacci, a former lawyer, has written 35 books that have made USA TODAY's list. His latest thriller, The Target, the third in his series featuring government assassins Will Robie and Jessica Reel, landed at No. 1 in May. It's now No. 21.

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