Is there a better way to celebrate some of the greatest characters in modern thrillers than to raise a glass (or mug or stein or flute) in their honor?

As many a book club member will attest, there is not much that can enhance a reading experience like a refreshing drink. The International Thriller Writers’ (ITW) anthology FACEOFF is no different. FACEOFF is an unprecedented collaboration where 23 of the world’s bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers have paired their series characters in an 11-story anthology. The characters you think you know best are thrown into unpredictable situations and partnered with, pitted against, and, in some cases, romantically entangled with, characters you’d never suspect—and some that you would.

As the reader navigates through these captivating tales, subtle suggestions for potent potables appear.

beer mugCharacters like Harry Bosch and Lucas Davenport would likely suggest a beer. Although resident beer snob Repairman Jack may have an opinion or two about which beer it should be. John Rebus would enjoy a single malt whisky with his beer; Lincoln Rhyme could do without the beer. The whisky is enough for him. Alexandra Cooper would be found after a long day in court enjoying malt whiskeyDewar’s and her partner in crime solving, Paul Madriani, would be nursing a vodka martini. For our more discerning imbibers, Aloysius Pendergast prefers a pricey Château Pétrus, while Dr. Malachai Samuels fingers a tumbler of a 40-year-old Maccallan. Slappy the Ventriloquist Dummy can’t drink, but it is nice to imagine him sipping varnish to keep his healthy, maniacal glow.

So where does that leave people who, like Roy Grace and Cotton Malone, don’t indulge? You could take a page from Jack Reacher’s book and enjoy a nice cup of coffee. And we have it on good authority that Cotton sweet teamight enjoy a tall, icy glass of sweet tea.

But how does one decide which drink to choose?

Repairman Jack would insist on a nice cold Yuengling, but if you are more of a mixologist, the Faceoff Fizz is right up your not-so-dark alley.  Here is how you make it:



  • 2 ounces rye whiskey
  • ½ ounce sweet vermouth
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce Ginger simple syrup
  • 3 dashes Angostura orange bitters
  • 1 splash club soda
  • Orange twist (for serving)


Combine rye, sweet vermouth, lemon juice, Angostura orange bitters and ginger simple syrup in a cocktail shaker; fill shaker with ice. Shake until outside of shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into a martini glass or a rocks glass filled with ice, add splash of club soda and garnish with orange twist.

You can meet the authors who contributed to FACEOFF at ThrillerFest IX, the world’s largest gathering of thriller writers, at the Grand Hyatt in New York City from July 8-12, 2014. The event is open to the public. Visit for more information.