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Watchlist Review

With the innovative Watchlist, best-selling author Jeffrey Deaver devised a unique concept of creating a plot and main characters, then invited other authors to write a chapter each as they move the characters and plot along. The result was two serial novellas whereby each chapter was written by a different author. Twenty-two authors including Deaver were involved in writing the two novels.

Deaver wrote the first chapter or two and then wrapped each story with a chapter or two at the end. The stellar list of contributing authors tell the rest of the story based on Deaverís outline. The final result is two wonderful thrillers that send readers around the world with numerous twists and sharp turns along the way.

The Chopin Manuscript introduces Harold Middleton, a former war crimes investigator reluctantly drawn back into the game. He travels to Poland to authenticate a Chopin manuscript that has recently come to light. Soon after he leaves, the man who is in possession of the manuscript is murdered. In what first appears to be a separate incident, the murdered manís niece narrowly escapes an attempt on her own life.

Harold gathers his former group, the so-called Volunteers, to help him track down the killer. Felicia, the manís niece, and Harold join forces in the United States when both are chased by someone who desperately wants the manuscript.

The Copper Bracelet finds Harold and Felicia again connecting when Middleton finds himself drawn into an international terrorist plot. The Copper Bracelet turns out to be a code name for an effective way to make heavy water originally developed by the Nazis.

It had been assumed the method was destroyed at the end of World War II. Heavy water can give people the ability to develop nuclear weapons more efficiently than the current way. In the wrong hands, the method can cause a massive, tragic loss of life to innocent people.

What is most interesting about Deaverís concept is as one reads the story, as a new chapter begins; the reader gets to see what direction the story takes. Some chapters stay true to the current story line while introducing new characters, while others may take a sharp turn opening up a whole new thread.

Mr. Deaver writes the first chapter or two, and then lets the other writers take their turn following an open outline. He then brings the stories to their conclusion as he writes the last chapter or two.

Watchlist utilizes a great concept by one of the best thriller writers around. This book will keep readers enthralled as they follow Middleton and his cohorts through grave and difficult times. Watchlist is a must read for action thriller fans! I hope we have the opportunity to again follow Harold Middleton and his Volunteers in future books.

A special thank you goes to Vanguard Press for providing a complementary copy for review. If you are interested in buying Watchlist, you can purchase the book through Amazon.com.

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