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PHOTOS: Renowned Novelists Visit Troops on USO Tour to Middle East

Friday, November 09, 2012

Deployed troops celebrated suspense as five of today’s most popular thriller authors offered up literary wisdom and a touch of home to troops on the “Operation Thriller III” USO Entertainment tour to the Middle East.

The group led a handful of Q&A sessions during their ten-day, five-country overseas voyage and coined dozens of service men and women with their commemorative 2012 International Thriller Writers (ITW) coin of appreciation.

The five writers were Kathleen Antrim (Capital Offense and Thriller 2: Stories You Just Can’t Put Down); Michael Connelly (The Lincoln Lawyer, The Black Box, The Drop, The Fifth Witness, The Reversal, Suicide Run, Angle of Investigation, The Reversal, among others); Joseph Finder (Buried Secrets, Vanished, Power Play, Killer Instinct, Company Man, Paranoia, High Crimes among others); Brad Meltzer (The Inner Circle, The Book of Lies, The Book of Fate, The Millionaires, The Zero Game, among others, and host of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on The History Channel) and Andy Harp (Northern Thunder and Retribution).


The authors are literally camoflauged by servicemen and women in a hangar in Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

Said author and Co-President of ITW Kathleen Antrim (front, in khaki): "This tour isn't about authors. It's about our troops, hearing their stories and being able to give back to those who sacrifice so much for us."


The authors are given some background on emergency response from the troops on an airfield.

"Throughout my entire career, our troops have been writing me, sending photos, thanking me for the entertainment," said Brad Meltzer (in black polo). "But let's be honest: they're the ones who deserve the thanks. This is nothing but an honor to me."


The group poses inside a C-17 for a team photo.


From left, Andy Harp, Joseph Finder and Michael Connelly greet a troop with thanks and books.

"Every minute of every day, someone is standing at the gate, watching it, guarding it for the rest of us," Harp said. "Operation Thriller is our small way of saying thank you to those that serve."


"We suspense novelists write stories about fictional heroes," said Finder, far left, talking with troops at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. "How great for us to have the chance to meet the real-life heroes, the men and women who help keep us all safe: America's troops."


Said Connelly, left: "We write about characters who stand up for others even at great risk to themselves. Now we get to meet real people who do that for us in real life on a day in and day out basis. If nothing else, we just want to say thanks."

(Photos by Michael Connelly / Produced by Christian Pelusi) 

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