The Never Game

The Never Game

From the bestselling and award-winning master of suspense, the first novel in a thrilling new series, introducing Colter Shaw."You have been abandoned."A young woman has gone missing in Silicon Valley and her father has hired Colter Shaw to find her. The son of a survivalist family, Shaw is an expert tracker. Now he makes a living as a "reward seeker," traveling the countr...

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Title:The Never Game
Author:Jeffery Deaver
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The Never Game Reviews

  • Monnie

    What could possibly be better than finding an exciting new series? When it's written by a favorite author, that's what! Such is the case here for sure - and for sure I'm already chomping at the bit for the next installment.

    The new character is a complex guy named Colter Shaw, who grew up as a son of exceptionally well-educated parents who ditched mainstream life for a survivalist existence. They taught their children well; their father, from off an ever-deepening end, and their mother from a mor

    What could possibly be better than finding an exciting new series? When it's written by a favorite author, that's what! Such is the case here for sure - and for sure I'm already chomping at the bit for the next installment.

    The new character is a complex guy named Colter Shaw, who grew up as a son of exceptionally well-educated parents who ditched mainstream life for a survivalist existence. They taught their children well; their father, from off an ever-deepening end, and their mother from a more practical (and loving) perspective as she struggled to rein in her husband's paranoia. Long since, Colt moved back to reality (even going to college and law school) and now makes a living primarily by earning reward money offered for locating missing loved ones. He's not a bounty hunter; he picks his jobs only after carefully researching both the reward offerers and the victims. On every case, one of his strengths - long ago instilled by his now-deceased father - is assessing probabilities (whether or not he'll be successful, which suspect is more likely to be the perpetrator, etc.) Adding to the overall strength of the book is that interspersed throughout are recollections from Colt's growing-up years - some good, some not so much - all of which give readers intriguing insights into what motivates him.

    The story opens as Colt is in over his head - literally; he's trying to save a very pregnant woman who's been locked into a boat that's sinking in frigid water. We get a glimpse or two of what might happen before the scene shifts to two days earlier, when someone tries to toss a Molotov cocktail into Colt's RV. Shortly thereafter, he learns of a $10,000 reward from a Silicon Valley father who's desperate to find his missing daughter. Colt drives his RV to a park there, rents a car, visits the father and agrees to take on the case. During the investigation, he encounters a professional computer game tester named Maddie, who drags him to a huge convention and introduces him to a world he didn't even know existed - a world filled with characters who love killing, both virtually and, quite possibly, in real life.

    Although I'm working on some kind of electronic gadget a big part of every day, whether it be my desktop or Kindle or smartphone - I've never had more than a passing interest in playing animated games. As such, a good bit of the plentiful and complex information on that topic that's in here pretty much sailed over my head. On the other hand, I learned quite a few things - all of which added to the story and made it even more interesting. I can't say more without giving away too much, but the ending brings everything together (including the woman on the sinking ship) as well as leaves the door wide open to the next chapter in Colt's life.

    For me, that can't come soon enough, so please get busy, Mr. Deaver. While I wait, I'll thank the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review the first of what I'm confident will be a great series.

  • Miriam Smith

    "The Never Game" is the first in a brand new investigative series written by renowned thriller writer Jeffrey Deaver and featuring a fabulous new character 'Colter Shaw'. Shaw is an itinerant 'reward-seeker', someone who finds missing people in return for the reward money and makes a refreshing change to the run of the mill, private investigator/bounty hunter stories that normally relate in the hunt for missing persons. Shaw is an exceedingly well developed character and Deaver's precise attenti

    "The Never Game" is the first in a brand new investigative series written by renowned thriller writer Jeffrey Deaver and featuring a fabulous new character 'Colter Shaw'. Shaw is an itinerant 'reward-seeker', someone who finds missing people in return for the reward money and makes a refreshing change to the run of the mill, private investigator/bounty hunter stories that normally relate in the hunt for missing persons. Shaw is an exceedingly well developed character and Deaver's precise attention to detail is totally remarkable and unlike any other author indeed. The descriptions of the locations featuring in the story allow for perfect clarity of vision and the way the story is told in such immense detail, you immediately feel a part of the intriguing story and know exactly what is going on in each intelligently written chapter.

    There's plenty of information on Shaw's background to keep you intrigued and I look forward to learning more about him in future books. He’s a trained survivalist (not ex cop or military), quietly spoken, strong both mentally and physically, has personal standards, empathy and respects other people regardless of their stature. His trademark way of attempting to solve crimes and dangerous situations by assessing percentages relating to each circumstance is very clever and typical of a Deaver character.

    Jeffrey Deaver really is one of the best thriller writers in town and I have personally been a fan of his intellectual crime stories for many, many years. I suspect Colter Shaw will be another iconic character like the author’s other very successful character - Lincoln Rhymes- and I look forward immensely to following this series further.

    Many thanks to Love Reading for my copy of the book in return for an honest review.

    4.5 stars rounded up to 5

  • J.D. Barker

    Grabbing you from the first page, Jeffery Deaver crafts a devilish plot that unfolds with breakneck speed. An excellent start to a new series, Colter Shaw has comfortably nestled onto the bench with Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance - one of our best literary puppet-masters at the end of all their strings.

  • Andrew Smith

    I've been a huge fan of Deaver’s work over the years, I like that he develops slightly off-the-wall baddies and as a result his stories are often quite quirky. There are always plenty of twists too, enough to prevent me from guessing the ending at any rate (OK, that's actually not too hard as I virtually never work out an ending). Most recently, his Lincoln Rhyme series has held me captive, but I've avoided the last couple of books as I was beginning to tire of the format. So I was delighted to

    I've been a huge fan of Deaver’s work over the years, I like that he develops slightly off-the-wall baddies and as a result his stories are often quite quirky. There are always plenty of twists too, enough to prevent me from guessing the ending at any rate (OK, that's actually not too hard as I virtually never work out an ending). Most recently, his Lincoln Rhyme series has held me captive, but I've avoided the last couple of books as I was beginning to tire of the format. So I was delighted to see that with this book he’s introduced a new hunter of

    a fresh solver of crimes. Colter Shaw looks for opportunities to earn rewards offered for missing persons and the like. He's not a registered PI but he operates along similar lines and uses a small back-up team to help him track down such opportunities and to provide additional information as his investigations progress.

    A student has gone missing in Silicon Valley and her father is offering up a $10,000 reward – right up Colter’s street. And as he gets into the detail of what he suspects is a kidnapping he notices that developments seem to be tracking events featured in a video game. Soon Colter finds himself embroiled in intrigue involving the multi-billion dollar gaming industry… and now a second case has raised its head.

    I quickly grew to enjoy spending time with Deaver’s new front man: he’s clever (of course), has a dry wit and an interesting background, involving a troubled brother and a survivalist father who thought him many of the skills he now deploys. Towards the end of this book the author sets the scene for book two - I'm hooked already, line me up for the second instalment. I'm not

    wowed enough to award this one five stars – a slow section in the middle of the book being the culprit - but it's an easy four star offering and I have a feeling that I’ll be tuning in to tales featuring Colter Shaw for some time to come.

    My sincere thanks to HarperCollins UK and NetGalley for supplying a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Anovelqueen

    Jeffery Deaver has done it again!

    I have been a fan of Deaver for many years especially of his Rhyme & Sachs series. So I was really interested to read this new series featuring a character by the name of Colter Shaw.

    Colter Shaw is a restless and mysterious man who collects rewards from finding missing people or helping to solve crimes. He is not a private investigator, nor a detective, but he strictly holds to the fact that he collects rewards. (By the way, this was an actually ingenious ide

    Jeffery Deaver has done it again!

    I have been a fan of Deaver for many years especially of his Rhyme & Sachs series. So I was really interested to read this new series featuring a character by the name of Colter Shaw.

    Colter Shaw is a restless and mysterious man who collects rewards from finding missing people or helping to solve crimes. He is not a private investigator, nor a detective, but he strictly holds to the fact that he collects rewards. (By the way, this was an actually ingenious idea for a lead character). Colter has gone to the Bay Area of California to help find a missing girl. Her father has offered a reward . Once he gets involved in this endeavor he is drawn into an even deeper level of investigation involving other missing persons and a villain copying a famous video game on his victims.

    I found the book to be very fast-paced and as always meticulous in facts and plot. Deaver is infamous for his knowledge of law enforcement on many levels and this shows, but the reader is not bogged down in many facts. The world of video gaming was also interesting and eye opening.

    This was a great book and if you are looking for a great who-dun-it, police procedural, suspense novel. I am really looking forward to reading more in the series. Colter Shaw is definitely someone you want to learn more about.

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    As a big fan of the

    series by Jefferey Deaver was I curious to see how

    , the first book in Deaver's new series, would turn out. Would this book appeal to just as much as the Lincoln Rhyme books did? In this book, are we introduced to Colter Shaw, an expert at tracking people down, thanks to his upbringing with a father who uprooted the whole family to live off the grid. Now, he's been contacted by a man in Silicon Valley whose daughter has gone missing. It soon turns

    As a big fan of the

    series by Jefferey Deaver was I curious to see how

    , the first book in Deaver's new series, would turn out. Would this book appeal to just as much as the Lincoln Rhyme books did? In this book, are we introduced to Colter Shaw, an expert at tracking people down, thanks to his upbringing with a father who uprooted the whole family to live off the grid. Now, he's been contacted by a man in Silicon Valley whose daughter has gone missing. It soon turns out that this is just the first missing case he has to deal with in Silicon Valley.

  • Paromjit

    Jeffery Deaver introduced us to his new protagonist, Colter Shaw, in his short story Captivated, which certainly piqued my interest in this, his new series. This is the full blown first book and it proves to be a gripping and highly suspenseful read. We learn more about Shaw's background growing up in remote California, with his well educated and academic survivalist father, Ashton, his mother, Mary Dove, and his siblings, reclusive elder brother, Russell, and his younger sister, Dorion. Home wa

    Jeffery Deaver introduced us to his new protagonist, Colter Shaw, in his short story Captivated, which certainly piqued my interest in this, his new series. This is the full blown first book and it proves to be a gripping and highly suspenseful read. We learn more about Shaw's background growing up in remote California, with his well educated and academic survivalist father, Ashton, his mother, Mary Dove, and his siblings, reclusive elder brother, Russell, and his younger sister, Dorion. Home was The Compound, where all the children were home schooled with none of the trappings of modern life and technology, which meant no TV or phones, but there was an extraordinarily well equipped library. Colter is knowledgeable about guns and the environment, acquiring the skills to become a gifted forensic tracker. Raised by his father on a number of rules and philosophy, and a particular lifestyle, Shaw is a man of few words, largely a loner, physically and emotionally resilient, but with a defining sense of wanderlust that drives his inability to settle or commit to a long term personal relationship.

    There is some mystery about aspects of Shaw's life, such as the financial resources he has at his disposal. What he has settled into is a remarkably successful career in finding missing people. He is guided to potential missing people and rewards offered for locating them by his friends, Teddy and Velma in Florida, who are keeping an eye on his home there. Shaw has a number of background players who support his investigations. He ends up making his way in his Winnebago to Silicon Valley, California, where a distraught father, Frank Mulliner, is offering a reward he cannot afford to anyone who can find his missing 19 year old daughter, Sophie. The police have shown little interest in the case, so Shaw looks into her odd disappearance. Using his extensive experience and research, Shaw allocates percentages into the possible options of what could have happened that are major drivers into the decisions he makes. He has a strong interest in maps, and he maps the areas that his investigations take him to. Shaw finds himself in the unfamiliar world of gaming and murder, whilst the acquisition of stole papers take him back into his personal history and what happened to his father.

    Deaver is a complete pro when it comes to writing a riveting thriller with his new protagonist, Colter Shaw, an unusual character with a unique personal history that has shaped the man he is today, a man who needs to live at the edge, who needs to take risks to feel alive. There are twists galore in the book, just when you think you know where it is all going, it moves into an entirely different direction. What really proved a highlight for me was the detailed insights and observations of the US gaming industry, both the game makers and those who live to game, people whose lives are entirely consumed by their primal need to meet the challenges that competitive gaming companies provide. The premise made in the book about where the gaming industry could end up does not feel that far fetched, given our contemporary world of fake news, dirty politics and political machinations. All in all, this was a fantastic read and I have no doubt Colter Shaw and this new series will prove to be popular with crime fiction and thriller fans. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.

  • Diane S ☔

    I remember the first time I read this author. It was the Bone Collector featuring Lincoln Rymes, a parapeligic and Amelia Saks, who was his legs and eyes, in their crime solving Enterprise. It was brilliant, such unusual characters, but so likable. What really blew me away were his many twists and turns. I couldn't follow them, never could figure out where he was going. And I tried.

    This is a new series, and another interesting person with an unusual background fostering unusual skills. Colton Sh

    I remember the first time I read this author. It was the Bone Collector featuring Lincoln Rymes, a parapeligic and Amelia Saks, who was his legs and eyes, in their crime solving Enterprise. It was brilliant, such unusual characters, but so likable. What really blew me away were his many twists and turns. I couldn't follow them, never could figure out where he was going. And I tried.

    This is a new series, and another interesting person with an unusual background fostering unusual skills. Colton Shaw, comes from a survivalists family, off the grid living, homeschooled and trained by his father to anticipate all variables. This story has much to do with game playing.nim not a player myself but I found this fascinating. Had no clue the depth of the games and the competition between writers of codes and developers. The story line takes the unreal and makes it real. Enough said.

    A great start to what I think is going to be a hit of a new series. The ending left me wanting more immediately, since it is open ended. There is a family mystery to be solved.

    ARC from Netgalley.

  • Lou

    The Never Game introduces Mr Deaver's exciting new series featuring the wonderfully mysterious Colter Shaw, and once again he has penned an intense, absorbing an enthralling page-turner highlighting that he is indeed still ahead of the game. The premise very much reminded me of the horror film Saw and is equally as disturbing with a killer that certainly wouldn't be out of place in the movie. Dark, disturbing and very troublesome, Deaver crafts a fast-paced runaway train of a novel with thrills

    The Never Game introduces Mr Deaver's exciting new series featuring the wonderfully mysterious Colter Shaw, and once again he has penned an intense, absorbing an enthralling page-turner highlighting that he is indeed still ahead of the game. The premise very much reminded me of the horror film Saw and is equally as disturbing with a killer that certainly wouldn't be out of place in the movie. Dark, disturbing and very troublesome, Deaver crafts a fast-paced runaway train of a novel with thrills and chills aplenty. Colter is a fascinating and original protagonist as proved by the background information revealed about him here, and I can't wait to learn more about this enigmatic character.

    Interestingly and rather uniquely Colter effectively uses percentage play to guide himself and the police, and with dogged hard work, Shaw can usually unravel the mystery surrounding his cases. There are twists and surprises in abundance, and I appreciated that although I couldn't guess most of them they made sense when looking back and mulling over the clues that were there retrospectively. This adds an element of authenticity to the story. The part of the plot that explores video gaming has been extensively and meticulously researched; all of these aspects made this a quick, thoroughly enjoyable read. I look forward to many more adventures with Mr Shaw. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.

  • Gary

    This is the first book in the Colter Shaw series by author Jeffery Deaver. I am a an avid reader of this authors novels and love the Lincoln Rhyme series so was keen to read this new one. I enjoyed the new character investigator Colter Shaw, who I am sure will develop in time to another excellent addition to Jeffery Deaver's repertoire. But tbh I struggled getting into the plot in this book, I am not into video games etc and couldn't really connect with the story-line. Colter Shaw however shows

    This is the first book in the Colter Shaw series by author Jeffery Deaver. I am a an avid reader of this authors novels and love the Lincoln Rhyme series so was keen to read this new one. I enjoyed the new character investigator Colter Shaw, who I am sure will develop in time to another excellent addition to Jeffery Deaver's repertoire. But tbh I struggled getting into the plot in this book, I am not into video games etc and couldn't really connect with the story-line. Colter Shaw however shows great promise and there are lots of sub plots and secrets to let loose there. Not for me this time but will continue to read the series in the future as enjoy not only the authors writing but also Colter Shaw.

    I would like to thank Net Galley and Harper Collins for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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