The Never Game: Book summary and reviews of The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

The Never Game

by Jeffery Deaver

The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver X
The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver
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  • Published in USA  May 2019
    416 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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 country to help police solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons. But what seems a simple investigation quickly thrusts him into the dark heart of America's tech hub and the cutthroat billion-dollar video-gaming industry.

"Escape if you can."

When another victim is kidnapped, the clues point to one video game with a troubled past - The Whispering Man. In that game, the player has to survive after being abandoned in an inhospitable setting with five random objects. Is a madman bringing the game to life?

"Or die with dignity."

Shaw finds himself caught in a cat-and-mouse game, risking his own life to save the victims even as he pursues the kidnapper across both Silicon Valley and the dark 'net. Encountering eccentric game designers, trigger-happy gamers and ruthless tech titans, he soon learns that he isn't the only one on the hunt: someone is on his trail and closing fast.

The Never Game proves once more why "Deaver is a genius when it comes to manipulation and deception" (Associated Press).

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [A] superb series launch from Thriller Award winner Deaver…Fans of twisty suspense that pushes the envelope of plausibility without inviting disbelief will be enthralled." - Publishers Weekly

"The story is - this will come as no surprise to Deaver's many fans - full of twists and right-angle turns, and a second Colter Shaw novel feels not just inevitable but mandatory. Deaver is a hit maker who always delivers the goods." - Booklist

"As always Deaver gets you in his stealthy grip on page one, and then takes you on a wild and inventive ride ... this time with new star character Colter Shaw. No one in the world does this kind of thing better than Deaver." - Lee Child

"With a twisty plot, riveting characters, and relentless suspense, The Never Game fires on every single cylinder. Readers will delight in this compelling new character from one of the finest suspense writers in the field. I always look forward to the new Deaver, but this one tops them all." - Karin Slaughter

"Lightning-fast and loaded with twists, The Never Game is a thrill a minute from one of the best. Don't miss it." - Harlan Coben

"Jeffery Deaver is a one of our most exciting storytellers, and The Never Game pulls off the remarkable feat of intertwining a devilish plot with unforgettable characters, fascinating disquisitions with propulsive action, every element conspiring to make it almost impossible to not turn the page. I absolutely loved it." - Chris Pavone

"Jeffery Deaver knows how to deliver exactly what a reader wants. He has a gift for place and character and, here, the tension ratchets up, page by page, as we follow the exploits of a new hero. Crisply plotted and fraught with danger." - Steve Berry

"Terrific writing, vivid and raw, Deaver grips from the very first line and never lets up. He is, hands-down, one of the finest thriller writers of our time." - Peter James

"The Never Game is the very definition of a page-turner." - Ian Rankin

"Jeffery Deaver scores yet again with a fascinating new detective, Colter Shaw, and a plot as full of thrills and twists and turns as you would expect from him. With The Never Game you know you are in the hands of a master. But be warned - don't start this too late in the evening because sleep would be an annoying interruption once you've started reading!" - Peter Robinson

This information about The Never Game shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Reader Reviews

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Cloggie Downunder

A page-turner.
The Never Game is the first book in the Colter Shaw series by American author, Jeffery Deaver. Some people call Colter Shaw a mercenary. Not the fight-for-money kind. Colter makes a living by finding missing people for the reward offered. And he’s good at it. From a young age, his parents instilled into their children survival skills unlike any most parents would select. It’s stood him in good stead.

His latest case takes him to Silicone Valley, where a nineteen-year-old student, Sophie Mulliner, has gone missing. The local cops aren’t doing much, convinced she’s a runaway, so Frank Mulliner offers a reward. Colter gets the information, works out the probabilities, finds the evidence of kidnapping, doing everything the police should have. And he finds the girl. Job done. Except…

There are some strange aspects to this case. And there was a murder committed during the rescue. And then, hours later, there is another kidnapping. And another. It’s starting to look like the killer is playing a game, enacting a particular computer game. By this time the police actually want Colter’s help.

Colter Shaw is an interesting protagonist: highly skilled, always calculating the odds, assessing the probabilities, and usually making only informed decisions, even when faced with a mountain lion. The reader learns about his unconventional upbringing via flashbacks that intersperse the present-day narrative. There’s also an unresolved thread underlying Colter’s current cases, which is gradually revealed in those flashbacks, relating to a shocking event that occurred fifteen years earlier.

While the story does include quite a bit about gaming, this is fairly subtly done. There are plenty of twists and red herrings and, as well as setting up the case Colter will next be dealing with, Deaver leaves enough unanswered questions in Colter’s background for future instalments. A page-turner.

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Author Information

Jeffery Deaver Author Biography

Jerry Bauer

Jeffery Deaver is the #1 international bestselling author of more than thirty-five novels, three collections of short stories, and a nonfiction law book. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into 25 languages. His first novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme, The Bone Collector, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. He's received or been shortlisted for a number of awards around the world, including Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers and the Steel Dagger from the Crime Writers' Association in the United Kingdom. In 2014, he was the recipient of three lifetime achievement awards. A former journalist, folksinger, and attorney, he was born outside of Chicago and has a bachelor of journalism degree from the ...

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