Today it is my absolute pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for the latest release from Jeffery Deaver, The Never Game, the first in a brand new series featuring Colter Shaw. A big thank you to Rebecca Bryant at Harper Collins for inviting me to take part in the tour and to the publisher for supplying an advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
A student kidnapped from the park.
Nineteen-year-old Sophie disappears one summer afternoon. She wakes up to find herself locked inside a derelict warehouse, surrounded by five objects. If she uses them wisely, she will escape her prison. Otherwise she will die.
An investigator running out of time.
Sophie’s distraught father calls in the one man who can help find his daughter: unique investigator Colter Shaw. Raised in the wilderness by survivalist parents, he is an expert tracker with a forensic mind trained to solve the most challenging cases. But this will be a test even for him.
A killer playing a dangerous game.Available From: Amazon | Waterstones | Kobo | Playstore | iBooks
Soon a blogger called Henry is abducted – left to die in the dark heart of a remote forest – and the whole case gets turned on its head. Because this killer isn’t following the rules; he’s changing them. One murder at a time…
Confession time … **whispers** This is the first book I’ve read by Jeffery Deaver.
I realise that as confessions go, there are worse things I could cop to, but as a so called fan of crime fiction, you have to admit that’s pretty shocking. I mean, I’m not totally oblivious. I’ve read some short stories and I’ve seen the movie The Bone Collector – mmm Denzel … – but I’ve not read the books which is, let’s face it, the only way to go. But I have the chance to redeem myself now at the start of a brand new series featuring Colter Shaw – a man who solves crimes and collects rewards for a living – and I can honestly say that if The Never Game is a sign of things to come, I’m not missing a book again.
Now I’m sure that over the course of his career, Mr Deaver has probably had every superlative thrown in his direction, but this is my first review so if you’ll bear with me, I’m going to throw in a few of my own. What a book. From the very beginning I was pulled right in and under, tossed around and given an emotional and thrill infused battering, much like poor Colter Shaw and the woman he is trying to save from a sinking ship. Not a metaphorical one – a literal sinking ship. That prologue, the sense of tension – that quite literal ticking clock scenario – and the almost impossible odds as Colter battles not only mother nature but rapidly onsetting hypothermia, really gets your heart thumping and sets the tone for what is still to come. Loved it. Absolutely brilliant.
What this leads us into is a delightfully twisted and case which sees our hero, Shaw, alerted to a reward being offered by a father for help in locating his missing daughter. It’s not an insubstantial reward, the case by no means straightforward, but intriguing enough to capture Shaw’s attention and it is just the start of a few days of tension filled, emotionally charged, tech laden adventure. Because, strange as it is to think about it now, the whole investigation really does take place over a matter of days. The killer is calculating, unemotional and above all, determined, as once you are in their sights, you are in real trouble.
I have to be honest, I was drawn to Colter Shaw straight away. I can’t necessarily say why, but I was. Despite the fact that he manages to rub some of the local PD up the wrong way, he is quite enigmatic, and perhaps it was his level headed approach, his unflappable nature in a crisis, that worked for me but there was something about him that meant you knew you wanted him on your side. Jeffery Deaver has done a brilliant job of creating this character, leaving me as a reader with a feeling I knew him and yet without necessarily giving me anything concrete, such as a description of him, to hold onto. I know roughly how old he is by the foray we take into his past as certain events which have shaped the man he has become are recounted. I know who he works with, the supporting cast being slowly built up around him, and I know that he is far more than just a reward hunter and far from perfect – although perhaps not that far. That much is at least clear from this book alone. I also know that this is character I cannot wait to hear from again. I can see him becoming one of my favourites.
As for the story, without saying too much about the plot, it is clear that a lot of research has gone into this and the author creates a world which is complex, rich in colour and life, and develops a setting which is believable and dramatic. He takes the reader through the heart of Silicon Valley, from the obscenely affluent to those who just get by, creating a vision so clear that you feel as though you are there yourself. And as for the tension – there are times you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. There are no end of suspects to keep you guessing, and Shaw himself is led up the wrong garden path on more than one occasion, but it all adds to the sense of something much bigger, something intrinsically bad, that drives the narrative onward. With each new victim the clock is reset, every one of them being offered the opportunity for escape, only adding to the drama.And as it builds to that final showdown, the crescendo as it were … I found myself turning the pages faster and faster, desperate to know who was behind it all.
An absolutely outstanding read, gripping, full of misdirection, intrigue, tension and brilliant characters. I cannot wait to read more about Colter Shaw and his friends. This is no ordinary hero and no ordinary book. This is everything a thriller should be and I am off now to go and kick myself for not reading anything from the author sooner …
About the Author
A former journalist, folksinger and attorney, Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the New York Times, the Times of London, Italy’s Corriere della Sera, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Los Angeles Times. His books are sold in 150 countries and have been translated into over twenty-five languages. He has sold 50 million books worldwide.
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