The Never Game (Signed Book) (Colter Shaw Series #1)

The Never Game (Signed Book) (Colter Shaw Series #1)

by Jeffery Deaver

Hardcover(Signed Edition)

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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).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593086223
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Series: Colter Shaw Series , #1
Edition description: Signed Edition
Pages: 416
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

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 twenty-five 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 Award 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 University of Missouri and a law degree from Fordham University.


Washington, D.C.

Date of Birth:

May 6, 1950

Place of Birth:

Chicago, Illinois


B.A., University of Missouri; Juris Doctor, cum laude, Fordham University School of Law

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The Never Game 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
SardisYS 10 months ago
This new series kicks off with a kidnapping focus and gaming on the sidelines. The hero is a son of a survivalist raised off the grid with mad skills for tracking and logic. A fascinating beginning that will hook you on this series. 5-star!
diane92345 11 months ago
In the Never Game, Colter Shaw finds people for a living. Not for honor. Not for glory. For the reward money. Taught rules for hunting by his survivalist father from a young age, Colter uses his skills to find missing people. When Sophie doesn’t return home, her father is convinced that she wouldn’t leave without her beloved poodle. The local police are not convinced and assume the nineteen year old is just a runaway rather than a victim. Desperate, the father advertises a $10,000 reward for information leading to her return. Enter Colter. Never Game begins a new series for Mr. Deaver. The twisty thrill ride of a plot keeps the reader engaged. The premise of a modern day bounty hunter is unique. Colter is a intriguing hero. His own history was the best mystery in this book so I’m looking forward to the next entry in the series. This book is highly recommended to fans of CJ Box’ Joe Pickett and Dean Koontz’ Jane Hawk series. All three heroes are willing to work occasionally on the shady side of the law in pursuit of a greater good. Plus all three of the series provide a pulse-pounding ride. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars! Thanks to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I finished reading The Never Game, breathlessly, in the span of a few days. I hung on every word, devouring the pages. Colter Shaw is that character I want to read about. He’s a private eye (don’t you dare call him that), who lives in an RV, going from state to state, helping find missing people. Recently, he has returned to the Bay Area, searching for Sophie, a missing college student, whose father is offering $10,000 for the return of his daughter. Shaw could use that money. The private eye business is never a steady gig, even for a PI of Shaw’s caliber. Despite his rugged persona and home on wheels, Shaw is a near level genius who quickly calculates the odds of Sophie being still alive. Spoiler alert: they are not great. And as Shaw finds out, Sophie is not the only person missing under suspicious circumstances. There are others. The crumbles of clues, establish a frighting connection between a popular video game, The Whispering Man and the disappearances. In the game, the player is deserted with five objects to help him escape. If you are one of those people who skim through a prologue, I highly advise against it in the Never Game. The prologue might confuse you at first, because it reads as though you are dropped in the middle of an amped up scene. Shaws is trying to rescue Elizabeth Chabelle and her unborn baby from a sinking vessel. We don’t get to find out if he is successful in the prologue. The book begins two days before Elizabeth’s rescue. At first I wasn’t sure if I will like the set up, it’s actually brilliant and creates a plot twist that hooks you.
Anonymous 11 months ago
The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver – 5 Stars Publisher: Penguin Group Putnam ISBN: 9780525535942 We can always count on Jeffery Deaver’s books and short stories to be enjoyable and well written, to have great characters and to include a plot with perfect complexity. This first book of a series is no exception. Although we are not gamers, we did relish the lesson in the world of gaming. We never expected it to be so well accepted with huge revenues off games, equipment, accessories, and a host of other side products. Despite a complete description of the industry and company employees, the technical details were spared but covered to the right degree to supplement the mystery within. Also interesting and applicable were Colter Shaw’s upbringing in the family compound and firm instruction in wilderness survival which played most important in his venture to find and survive the tracking of kidnapped people. For the “Gamer” it was a game. For Colter it was business as usual. The Silicon Valley case is solved in this book, but a lead-in for future books makes you salivate for the next course, plus dessert. We are already starving Mr. Deaver – make it soon. Reviewer: Nancy and Rich
GraceJReviewerlady 11 months ago
A stimulating and spellbinding read - first in a brand new series - from international best-selling author of the Lincoln Rhyme books and many more. When his daughter suddenly disappears, her father knows that she hasn't just run away. With the authorities not taking him seriously, he puts up a reward. Enter Colter Shaw, a  man who searches for missing people where there is monetary gain to be made. There are so many things he is not, but his skills are not in question; but this isn't a novel about one missing person. It's about so much more. Colter Shaw is a protagonist like no other I've come across; his upbringing was, to say the least, unconventional. Shaw is a multi-faceted character, and although I feel as if I know him better than when I opened at the first page, I definitely get the impression that there is so much more to come. This is a superbly crafted book! A phenomenal, unpredictable read this is full of twist and turns, enigmas and revelations. I LOVED it! This is going to be a must-not miss series, and I'll be watching out for the second one. Utterly superb! It's not often I find myself absorbed in a story to the exclusion of everything else, but that is exactly what happened here - I've even consumed less coffee! Sometimes, five stars are just not enough, but that's the very best I can offer, and this one has earned each and every one of them, several times over.
Anonymous 8 days ago
read straight through Colter Shaw complex enigmatic character looking forward to reading more adventures and exploring back story
Anonymous 17 days ago
terrific storytelling ! !
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 4 months ago
I read Jeffrey Deaver books to escape the everyday. His stories center on characters and back stories that you would not normally encounter. This series takes a man raised in a prepper family who hires out to find missing persons. The number of missing and the evidence left behind convince the searchers that someone is playing a real life version of an internet game. Mr Deaver has given his characters life and depth that left me adding voice overs, just like they could hear me. An exciting story line with an unusual villain made The Never Game a great read for me.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Jeffery Deaver is a tremendous writer. His Lincoln Rhymes books are some of my favorites. His descriptions of people and places are impressive! His stories are always interesting and different . You never know what to expect. Colter Shaw reminds me of Jack Reacher,a loner who travels the country helping people. He also gets into a lot of trouble on the way.. I hope he writes more stories about this character as he is fascinating.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
Coulter Shaw is a great addition to the list of Deaver’s delightfully complex characters. I’m looking forward to all the stories to come.
Anonymous 9 months ago
TropicalDelusions 9 months ago
The Never Game – Jeffrey Deaver Colter Shaw is a bit of a loner. Raised by survivalist parents, and being an expert tracker, he spends his time driving around the country in his Winnebago RV and seeking out rewards for missing individuals as ‘work’. This time his friends have alerted him to a missing teenager, and a reward for $10,000 in Silicon Valley. Meanwhile Shaw is also looking for answers to a 15-year-old mystery. His Dad had left the family compound 15 years ago with gun in hand and was found dead at the base of a cliff. This storyline weaves itself around the main theme of the book, as you learn about Shaw’s past in bits and pieces. Shaw thinks in percentages. As he stops by the Quick Byte internet café, he has calculated the odds at finding Sophie Mulliner alive at 40%. The café was the last place she was seen, and it is here that Shaw meets some pretty interesting people and learns all about the gaming world. A quick chat with the waitress on duty gives Shaw some clues and leads him to the area where he thinks Sophie was abducted. As Shaw searches for Sophie, it appears as though her kidnapper is mimicking the levels of a popular computerized immersion game. As a second person goes missing and is later found dead, Shaw realizes that the theme of the game is ‘escape or die’ and that nothing is as it seems. Meanwhile, shades of the past are here in the present and Shaw finds himself in the sights of a different enemy, this one much closer to home… I LOVE everything that Jeffrey Deaver writes, and this is no exception! Colter Shaw is a unique character - reminds me of Jack Reacher with a healthier ego – and the book sets us up for a pretty interesting series, with a lot of threads available for pulling in later novels. I can’t wait for the next installment! A fabulous debut for Colter Shaw! I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Excellent read. Can't wait for the next one
KindigBlog 9 months ago
Although I have never read a book by Jeffery Deaver before I was so excited to get the ARC to read The Never Game. I read the blurb out to my friends who all agreed that this book sounded perfect for me. I have been an avid gamer all of my life, I love going to escape rooms and crime thrillers are one of my preferred genres of books so on paper this book sounded absolutely ideal. This may also be why I’ve held it to very high standards and ultimately come away disappointed though! To start with I don’t think Deaver is a gamer, and it was a little obvious that some of the gaming aspects of the book were under researched or that liberties had been taken to suit the plot. There is no way for example, that a game released in the 80s would have a whole level that no-one had ever been able to complete, nor that only 9 people in the world had completed the one before it. I also found it incredible unlikely that gamers would be ok with watching a current news broadcast every time they started up a game – ads are one thing but it would be a massive undertaking to do in every state, let alone international releases. I liked that a female gamer who was a grinder and used twitch was a character but as all the other gamers we meet are men living in smelly basements little is done to break stereotypes – the police of course all laugh at how stupid these people must be to waste their time on video games. I did like the introduction to the excitement and pitfalls of VR gaming though. I thought the prospect of the murders based on a video game was really interesting but actually the crimes themselves aren’t well developed or explained. The 5 items the victims are given are completely side-lined and the perpetrator just leaves an easy escape route available for most of them so the items didn’t actually correlate to anything. I would have preferred to have seen the crime from the victim’s perspective and been introduced to more of the puzzle element of the crimes rather than the police just mentioning that 5 items had been randomly dumped with them. I was a little confused that this is the first plotline that the author chooses to introduce his new protagonist – Colter Shaw (yes, it’s an unusual first name and we are hit around the head with that fact repeatedly). Colter is a reward hunter, a man brought up on a remote compound by survivalist parents – the flashbacks are mostly about hunting and trapping which is so completely at odds with the plot of this book. I don’t really think the target audience for the plot are the target audience for the main character and this is a really odd choice for the start of a new series. There were a lot of red herrings in the book as well, almost too many and the actual reveal was done so fast I almost missed what was going on. I found myself just wanting the book to end – not helped by the fact that after the main plot is finished the book then carries on trying to set up a main through-line for the rest of the series that I had thoroughly lost interest in. Overall, as a gamer I really didn’t enjoy The Never Game despite a love of crime fiction and a plot that looked like it was made for me. It’s too odd a clash between plot and main character, with a drawn out story and under researched topic that failed to keep interest. Thank you to NetGalley & Harper Collins UK for a copy of the ARC in exchange for a (very) honest review.
Anonymous 10 months ago
BreakawayReviewers 10 months ago
Brilliant twists and turns. Colter Shaw is an investigator. He is not attached to the FBI or any police force but survives on finding lost people for the rewards which their friends and family may have put up for information. Sophie has disappeared. Her father is positive that this is totally out of character and the police don't seem to be taking her disappearance seriously, so he contacts Colter and offers him a reward. Shortly afterwards, another person disappears and turns up as a corpse, but there are similarities which should not be ignored – except the police again don't seem to want to know. And so, the scene is set for numerous twists and turns in a plot which reveals itself slowly but quite deliberately. Forget guesses and look for clues. I will nail my colours to the mast straight away as Jeffery Deaver is one of my favourite storytellers and rarely lets me down. How he develops the characters leads to the feeling that the reader knows the main protagonists. His dialogue is always genuine and gritty. Colter is by no means a perfect specimen as he carries loads of baggage, which on occasions affects his judgement or leads him to make decisions, he sometimes later regrets. However, his is a dogged personality which will not be led astray from the path he believes to be true. How the plot unfolds is logical and raises no eyebrows. It's steady and unsurprising until the second body is found. The police come onboard eventually although Colter has been working with LaDonna Standish of the Joint Major Crime Taskforce for some while beforehand. It's the introduction of Maddie, a computer game addict, which loses the book one star. It's all a bit too convenient, and a little contrived to suit the plot rather than it being a natural progression of the same. That notwithstanding it was a very enjoyable read and supports Deaver's reputation as one of the best international authors of his genre. mr zorg Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Valerian70 10 months ago
I'm not entirely sure what this book was actually supposed to be about. There are a range of topics sort of covered here but none of them are ever really fully explored. Initially I thought this was going to be about the, certainly peculiar world, of gaming but that is a very tiny portion of the book. This was a bit of a disappointment if I'm being honest. Yes, there appears to be a link between a MMORPG and some kidnappings but it is fairly flimsy and tenuous and there is a distinct lack of research in to the whole phenomenon of professional gamers and, indeed, gaming as a whole. I haven't gamed for years but even I could spot the flaws in the plot, technology and the cliche of the type of people who game stuck in my craw. Then you have out hero, Colter Shaw. Kudos to Mr Deaver that I can remember the character name (something that I am famously bad at) some 5 days after reading this book. Colter is a bit of a poor-mans Jack Reacher to be honest. He works for reward but he isn't a bounty hunter, oh no sir, nothing as distasteful as that - and believe me Shaw tells us this often enough. Brought up by survivalist parents he knows all there is to know about wilderness survival and is an expert tracker. He is also strangely alluring as a character and has a wry wit that comes across on the page. Unfortunately I also found him to lack any humility or to have a depth of character beyond survivalist training; this hero is no Lincoln Rhyme. What else is there, oh yes, his dotty father that has left something somewhere and the clue is in a package of papers that Shaw has managed to steal. This thread pops up a few times in the book, mainly because Shaw constantly worries he's going to get busted for pinching it - if I was him I would be more worried about inherited dementia. To be honest I never really understood what place this had in the book, apart from opening the way for a second book (at least) and it is never resolved in this tale. Instead it leaves us on what is supposed to be a cliff hanger as Shaw realises what happened to his father and where he may have hidden something (no idea what he may have hidden). As a cliff hanger it didn't work for this reader. What did save the book for me - to a limited extent - was the procedural side of things. Great explanation of the various levels of Law Enforcement in California. Now, I have taken this at face value so if it is wrong then it is certainly believable (if that sentence makes any sense). The Law Enforcement individuals Shaw comes in to contact with are a fairly innocuous bunch with no real Goodies or Baddies just working stiffs trying to uphold peace and community in the best way they can. It was a pleasant enough read and allowed me to unplug my brain and just go along for the ride. I didn't really get invested in the characters or wonder about who could be perpetrating a dastardly Whispering Man plot in real life. It was sort of thriller by numbers and endearingly daft in places. THIS IS AN HONEST AND UNBIASED REVIEW OF A FREE COPY OF THE BOOK RECEIVED VIA THE PIGEONHOLE
BarbTRC 10 months ago
The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver is the 1st book in his new Colter Shaw series. We meet our hero, Colter Shaw, who is investigating the disappearance of woman who is missing in Silicon Valley. Colter is an expert tracker and investigator, who accepts cases for rewards; he is technically not a private investigator, but having grown up trained by his father to be a survivalist, he has become one of the best at helping solve cases, especially in dire situations. What is nice about this book is that Deaver gives us glimpses into Colter’s life growing up, living with his highly intelligent mother and father, and how he became so good at what he does. Colter is a different kind of hero, who is not only smart, tough, savvy, but he is also conscientious & caring about what cases to take and his determination to find the victim; as well as using his probability percentages to solve cases. The Never Game revolves around the video gaming industry in Silicone Valley, and when Colter begins to delve deeper into the case, he realizes the culprit seems to be following steps played in an older game, The Whispering Man. Early on he manages to find the victim barely alive, utilizing the first level of the game, The Abandoned Factory. With the help of a female gamer, Colter initiates himself with the top management of various ruthless gaming leaders, designers, gamers, etc. When another person is kidnapped, and clues arise that the culprit is now on the second level of the game, Colter will have his hands full trying to work with Joint Major Crimes Task Force in Santa Clara, CA. To tell too much more would be spoilers. I will say that The Never Game was an exciting, non-stop intense, suspense thriller, with many twists and turns, especially in the last half of the book. I look forward to reading more about Colter Shaw in future books, as he made a wonderful hero. The Never Game was so very well written by Jeffery Deaver.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous 10 months ago
Donatelli 11 months ago
The Never Game (Colter Shaw #1) by Jeffery Deaver My Rating 4stars Content Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Genre Thriller/Mystery Publication Date May 14th, 2019 The Never Game, written by Jeffery Deaver is the first book in a new thriller series featuring the very likable character, Colter Shaw. Although I have not had the pleasure of reading any other books by Jeffery Deaver I have heard good things. When I recently found one of his books on NetGalley I jumped at the opportunity to read and review. This story was very well developed, researched and painstakingly thought out. I did find the beginning a little slow but felt that was due in no small amount of background information given, as is sometimes needed with the first novel of this caliber. I must admit that I am not a fan of the gaming culture, but I did find that Deaver was able to present the story in such a way that you don’t have to be a lover of all things video games. I liked the way the author weaves the plot of the book with Shaw’s survivalist familial background. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn about how Colter grew up with a paranoid father, intellectual mother and two siblings. Deaver does give us little hints to a subplot, and I am looking forward to seeing where that takes Shaw, but that is all I am willing to say about that. The main plot is filled with deception, greed and plenty of twists and turns and a little touch of romance. I did find Colter Shaw to be somewhat of a paradox, on the one hand, he was intriguingly complex and enigmatic, and on the other hand, he presents himself an uncomplicated and straightforward a what you see is what you get kind of guy. These characteristics made him interesting and likable, a character that you want to get to know better. Deaver does an excellent job surrounding Colter with a very well developed group of secondary characters that add mystery to the story. I am looking forward to reading where Shaw’s “reward-seeking” will take him. ***I kindly received this galley by way of NetGalley/publisher/author. I was not contacted, asked or required to leave a review. I received no compensation, financial or otherwise. I have voluntarily read this book, and this review is my honest opinion .***
Ratbruce 11 months ago
Another winner for Jeffery Deaver! I hope this is the start of a new series. The characters are great, the pace is excellent and the intrigue into the world of computer gamers was fascinating. This is a sure winner and I look forward to more books with Colter Shaw.