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The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Crime/Thriller

By Swirl and Thread

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A student kidnapped from the park.
An investigator running out of time.
A killer playing a dangerous game.

Well now this a book for all you gamers and tech heads out there!

The Never Game is the latest novel from No. 1 international bestselling author Jeffery Deaver. Described as ‘a stunning new thriller’ Jeffery Deaver introduces us to his latest creation, the enigmatic and elusive investigator, Colter Shaw. Battling against a killer who hides behind an IP address, Colter Shaw must use all his strength and determination to understand who this person is, ‘the Whispering Man’, whose shadow leaves no trace…

‘You wake up alone, in the middle of a forest, miles from anywhere.
Beside you lie five objects – a lighter, grease, picture-frame wire, a piece of silk, a bottle of water – which you will need to use if you want to survive.
You’ve been taken by the Whispering Man and there is no escape. He makes the rules and nobody ever gets out alive…..’

Colter Shaw works as as investigator, searching for the missing, the hidden, those folk who, for whatever reason, have disappeared, in return for an outstanding reward. Colter Shaw is a character that has a past, a very intriguing past that is drip fed to the reader as we turn the pages. Growing up on an isolated compound, Colter was home schooled and was taught wilderness skills necessary for survival. A bit of a loner, Colter is in search of the truth. Something happened in his past, something he never truly accepted and now he intends discovering the true facts using whatever means necessary. In conjunction with this personal search, he also finds people.

In Silicon Valley a student is kidnapped. Her father, in a panic, puts up a reward. With Colter in the vicinity, he makes a decision to help this man, not realising the full extent of the dangers ahead. Colter is soon drawn into the complicated world of gaming.

With a major gaming conference taking place in Silicon Valley, Colter is suddenly exposed to the hype and noise that goes hand-in-hand at such an event. The online world is now the main source of interaction for a huge number of individuals in society today, with the inability for many to socially interact on a one-to-one basis becoming a major issue. Jeffery Deaver introduces us to the culture of the immersive game, a step beyond VR……perhaps a step too far? We are exposed to the mindset of some of the creators involved and their thoughts for the future. Although a fictional tale, The Never Game provides insights into the gaming industry, which are both fascinating and disturbing at the same time.

The Never Game is a fast-moving book. Jumping between timelines, it can initially feel quite disjointed but it is worth sticking with as the story does come together. There are quite a few technical themes throughout so focus, and a certain level of understanding, is required.

Colter Shaw is the perfect hero for all Jack Reacher fans. He is aloof, he travels alone, he is smart, he is competent and he is one tough adversary. As he struggles to get to grips with his own past, he must now use all his tracking skills to face down a more sinister evil, a lurking presence hiding behind a game…….

‘In the darkest corner of Silicon Valley, a new breed of killer is emerging: someone with a deadly obsession, whose twisted game is spiralling out of control’

The Never Game is a pacey and complex thriller with different threads running in parallel, leaving the reader wanting more. Who is Colter Shaw? What is the secret he is unearthing? Quite an unnerving premise and not beyond the realms of possibility , The Never Game is a very up-to-date story with the thrills and suspense associated with Jeffery Deaver….in the words of Lee Child…‘No one in the world does this better than Deaver.’

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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