The Never Game

The Never Game
Jeffery Deaver
Published date

The Never Game is the first novel in new Colter Shaw series by award-winning author Jeffery Deaver. I must admit, that this was my first book from this author, although I watched the Bone Collector movie based on his book. I was intrigued by the book’s description. The action is based in Silicon Valley, where mysterious criminal put his victims into survival scenarios based on some video game. As a gaming nerd I was intrigued right away!

Colter Shaw is not a policeman nor a private detective, but he does help police or civilians track down people for rewards. And he is very good in his job. Raised by paranoid father, he got a perfect training for survival in wilderness, tracking and handling weapons. He is also very good in problem solving. Before tackling a case, he gathers as much information as he can and then considers all possible scenarios assigning them percentage of probability.

When he agrees to help desperate father to find his daughter, he has no idea how complicated the case will get. It quickly turns out, that kidnapper is extremely well organized and elusive. To track him down Colter will have to learn more about video game business, their products and gamers.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The intrigue was not easy to solve and characters where struggling a lot before their finally found the person responsible for all the crimes. There were also some twists and turns along the way. Author has done extensive research about video games and their history. At the end of the book he listed all the books he used for references and it is a lot! I liked all those little games trivia, because for me the topic is interesting, but I’m not sure if everyone will appreciate it.

I also liked Shaw himself. He is very rational, composed and very resourceful person. He’s not only a mercenary for hire. He only takes the cases that interest him, and mostly because of his desire to help unfortunate and helpless victims. He is also smart and not afraid of taking risks. There is also a bigger story here, connected with some Shaw’s family secrets, but we don’t learn much about it in this book, although it is clearly said it will be continuing in sequels.

I don’t read a lot of mystery and thrillers books, but I enjoyed reading them occasionally. The Never Game is a good book to spend few evenings with. Especially gamers will find it very appealing. I’m not sure yet what case Colter Shaw will pursue in next books, but I think I’ll gladly meet him again.

Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins for an ARC.