MYSTERY

The Never Game

Putnam. May 2019. 416p. ISBN 9780525535942. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780525535966. THRILLER
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Colter Shaw is a “rewardist”—a civilian who travels around the country finding missing persons and escaped fugitives for a living. He is uniquely qualified for such a job. Raised off the grid on his family’s extensive compound, he spent his formative years hunting, tracking, and perfecting the art of survival. The story opens with Colter searching for a missing college student in Silicon Valley whom he eventually finds imprisoned in an abandoned warehouse seemingly left to die. No sooner has he returned her to her family when another innocent in the area is abducted. Colter begins to connect these kidnappings to the popular video game The Whispering Man, and the case veers off into the unusual and extremely profitable world of gaming. A race against the clock ensues as Colter pits his old-school tracking and detecting skills against the high-tech tools of a worthy antagonist. Award-winning author Deaver (“Lincoln Rhyme” series) introduces an engaging new protagonist with staying power. Colter’s backstory is fascinating and his persona as much a part of the tale as the crime itself.
VERDICT This is a sure bet for fans of suspense and will find a home with those who like their protagonists to be a central part of the mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/18.]
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