Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Never Game” as Want to Read:
The Never Game
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Never Game

(Colter Shaw #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  6,819 ratings  ·  867 reviews
A New York Times Book Review Top 10 Crime Novel of the Year

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
Paperback, 544 pages
Published March 24th 2020 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published May 14th 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Never Game, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Jim Jarvis-Mccann Not boring but very complicated for first half of book. The story line a bit disjointed. However still enjoyable and one of my favourite authors…moreNot boring but very complicated for first half of book. The story line a bit disjointed. However still enjoyable and one of my favourite authors (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,819 ratings  ·  867 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Never Game
Jeffery Deaver introduced us to his new protagonist, Colter Shaw, in his short story Captivated, which certainly piqued my interest in this, his new series. This is the full blown first book and it proves to be a gripping and highly suspenseful read. We learn more about Shaw's background growing up in remote California, with his well educated and academic survivalist father, Ashton, his mother, Mary Dove, and his siblings, reclusive elder brother, Russell, and his younger sister, Dorion. Home ...more
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive
All right everyone! Its time to play a little game known as The Whispering Man.
The rules:
You are taken away and isolated. You will be given five objects. Its up to you how you use them to free yourself before time runs out. OK, are you ready to play?

Ive been reading Jeffrey Deaver's books for years. I love his Lincoln Rhyme series. So after seeing he was releasing a brand new series I couldnt wait to get my hands on it! And I wasnt disappointed!

Meet the new lead character, Colter Shaw.
Diane S ☔
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lor-2019
I remember the first time I read this author. It was the Bone Collector featuring Lincoln Rymes, a parapeligic and Amelia Saks, who was his legs and eyes, in their crime solving Enterprise. It was brilliant, such unusual characters, but so likable. What really blew me away were his many twists and turns. I couldn't follow them, never could figure out where he was going. And I tried.

This is a new series, and another interesting person with an unusual background fostering unusual skills. Colton
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: d
Jeffery Deaver has done it again!

I have been a fan of Deaver for many years especially of his Rhyme & Sachs series. So I was really interested to read this new series featuring a character by the name of Colter Shaw.

Colter Shaw is a restless and mysterious man who collects rewards from finding missing people or helping to solve crimes. He is not a private investigator, nor a detective, but he strictly holds to the fact that he collects rewards. (By the way, this was an actually ingenious
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jeffery Deaver is an excellent writer with his newly developed character, Colter Shaw, a reward tracker. Colter has more good qualities than not and I look forward to his next venture. 7 of 10 stars
Andrew Smith
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I've been a huge fan of Deavers work over the years, I like that he develops slightly off-the-wall baddies and as a result his stories are often quite quirky. There are always plenty of twists too, enough to prevent me from guessing the ending at any rate (OK, that's actually not too hard as I virtually never work out an ending). Most recently, his Lincoln Rhyme series has held me captive, but I've avoided the last couple of books as I was beginning to tire of the format. So I was delighted to ...more
Miriam Smith
"The Never Game" is the first in a brand new investigative series written by renowned thriller writer Jeffrey Deaver and featuring a fabulous new character 'Colter Shaw'. Shaw is an itinerant 'reward-seeker', someone who finds missing people in return for the reward money and makes a refreshing change to the run of the mill, private investigator/bounty hunter stories that normally relate in the hunt for missing persons. Shaw is an exceedingly well developed character and Deaver's precise ...more
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the Colter Shaw series by author Jeffery Deaver. I am a an avid reader of this authors novels and love the Lincoln Rhyme series so was keen to read this new one. I enjoyed the new character investigator Colter Shaw, who I am sure will develop in time to another excellent addition to Jeffery Deaver's repertoire. But tbh I struggled getting into the plot in this book, I am not into video games etc and couldn't really connect with the story-line. Colter Shaw however shows ...more
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Never Game introduces Mr Deaver's exciting new series featuring the wonderfully mysterious Colter Shaw, and once again he has penned an intense, absorbing an enthralling page-turner highlighting that he is indeed still ahead of the game. The premise very much reminded me of the horror film Saw and is equally as disturbing with a killer that certainly wouldn't be out of place in the movie. Dark, disturbing and very troublesome, Deaver crafts a fast-paced runaway train of a novel with thrills ...more
J.D. Barker
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grabbing you from the first page, Jeffery Deaver crafts a devilish plot that unfolds with breakneck speed. An excellent start to a new series, Colter Shaw has comfortably nestled onto the bench with Lincoln Rhyme and Kathryn Dance - one of our best literary puppet-masters at the end of all their strings.
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

*pterodactyl screech*

And it's only $1.99!
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What could possibly be better than finding an exciting new series? When it's written by a favorite author, that's what! Such is the case here for sure - and for sure I'm already chomping at the bit for the next installment.

The new character is a complex guy named Colter Shaw, who grew up as a son of exceptionally well-educated parents who ditched mainstream life for a survivalist existence. They taught their children well; their father, from off an ever-deepening end, and their mother from a
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
As a big fan of the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jefferey Deaver was I curious to see how THE NEVER GAME, the first book in Deaver's new series, would turn out. Would this book appeal to just as much as the Lincoln Rhyme books did? In this book, are we introduced to Colter Shaw, an expert at tracking people down, thanks to his upbringing with a father who uprooted the whole family to live off the grid. Now, he's been contacted by a man in Silicon Valley whose daughter has gone missing. It soon turns ...more
Chris Pavone
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jeffrey Deaver is a one of our most exciting storytellers, and THE NEVER GAME pulls off the remarkable feat of intertwining devilish plot with unforgettable characters, fascinating disquisitions with propulsive action, every element conspiring to make it almost impossible to not turn the page. I absolutely loved it.
Yigal Zur
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
starting reading i was quite disappointed. i found it messy, too many details which seemed only to bulk the pages. i did not know where the plot is heading and hoped the writer knows. so i turned to goodreads to see reviews and i must say thank you guys. as crossing the first 160 pages i found really nice thriller, fresh and great writing and enjoyed it till the end. still, i do think a bit of tough editing could lift the book. too much game and gaming details. it is a nice start to a new ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, video-games, arc

I havent read a Deaver for some time but Im fond of his Lincoln Ryhme series and some of his standalone books have been excellent so when I saw this on offer I snatched at it. As predicted, it was a fun read with plenty of intrigue, twists and turns.

This series introduces a new character of Colter Shaw, a reward hunter but with scruples who picks and chooses which case to go after based on the people involved. In this one he gets dragged into a mystery in Silicon Valley where a number of
May 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book over a week ago, but couldn't get into it so I switched to audio and that didn't work either. Something about the plot or format that doesn't keep me interested. I don't mind gaming stories or Colter Shaw. DNF chapter 30, 40%.
Natalie M
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing new series by Deaver and one I will be looking forward to following.

I found Colter Shaw (protagonist) an excellent character. Unique in approach as a reward-hunter who uses his tracking and survival skills to solve mysteries. The plot is thought-provoking and made me wonder just how powerful and manipulative the gaming world could be. Quick-paced, interesting and contemporary.

Technology, crime, politics, power, and great storytelling.
Barb in Maryland
Well my eyes really got a workout with this one!
This was a real page turner---couldn't read it fast enough, had to know how it ended.
On the other hand, I did keep rolling my eyes--a lot!!

I'll give Deaver at least one more chance to turn Colter Shaw into a real person; right now he is all action-hero cardboard figure. An interesting one, to be sure, but two dimensional nonetheless.
Liz Barnsley
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent start to a new series for Mr Deaver. Review to follow nearer publication.
Bruce Hatton
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: us-crime
In this novel, Jeffery Deaver introduces us to his latest protagonist, Colter Shaw. For a living, Colter locates and, if necessary, rescues missing people. In a way, he comes across as somewhere between Tim Weavers David Raker and Gregg Hurwitzs Orphan X,. In the opening chapters we get a glimpse into Colters largely happy yet unusual childhood in the wilderness of east California and his father Ashtons various commandments, which usually began with the word never; rules which Colter still tries ...more
Elaine Tomasso
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for an advance copy of The Never Game, the first novel to feature Colter Shaw, a man who finds missing people for the reward money.

Shaw is in the Bay Area for a private project when he is alerted to the disappearance of 19 year old Sophie Mulliner. The police dont appear interested so her father is offering a reward. Shaw gets more than a straightforward missing persons case when he starts investigating.

I enjoyed The Never Game
3.5 - 4 stars.

"The Never Game" enthralled me and wouldn't let me go easily. Now, it didn't grab me from page one despite starting with a tense and exciting scene. I had too many questions about what was happening to get into it. Then in the next chapter Deaver jumps back two days in time and soon I was hooked.

The chapter set up, by design, echoes levels in a video game. The story revolves around video games and though I don't play, many of my friends and acquaintances do. I enjoyed learning more
Kirsty ❤️
Jul 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading the first few chapters of this I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this and ended the book being excited for Book 2. It was a slow burner for me but once it got going I really enjoyed it. There are plenty of twists and turns and I liked how the books flipped between the now, a few days ago, 15 years ago and Shaw's childhood. I would've liked it to be labelled better as sometimes I wondered what was going on especially in the beginning but that's a niggle. 

I like Shaw as a
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

So, this is the start in a new series from Deaver and weve moved away from Lincoln Rhyme for a bit.

The Never Game is successful particularly when it comes to the world of gaming but isnt quite as exciting as the Rhyme series.

Deaver does give us a character with a fascinating way of making a living. I cant really call it a job our main character basically collects rewards whenever theres one offered in conjunction with a crime. Hes not a private investigator, but when he hears about an
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great new series featuring a man who works to find missing people for reward. Money is not the true focus, but it gives him opportunity to utilize his tracking skills developed throughout his childhood spent on his family's compound where survival was the daily theme.We are treated to glimpses into his past amidst the current action.
Silicon Valley is the main locale for the action in this first book and it provides plenty of interesting video game detail.
The pace is fast and furious
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, Deaver delivers a very good thriller (almost a guarantee). I'll keep this brief. A pager turner with good characters, well-written characters, and most importantly an interesting, solid plot. I'm not a gamer, and I'm not sure this would appeal to those that are seriously into that, but who knows. Anyway, I'd certainly recommend this and look forward to the followup!

I really appreciate Putman's generosity in allowing me to read an advanced copy!
Just a typical Jeffery Deaver/Harlan Coben/Jonathan Kellerman. It was okay. The premise was better than the storyline.
Fred Forbes
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually, a 3.5. I'm giving Jeffery the benefit of the doubt since he is a nice guy and I have enjoyed his writing for many years, especially the Lincoln Rhyme tales and his collections of short stories. But, not his failing but mine, I am beginning to lose my taste for series of books written around particular characters. (Jack Reacher series excepted!) Probably started with listening to a long Patterson audio book only having it end with something along the lines of ...and wait until the next ...more
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
The Never Game A new character, a new development

The Never Game is the brand new thriller, and the beginning of a new series from the master of thriller writing himself, Jeffrey Deaver. He has long been a master of plot twists, which also helps to make him one of the best American thriller writers at this time. With over thirty thrillers already to his name, it is easy so see why he is a bestselling thriller writer, always vivid, well-crafted and a riveting read.

Colter Shaw finds people, he is
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • One Good Deed
  • A Dangerous Man (Elvis Cole, #18; Joe Pike, #7)
  • The Night Fire (Harry Bosch #22; Renée Ballard, #3; Harry Bosch Universe, #32)
  • Bloody Genius (Virgil Flowers, #12)
  • Neon Prey (Lucas Davenport, #29)
  • A Minute to Midnight (Atlee Pine, #2)
  • Blue Moon (Jack Reacher, #24)
  • Redemption (Amos Decker, #5)
  • Unsolved (Invisible, #2)
  • The Bitterroots (Cassie Dewell, #4)
  • The Museum of Desire (Alex Delaware, #35)
  • The Last Widow (Will Trent, #9)
  • Skin Game (Teddy Fay, #3)
  • Old Bones (Nora Kelly #1)
  • The Inn
  • Killer Instinct (Instinct #2)
  • Backlash (Scott Harvath, #19)
  • The New Girl (Gabriel Allon #19)
See similar books…
#1 international bestselling author of over thirty novels and three collections of short stories. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into 25 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.

Other books in the series

Colter Shaw (2 books)
  • The Goodbye Man (Colter Shaw, #2)

Related Articles

The Cold War is over; what's a sexy superspy to do? Deaver's new thriller Carte Blanche reboots James Bond, transplanting the suave secret agent to...
21 likes · 8 comments
“Love, Colter Shaw had learned, could be an endlessly refillable prescription of madness.” 4 likes
“Never kill an animal but for three reasons: for food or hide, for defense, for mercy.” 2 likes
More quotes…