The second novel in Jeffery Deaver’s Colter Shaw series, which is slightly disappointing.

The Goodbye Man by Jeffery Deaver is the second book to feature Colter Shaw, tracker and ‘reward seeker’. Shaw isn’t exactly a bounty hunter, unless it’s of the Robin Hood variety.

The first book in the Colter Shaw series was called The Never Game, and our book group read it last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fast-paced and exciting, and we found Shaw an interesting character.

This time around the excitement and interest is slightly lacking. Shaw goes undercover to expose the mis-deeds of a cult called the Foundation that promises to transform people’s lives. The followers live in a community for a set period of time, before being allowed back to their real lives. But all is not as it seems (obviously) and the cult leader, Master Eli, is clearly a deranged crook.

The story starts briskly with Shaw tracking two young men who are on the run. But when he eventually finds them, one chooses to commit suicide rather than give himself up. The suicide is so unexpected that it shakes Shaw badly and he decides to find out more. Soon he’s signed up to visit and stay at the Foundation’s camp.

From there the story goes downhill a bit and I found myself losing interest because the characters aren’t very convincing and the plot felt predictable. I kept hoping things would pick up but they didn’t really. At times it felt like production-line fiction.

I ought to confess here that until I read The Never Game (which I really enjoyed) I’d never managed to finish a Jeffery Deaver novel, despite several tries. This one lacks the pace and excitement of the first book but if you like reading thrillers you should still get a kick out of this. As for me, I’m not giving up on Colter Shaw but hope the next book (which is due out later this year) will bring some more fizz back into the series. 3 Stars.
Review by: Cornish Eskimo

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