The Final Twist (Colter Shaw 3) by Jeffery Deaver

Locked and loaded…

😀 😀 😀 😀 🙂

In the third and final part of Deaver’s Colter Shaw trilogy, Shaw has come to San Francisco on the trail of the conspiracy which he believes led to his father’s murder, finishing the story arc that has been running in the background of the previous two books. Here, he’ll find he is both hunter and prey, as the people behind the conspiracy try to stop him from getting the evidence he needs to bring them down. But he won’t have to fight them alone. Russell, the elder brother who has been missing since their father’s death, turns up and soon the two brothers are working together and trying to rebuild their relationship between gunfights, explosions and murders.

It’s essential to switch off your credibility monitor before reading this, since I sincerely hope it’s not really possible to have all this noisy violence going on in the streets of San Francisco without the authorities ever noticing. But if you can accept the basic unbelievability of it all, then Deaver is still one of the best at this kind of all-action thriller. Colter’s father was a paranoid survivalist, though it seems his paranoia had some foundation in fact. He trained his sons in survivalist techniques from an early age, so both brothers are crack shots, expert hunters, natural strategists and tacticians, and over the years since their father’s death both have added computing skills to their endless list of talents. So despite being up against giant corporations with vast resources and armies of hitmen and women, Colter and Russell, along with some of their friends and colleagues, are able to hold their own.

There’s a secondary plot related to Colter’s usual work as a bounty hunter searching for missing people for whose return a reward has been offered, in this case a young woman who disappeared from the street where she had been busking. The girl and her mother are ‘illegals’, so the mother can’t go to the police for help, and the reward she can offer is tiny. But Colter makes enough money that he can take on the odd financially unrewarding job like this, just for the satisfaction of doing good. However, this bounty hunter plot plays such a small part in this final instalment that it hardly seems worth having it in there at all.

The main plot concerns corrupt businessmen, drugs, dodgy real estate deals and a bit of politics. All of that is credible enough, although stretching at the boundaries, and touches lightly on some current topics, like vote-rigging, gerrymandering, and the corruption of big money in politics. Mostly though, it’s about the action and, in America, action means guns. Occasionally bombs, grenades, knives and IEDs, even bows and arrows, but mostly guns. Since everyone wears their concealed weapon casually beneath their untucked shirt, one wonders if concealment means something different in America. However, since apparently one can be attacked several times in the course of any given day, it’s probably just as well to have one’s weapon locked and loaded at all times (although Colter assures me that locked and loaded is a terribly inaccurate description. Apparently for speed, one really wants to have one’s weapon unlocked and loaded…) Fortunately for the state of the environment Russell has contacts in a government agency who are expert in disposing of the trail of corpses that would otherwise be left to litter the streets, unnoticed by the cops who, one assumes, were all off at a team-building event over the couple of days that the Shaw brothers and their adversaries had their little war.

Jeffery Deaver

Despite my mockery, I enjoyed this one just as much as the other two in the trilogy. There are conventions to this kind of thriller and Deaver is a master of them, so that when he goes over the top, the reader is quite happy to go along with him. There is hardly any swearing, remarkably little gruesomeness and gore, and no graphic sex, so it’s all very tasteful despite the constant violence! Given a choice between three baddies being killed and three uses of the f-word, I’ll take the killings every time! 😉 Colter is a likeable lead – if this is really to be his last appearance I’ll be quite sorry. I feel that now the running story of his father’s death has been resolved, he could easily appear again in his role as bounty hunter. Each of the books could stand alone, but I think they’re really better read in order, starting with The Never Game.

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, HarperCollins.

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24 thoughts on “The Final Twist (Colter Shaw 3) by Jeffery Deaver

  1. You know, it’s funny, FictionFan. Usually, I like to keep my disbelief sitting right with me when I read. But there are thriller writers who can take me along for the ride, even if there are over-the-top things that happen. Perhaps it’s the writing style, perhaps it’s the character development, or it could be something else. Either way, I know what you mean about being willing to suspend your disbelief. And I like it when the story arcs are settled, so that the trilogy ends in a – is satisfying the word? – way. Glad you enjoyed this.

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    • I’m more likely to be able to ignore credibility issues in thrillers than in mystery novels – somehow the fast-paced thriller style makes me able to just close off the cynical part of my mind and go along for the ride, so long as the author is good at it, and Deaver is! I like this character much better than his long-running Lincoln Rhyme, so I’m really hoping he might let him have a life beyond the trilogy story arc…

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    • I loved his first books many years ago, and then he created the Lincoln Rhyme character who I didn’t enjoy at all so these are the first books of his I’ve read in years. And Colter Shaw is so much better than Rhyme as a central character. But I think these fast-paced action thrillers are either your thing or they’re not, if you know what I mean – I enjoy an occasional one, but they do all work to the same conventions.

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  2. “It’s essential to switch off your credibility monitor before reading this, since I sincerely hope it’s not really possible to have all this noisy violence going on in the streets of San Francisco without the authorities ever noticing.” 😄 😁 I’ve never been to San Francisco. And i haven’t read this book. But I can believe the noisy violence quotient in regard to the city I was born in–Chicago. 😄 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, Glasgow isn’t noted for it’s peace and quiet either, but I’m pretty sure the police would at least notice of two gangs ran about shooting each other in the streets! 😉

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    • Haha, I was a bit worried for you – I can only assume the police had their noise-cancelling headsets on at the time. But I felt it was good of them all to clear the corpses off the streets as they went along – untidy killers are so anti-social… 😉

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  3. “Given a choice between three baddies being killed and three uses of the f-word, I’ll take the killings every time!” What a great line! (and I tend to agree)

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  4. My mom is a big fan of Deaver and devours his books. She’s not usually much on trilogies, but maybe I’ll see if our library has this grouping for her. I haven’t gotten into his work, but you make it sound like I’m missing something special. Perhaps I should remedy that.

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    • Although this is a trilogy each of the books has a good standalone story in it, so hopefully your mother would enjoy them. You might too – his style is of the older-fashioned kind of thriller – action rather than angst! 😀

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  5. Glad you enjoyed this! Although it isn’t for me, you have reminded me that I want to get one of Deaver’s books for my brother – they sound quite Lee Child-y and that’s one of the few authors he really enjoys.

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    • I haven’t read Lee Child (I must!) but from what I know of them then, yes, I think this falls into the same kind of genre of action thriller. And without meaning to be sexist, I believe Deaver has a big male readership so hopefully your brother would enjoy them! 😀

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  6. Carrying an unlocked AND loaded gun seems more likely to be dangerous to yourself than those around you but what do I know? I’m not super familiar with San Francisco but the two separate times I’ve been there, a stranger has approached me to specifically warn me not to continue in a certain direction or to leave the area I’m in. So I’m almost willing to believe that anything could happen there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, yes, but on the whole I’d prefer people who insist on carrying guns shot themselves accidentally rather than shooting other people deliberately! Good heavens, that sounds scary! Mind you, there are definitely bits of Glasgow I’d tell strangers not to go to. But San Francisco is supposed to be all flower people making love, not war – though I admit I might be little out of date… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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