Overview (No Spoilers):
Deaver delivers a delightfully clever thriller in The Blue Nowhere that was constantly ten steps ahead of me. Just when I knew I had the story figured out, Deaver introduced a new, refreshing twist that totally changed the direction that this thriller was headed. My friend, Mihir, recommended The Blue Nowhere to me, but if I’m totally honest I was rather skeptical when starting this read. Thrillers, especially when detective oriented, are not typically titles I am drawn to as I find they follow a predictable breakneck pace that employs countless cliffhangers to eventually make the reader just as exhausted as the poor protagonist. That said, I couldn’t have been more off the mark with The Blue Nowhere! Yes, the conventional template was utilized by Deaver, but not in the same numbing way I’m used to this genre utilizing, instead I was in for a wild ride that kept continually adjusting my evolving hypotheses simultaneously with the police force as we had to adjust to new development.
The Blue Nowhere takes the reader into the foreign and complex world of hacking, especially when exploited for the evils of society as a whole. Several times during this read, Deaver would identify the next target for the murderer, building the tension and suspense until it is almost unbearable as the police and killer are convening in the same space as the intended victim. Where Deaver seems to deviate from the stereotypical detective pattern lies in the construction of his plot twists as the outcome is never quite as initially billed, ultimately keeping the reader on their toes. Every time I highlighted something that stood out to me as strange or a loophole that hadn’t been addressed, my issue was either part of a social engineering disguise or explained on the next page.
The main characters that make up The Blue Nowhere were intriguing, especially as they continued to evolve throughout the read as new insights were revealed about their backstories. The supporting cast doesn’t contain a lot of depth, but each character has a unique, colorful personality that keeps the dialogue fresh, from the soon to be grandma to the gun toting computer geek. In hindsight, these characters were kept vague enough to add that level of uncertainty in where right up until the end as to who the mole might be.
Overall, The Blue Nowhere was positively delightful as I struggle to recall when a book has last kept me continually guessing (wrong) throughout. Deaver delivers a fantastic thriller that incorporates the terrifying potentials of the hacking world in the hands of a serial killer. The twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat as the timeline narrows to apprehend this murderer before his next play?
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- What happens to the little girl who is abducted and left on the highway?
- Why didn’t Phate go after Gillette’s family sooner?
- How would Gillette have not known he had a son if he searched her emails?
- Why did Lara not try to run away instead of breaking into tears?
- Who was Nolan really? Who was her employer?
- Shawn turning out to be the computer was the biggest twist for me! I was convinced it was someone from the police office. That said, I couldn’t quite convince myself of that fact because what are the odds that Shawn would be working in that very office when Phate had been successful in other cities?
- Why would Phate have abandoned his Samantha Wingate level?
- The scenes in the hospital with Jennie were so stressful. I was convinced her guard was actually Phate.
- So many twists and turns! Andy Anderson getting killed right off that bat was not something I would have predicted in 100 years! It set the stage from the beginning that no one was safe though.