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NOVELS The Colter Shaw Series

The Goodbye Man

The Never Game The Lincoln Rhyme Series

The Cutting Edge

The Burial Hour

The Steel Kiss

The Skin Collector

The Kill Room

The Burning Wire

The Broken Window

The Cold Moon

The Twelfth Card

The Vanished Man

The Stone Monkey

The Empty Chair

The Coffin Dancer

The Bone Collector The Kathryn Dance Series

Solitude Creek


Roadside Crosses

The Sleeping Doll The Rune Series

Hard News

Death of a Blue Movie Star

Manhattan Is My Beat The John Pellam Series

Hell’s Kitchen

Bloody River Blues

Shallow Graves Stand-Alones

The October List

No Rest for the Dead (Contributor)

Carte Blanche (A James Bond Novel)

Watchlist (Contributor)


The Bodies Left Behind

Garden of Beasts

The Blue Nowhere

Speaking in Tongues

The Devil’s Teardrop

A Maiden’s Grave

Praying for Sleep

The Lesson of Her Death

Mistress of Justice

Short Fiction


Trouble in Mind

More Twisted



Nothing Good Happens After Midnight (Editor and Contributor)

A Hot and Sultry Night for Crime (Editor and Contributor)

Ice Cold (Editor and Contributor)

Books to Die For (Contributor)

The Best American Mystery Stories 2009 (Editor)



Turning Point


The Debriefing

The Second Hostage

Ninth and Nowhere


The Victims’ Club

Surprise Ending

Double Cross

The Deliveryman

A Textbook Case

G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Publishers Since 1838

An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

Copyright © 2021 by Gunner Publications, LLC

Excerpt from The Midnight Lock copyright © 2021 by Gunner Publications, LLC

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780525539131

Ebook ISBN: 9780525539155

Book design by Laura K. Corless, adapted for ebook by Maggie Hunt

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Cover design: Tal Goretsky

Cover image: Jonathan Arias / iStock / Getty Images Plus


To the Sunday Afternoon Crew: Joan, Cleve, Kay, Ralph, Gail



Also by Jeffery Deaver

Title Page




The Steelworks

Part One: June 24 | The Mission

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

The Steelworks

Part Two: June 25 | The Great Earthquake

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Part Three: June 26 | The Man Who Would Be King

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62

Chapter 63

Chapter 64

Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Chapter 67

Chapter 68

Chapter 69

Chapter 70

Chapter 71

Chapter 72

Chapter 73

Chapter 74

Chapter 75

Part Four: June 27 | Flame

Chapter 76

Chapter 77

Chapter 78

Chapter 79

Chapter 80

Chapter 81

Part Five: July 3 | Ash

Chapter 82


Excerpt from The Midnight Lock

About the Author

For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.

—Noam Chomsky


Colter Shaw draws his gun. He starts silently down the stairs, descending into the old building’s massive, pungent basement, redolent of mold and heating oil.

Basement, he reflects. Recalling the last time he was in one. And what happened to him there.

Above him, music pounds, feet dance. The bass is a runner’s heartbeat. But up there and down here are separate universes.

At the foot of the stairs he studies where he is. Orientation . . . Always, orientation. The basement is half built out. To the right of the stairs is a large empty space. To the left are rooms off a long corridor—fifty feet or so in length.

Scanning the empty space to the right, he sees no threat nor anything that would help him. He turns left and navigates toward the corridor past the boilers and stores of supplies: large packs of toilet paper, cans of Hormel chili, plastic water bottles, paper towels, Dixie paper plates, plastic utensils. A brick of nine-millimeter ammunition.

Shaw moves slowly into the corridor. The first room on the right, the door open, is illuminated by cold overhead light and warmer flickering light. Remaining in shadows, he peers in quickly. An office. File cabinets, computers, a printer.

Two bulky men sit at a table, watching a baseball game on a monitor. One leans back and takes the last beer from the six-pack sitting on a third chair. Shaw knows they’re armed because he knows their profession, and such men are always armed.

Shaw is not invisible but the basement is dark, no overheads, and he’s in a black jacket, jeans and—since he’s been motorcycling—boots. They’re not as quiet as the Eccos he usually wears but the beat bleeding from the dance floor overhead dampens his footsteps. He supposes it would even drown out gunshots.

The men watch the game and talk and joke. There are five empty bottles. This might be helpful: the alcohol consumed. The reaction-time issue. The accuracy issue.

If it comes to that.

He thinks: Disarm them now?

No. It could go bad. Seventy-five percent chance of success, at best.

He hears his father’s voice: Never be blunt when subtle will do.

Besides, he isn’t sure what he’ll find here. If nothing, he’ll slip out the way he came, with them none the wiser.

He eases past the doorway, unseen, then pauses to give his eyes, momentarily dulled by the office lights, a chance to acclimate to the darkness.

Then he moves on, checking each room. Most of the doors are open; most of the rooms are dark.

The music, the pounding of the dancing feet are a two-edged sword. No one can hear him approach, but he’s just as deaf. Someone could be in an empty room, having spotted him, waiting with a weapon.

Thirty feet, forty.

Empty room, empty room. He’s approaching the end, where a second hallway jogs right. There’ll be other rooms to search. How many more?

The last room. This door is closed. Locked.

He withdraws his locking-blade knife and uses the edge near the tip to ease the deadbolt back into the tumbler. He pulls on the

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