Is Justin Hartley’s CBS series ‘Tracker’ based on a book?


In the wake of February’s debut of the latest CBS series, Tracker, Justin Hartley has transitioned from his notable role in the beloved drama This Is Us to a new venture, reminiscent of his earlier days on Smallville. While Hartley’s character in Tracker isn’t donning a superhero cape this time, his portrayal of Colter Shaw exudes a heroic aura, akin to a modern-day vigilante. As the titular tracker, Shaw operates as a reward-seeker, albeit preferring the title “rewardist,” showcasing an uncanny knack for locating what others seek, yet grappling with his own elusive desires. Amidst the anticipation for Jensen Ackles’ return as Colter’s brother, a burning question arises: is Tracker an original creation or adapted from a literary source?


Is Justin Hartley’s CBS Series ‘Tracker’ Based on a Book?

Tracker sets sail on the familiar waters of television adaptation, drawing inspiration from Jeffery Deaver’s gripping thriller series featuring the enigmatic Colter Shaw. While the CBS drama maintains an air of originality, it owes its foundation to Deaver’s novels, particularly the inaugural installment, “The Never Game.” Originally slated under this title, the series underwent a makeover, aligning with the contemporary trend of single-word, action-packed titles, fittingly embracing the essence of its protagonist’s pursuits.

In Deaver’s original narrative, Shaw embarks on a harrowing journey to Silicon Valley in pursuit of a missing girl, only to find himself entangled in a sinister web of abductions, unveiling layers of mystery and danger. The pulse-pounding suspense of “The Never Game” provides a thrilling canvas for Hartley’s portrayal of Shaw, offering viewers a tantalizing glimpse into the complexities of the character’s psyche.

Hartley, who not only assumes the role of Shaw but also serves as an executive producer, expresses his enthusiasm for the project, citing the uniqueness of the character and the compelling nature of Deaver’s source material. Tracker seamlessly melds elements from Deaver’s novels with the episodic nature of television, presenting a captivating blend of standalone cases intertwined with overarching mysteries, including Shaw’s quest to unravel the secrets of his own past.

While Tracker diverges from a strict adherence to Deaver’s literary plotlines, it remains faithful to the essence of the character and the world he inhabits. As Hartley suggests, the series maintains a delicate balance between homage to the source material and carving its path, offering a fresh perspective on Shaw’s exploits while drawing inspiration from Deaver’s rich storytelling.

Beyond its television adaptation, Deaver’s literary universe has left an indelible mark on the screen, with previous adaptations like “The Bone Collector” showcasing the author’s knack for crafting intricate thrillers. Tracker stands as a testament to Deaver’s enduring legacy, poised to captivate audiences with its blend of pulse-pounding action and gripping suspense.

As Tracker unfolds its episodic narrative on CBS and Paramount+, viewers embark on a thrilling odyssey alongside Colter Shaw, navigating the labyrinth of mysteries that lie in wait. Whether drawn from the pages of Deaver’s novels or forged anew for the small screen, Tracker promises an exhilarating journey into the heart of darkness, where truth and justice hang in the balance.

Tracker airs on Thursdays on CBS and is available for streaming on Paramount+.