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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review: Zero Day by David Baldacci

Another solid Baldacci thriller.
by David Baldacci

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1St Edition edition (October 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446573019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446573016
Genre:  Mystery
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
Book Description
Publication Date: October 31, 2011
From David Baldacci-the modern master of the thriller and #1 worldwide bestselling novelist-comes a new hero: a lone Army Special Agent taking on the toughest crimes facing the nation.

And Zero Day is where it all begins....

John Puller is a combat veteran and the best military investigator in the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigative Division. His father was an Army fighting legend, and his brother is serving a life sentence for treason in a federal military prison. Puller has an indomitable spirit and an unstoppable drive to find the truth.

Now, Puller is called out on a case in a remote, rural area in West Virginia coal country far from any military outpost. Someone has stumbled onto a brutal crime scene, a family slaughtered. The local homicide detective, a headstrong woman with personal demons of her own, joins forces with Puller in the investigation. As Puller digs through deception after deception, he realizes that absolutely nothing he's seen in this small town, and no one in it, are what they seem. Facing a potential conspiracy that reaches far beyond the hills of West Virginia, he is one man on the hunt for justice against an overwhelming force.

David Baldacci is one of the world's favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 110 million copies in print. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. Still a resident of his native Virginia, he invites you to visit him at and his foundation at, and to look into its program to spread books across America at 
John Puller is an army man from a family of famous and infamous military men. Puller could have advanced in rank but instead served as a combat soldier and now serves as a dedicated Army investigator. He is sent to a small coal town in West Virginia to investigate the brutal slaying of a visiting family. The father of the family was a military officer with high clearance and possible sensitive information.

Puller teams up with the local sheriff, “Sam”, a strong minded woman who is making her way in a man’s field of work and authority. Sam knows the community but the investigation is clearly beyond her small town deputies and resources. Puller is able to bring expert skills and access to government resources.

Puller thinks it is odd when his superiors indicate that there are a lot of eyes on the investigation but they won’t allocate more assistance. Then he is told of some terrorist threats to the area that were picked up on air waves. As Puller pushes he discovers the threat and secrets are much larger than anyone expected.

There are several suspects to consider as you try to puzzle all the known clues and the hidden secrets. Sheriff Sam brings along her tenacious character but she is burdened with family issues including a brother-in-law who is the main wealth and employer in the community and a brother who drinks to drown his depression. I really liked Puller’s strong, intense, character and his interaction with Sam. I wasn’t thrilled with Baldacci’s handling of all of the characters but you have to remember that he is a mystery writer, not a romance author so don’t be looking for a HEA. The mystery is a good twister with layers to dig through. I would like to read more stories with Puller as the main protagonist.

I listened to part of this on Audible, narrated by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy.  They did a very good job portraying the intensity of the characters. The background sounds added to the suspense of the story. I would recommend this as a good audio listen if you enjoy audio books.
I received this book from Hachette Grand Central Publishing for an unbiased review.


  1. I love David Baldacci's books and look forward to this one.

  2. This is a great book with lots of twists and turns that keep you reading. Don't compare it to someone else. Enjoy the fast moving plot, a great characters in Puller and Cole.


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