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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Zero Day by David Baldacci (John Puller #1)

Zero Day (John Puller, #1)Zero Day by David Baldacci

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  War hero John Puller is known to be the top investigator in the US Army’s CID. So when a family with military connections is brutally murdered in a remote area of West Virginia, Puller is called to investigate, and soon suspects the case has wider implications.

As the body count rises he teams up with local homicide detective Samantha Cole. As the web of deceit is revealed, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s much more to this case than they had first thought. It is an investigation where nothing is as it seems, and nothing can be taken at face value.

Read as an audio book.

I listened to this series out of order and other than knowing the obvious (no shocker there if there's a second and third book), book one and two could be read as stand alones. Though, book one does segway into book two very nicely.

Premise of the book is, our Army CID Investigator John Puller is sent to Drake, West Virginia, coal mining country, because a General and his family were found murdered. Puller isn't given the usual back up support despite repeated requests for more help. Puller finds help in the way of one Sergent Sam Cole, former state trooper who came back to her home county and became part of the police force. Together, they uncover a mystery that goes back to the 1950's which has global ramifications leading up to now.

I really enjoyed this book with some caveats: Numerous of info dumps of which I'm just not a fan. Notable loose ends such as the video of the general's interrogation was never brought up again. Puller was just a bit too much of a "super-soldier". The antagonists were just *this* side of unrealistic. Actually, the whole situation was just a smidge this side of unrealistic. I have to ask, why the antagonists thought nobody would come investigating if seven people - one of them a general - were all dead? Well, if that were the case, there wouldn't have been a book

I'm also fairly certain I heard one typo or slip of the tongue - during a shoot out, Puller shot a sniper in the arms so the man wouldn't go for his gun. A few sentences later, Cole observed the leg wounds. Umm...oops? Or did I miss-hear? I don't think I misheard.

Where the book really resonated with me was Sam Cole - yes, there was the romantic attraction, but the author nicely avoided the whole fall into bed and boink like bunnies. I can't describe how tired I get of reading that trope. Cole was an engaging character, held her own, didn't follow Puller around whining and stood her ground when she needed to. One of the best supporting female characters I've read in these myster/thrillers in ages.

I loved the twists and turns this book took to get to the end. I enjoyed how the plot just rolls out, slowly gaining momentum right up until the punch during the last ten chapters or so. When I can't completely figure out the "who done it" means it was a good book or TV show. This, was a good book, especially on audio. I commend Hachette audio for the use of a male and female narrator. I really like that touch.

Recommended if you like military based mystery thrillers.

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