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01 January 2013

David Baldacci: Zero Day

One of Baldacci's best
While I was saddened to see the end of the great Camel Club series, "Zero Day" shows that David Baldacci can write all kinds of imaginative thrillers. This book was a page-turner from start to finish and fully deserves a 5 star rating.

Sergeant John Puller is a former war hero and now one of the best military investigators in the US Army's Criminal Investigative Division. He turned down West Point to stay where he wanted in the Army - where the action is not where the management happens. He is a skilled and extremely clever operator and was puzzled when he was selected to investigate an extremely important and very sensitive case on his own when a senior member of Defence Intelligence and all of his family are brutally murdered in a very remote coal mining area of West Virginia.

A local female detective Samantha Cole is also investigating the case and soon finds that she is out of her depth and needs Puller's expertise and investigatory skills to progress the case. Their investigations uncover more murders, and attempts are made on their lives. The sleepy rural backwater turns into a battleground of deception, murders, bombs, assassination and threats to national security. Baldacci weaves an unstoppable tale that leave one on the edge of the seat until the very end.

Some reviewers have commented on the similarities between Baldacci's John Puller to Lee Child's Jack Reacher. In this book I think this is a bit unfair as Puller is much more of a dedicated Army team-playing detective than Reacher and shows few signs of becoming a loner. However I re-visited this book after reading "The Innocents" where, unfortunately Baldacci turns Puller into a bit of a Reacher clone.

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