And here we go, another book review. I actually finished this a while ago but I’m only just getting to review it. =P Overall I like Zero Day, as I’m sure you’ll see in my review of it. Definitely going to be hunting down more of Baldacci’s works.
Zero Day, written by David Baldacci, follows the story of CID agent John Puller. Puller is sent, under unusual conditions (meaning solo), to a fairly remote mining town to investigate a homicidal case, involving a family of four. This multiplies and grows bigger and bigger in scale, involving more and more things and people. Through it all we see just what kind of a character Puller is through his interaction with the other characters, and some memories. Although this is technically a story of a detective investigating a murder “mystery”, I wouldn’t classify this as merely a mystery story.
Baldacci does a masterful job with his storytelling. The style is superb, and while some of the acronyms can occasionally get confusing, the story overall is told very well. The book is in third person past tense, which is a form I am more familiar with, and excellent use is made of this style. The descriptions are crisp, the picture is vivid, and the characters feel alive. This is one of the few books where I have really gotten involved with the character. The development over the course of the story is very nicely handled, and I can find no fault with it.
The book itself has a nice length, and a great overall flow, starting with a gripping introduction, a tension-creating buildup, and a powerful climax. The conclusion of this story is most certainly bittersweet. Absolutely no doubt about it. It’s one of those endings that you appreciate while a small part of you wishes that it didn’t happen. My only gripe is that there was no real warning. The book’s overall feel, while certainly more gritty, did not seem to lend itself for something like that. I will say that it was well pulled off, and took me completely by surprise.
This novel, however, is most certainly meant for a more mature audience. Interspersed throughout, not gratuitously but actually adding to the story, there are several adult themes. The use of language, while not completely extreme, is also present. Whether or not these things detract from the story is a matter of personal preference. I personally am always of the belief that language, in any context, can be avoided, while I don’t feel the adult themes damaged the story. This can change from person to person, so if you do read this, do so with a spirit of discernment.
Looking at my recommended list, you will see that this book has made it on there, and, as with the other stories I’ve reviewed, this one has also pulled a rating of four out of five stars. In this case though, most of what takes that fifth star from this book is subjective rather than objective, so it can range from person to person. This book certainly was an enjoyable read, and has given me its share of inspiration. The hardy John Puller will join the other characters I have pulled out of unforgettable novels and be there to stay.