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Zero Day PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Zero Day
Author: David Baldacci
Publisher: Published October 31st 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 9780446573016
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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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 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.

30 review for Zero Day

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ben Jackson

    And just when I thought I had finished the Jack Reacher series, Lee Child er...David Baldacci writes another Reacher the first Puller novel. Jack Reacher John Puller is a crackerjack military investigator, who heads out of the DC area to the south, to check out the death of a senior officer in unsavory conditions. Reacher sorries, Puller is a big dude, and he likes to punch people. Also he travels light. And punchy. Jack Reacher John Puller comes from a military family. His father died now has Al And just when I thought I had finished the Jack Reacher series, Lee Child er...David Baldacci writes another Reacher the first Puller novel. Jack Reacher John Puller is a crackerjack military investigator, who heads out of the DC area to the south, to check out the death of a senior officer in unsavory conditions. Reacher sorries, Puller is a big dude, and he likes to punch people. Also he travels light. And punchy. Jack Reacher John Puller comes from a military family. His father died now has Alzheimer's. His brother was a top officer who worked in top secret investigaions and eventually died was a top officer who worked in top secret nuclear stuff and was convicted of treason. The first half of this Reacher Puller novel rolls around quite nicely, with Reacher damn, sorry, Puller punching bad dudes, making out with the lady cops, and generally being the badass that he has been in all the other Reacher novels never has been before, because this is the first Puller novel. Then shit gets terrible wierd. SPOILER IN PARAGRAPH BELOW Remember that time when Reacher, man I gotta stop doing that, Puller had all that nuclear training which would qualify him to disarm a mysterious nuke acquired by an industrialist and set to blow up a whole damn industrial town? Yeah, me either. This book is like store-brand slightly stale, not-quite-correctly flavored and/or textured corn chips instead of Fritos. Only read it if you like Reacher so much that you would still find a cheap, worse-for-you knock off delicious.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    Probably not one of Baldacci’s best books but still a very good read. As many people have commented, Puller is a Jack Reacher clone but there is nothing really wrong with that. And there is an excellent and quite tense story line in there too. I rather liked John Pullen and felt a little sad for him and his Dad and brother. Pullen’s character was developed well throughout the book as was that of his ‘partner’ Sam. There was a little bit of stereotyping and occasional over the top moments but mos Probably not one of Baldacci’s best books but still a very good read. As many people have commented, Puller is a Jack Reacher clone but there is nothing really wrong with that. And there is an excellent and quite tense story line in there too. I rather liked John Pullen and felt a little sad for him and his Dad and brother. Pullen’s character was developed well throughout the book as was that of his ‘partner’ Sam. There was a little bit of stereotyping and occasional over the top moments but mostly our two main characters got on with the business of catching the baddies and trying not to get blown up. I would classify Zero Day as light entertainment, forgive it it’s faults and just go along for the ride. Three stars from me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Moonlight Reader

    Red. Poorly written. Cliche-filled. This is a book. It is a book with a red cover. It is written in short sentences. Like this. That is supposed to make the reader feel like things are happening. I guess. This book is about a man, Puller. Puller is in the Army. He's just a man. In the army. Where he belongs. He investigates things. Like a badass. Sometimes, he saves people's lives. Except when he fails. He remembers combat. Sleeps. Lightly. M11 in his hand. Three seconds to wake and shoot. He has ma Red. Poorly written. Cliche-filled. This is a book. It is a book with a red cover. It is written in short sentences. Like this. That is supposed to make the reader feel like things are happening. I guess. This book is about a man, Puller. Puller is in the Army. He's just a man. In the army. Where he belongs. He investigates things. Like a badass. Sometimes, he saves people's lives. Except when he fails. He remembers combat. Sleeps. Lightly. M11 in his hand. Three seconds to wake and shoot. He has many medals. Medals are not important but they impress people who are impressed by things like that. Superficial things. In West Virginia, things are polluted. Water. It's black. There are rich men. They get rich from mining things. They own things. The people are poor. Sometimes they are desperate. They make drugs. In the basement. Puller goes places. He goes there for one purpose. That purpose is not making friends. He gets there early for one purpose. To find people first. Before they find him. He doesn't like being found. Seven dead bodies. They stink of death. Puller showers. He wants to wash away the stink of death. The stink of death sticks to him. Like glue. Puller is tough. He is the toughest guy of all the tough guys. This is his book. Fuck this book. This is one of the worst books I have ever read. It is cliched, the writing is wooden, the plot is silly, John Puller is a Gary Stu, and the entire thing is a giant wish-fulfillment for men who think that if they only had a gun and some military training, they too would be invincible. If this is a serious representation of David Baldacci's writing, I have no idea how he ever got a Big 5 contract.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    The good guy is perfect and the bad guys are really, really evil. Sometimes David Baldacci gets it just right and sometimes he just falls flat. I am putting Zero Day in the latter category. John Puller is in the Army's Criminal Investigation Division and is called upon to investigate a murder in a small West Virginia coal mining town. While there, he learns these deaths may have very large implications. The story really falls short in a number of ways. First, the sheer size and scope of the invest The good guy is perfect and the bad guys are really, really evil. Sometimes David Baldacci gets it just right and sometimes he just falls flat. I am putting Zero Day in the latter category. John Puller is in the Army's Criminal Investigation Division and is called upon to investigate a murder in a small West Virginia coal mining town. While there, he learns these deaths may have very large implications. The story really falls short in a number of ways. First, the sheer size and scope of the investigation and how the government treated it was just out there.. way out there. John Puller's character was interesting and unique but he had this magic rucksack that contained everything from bio-hazard gear to explosives and night vision gear (and everything in between). It just seemed completely implausible this character could be so perfect in so many ways and be able to carry all that equipment in the rucksack. As you can tell, the rucksack issue really bothered me. I did listen to this book from Audible.com and the characters were really well played by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy. This is not the first time these two have done characters for David Baldacci and I must say they are the ones that kept me going, not the story. Being a fan of David Baldacci, I read it and will likely read the next one(s) to but he really needs to bring things back down to earth. -Bill

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I enjoyed my last book by Baldacci, but this one hit too many of my hot buttons. The hero was too heroic, a super hero who could solve a murder, beat up the toughest, be a CSI tech, & figure out the crime from a mark in the dust. Think NCIS with Puller in all the roles from Gibbs down to that cute, weird girl in the lab. Seriously, he was doing better than Ducky at one point. But he can't figure out the difference between the sound of a fan & a possible opponent. Ugh. Possibly worse, Bald I enjoyed my last book by Baldacci, but this one hit too many of my hot buttons. The hero was too heroic, a super hero who could solve a murder, beat up the toughest, be a CSI tech, & figure out the crime from a mark in the dust. Think NCIS with Puller in all the roles from Gibbs down to that cute, weird girl in the lab. Seriously, he was doing better than Ducky at one point. But he can't figure out the difference between the sound of a fan & a possible opponent. Ugh. Possibly worse, Baldacci kept describing everything in gory detail. I really don't care about every move the action on his blah-blah-blah pistol makes when he cocks it. Seriously, I had to listen to a play by play description & he didn't even shoot the damn thing. I don't particularly care about the 7 dozen items he has in his CSI bag with 100 pockets in it, either. Then there are the yokel locals, the girl, the young kid who will worship him & the evil coal company... just reads like a formula for a Superman comic & the above issues just drive it into the ground. Not for me, although the reader was pretty good.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alex is The Romance Fox

    I really like this author and have enjoyed reading most of his books. This is the 1st book in the John Puller Series and introduces John Puller, the hero, who works in the military. Good writing, good plot and some great characters. Enjoyable read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Adams

    I've read several of David Baldacci's books, and enjoyed them. "Zero Day," however, isn't one of them. Baldacci's main character -- Army investigator John Puller -- is a dull twin of Lee Child's popular protagonist Jack Reacher. It was surprising to see so many similarities to such a well-known character like Reacher. The first time Puller craved coffee, I thought "Reacher." Aside from a strange (I hope coincidental) similarity to a well-known contemporary character, this book is filled with unn I've read several of David Baldacci's books, and enjoyed them. "Zero Day," however, isn't one of them. Baldacci's main character -- Army investigator John Puller -- is a dull twin of Lee Child's popular protagonist Jack Reacher. It was surprising to see so many similarities to such a well-known character like Reacher. The first time Puller craved coffee, I thought "Reacher." Aside from a strange (I hope coincidental) similarity to a well-known contemporary character, this book is filled with unnecessary details, unbelievable coincidences and too-obvious messages about topics as far-ranging as protecting the environment to bad behavior caused by health issues. The story begins when Puller is sent to a small West Virginia town to investigate the grisly murder of a military intelligence agent and his family. Puller is forced to work with a hard-nosed female police sergeant Sam Cole who has to deal with sexist officers and a messy personal life. How Puller and Cole discover why the initial murders were committed involves so many twists and unnecessary minor characters, the biggest mystery is how I managed to finish this book. Even if you're a Baldacci fan, I'd stick this mess at the bottom of your "to read" pile.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Relic

    It's not often I'm compelled to drop a book out of sheer despair, but this is one of them. Well, not literally, since it was in audio format on my phone, and dropping it would have had serious consequences. But at the 54 minute mark of the 57 minute second cd, enough was enough. At a crime scene, Baldacci's shameless clone of Jack Reacher, here called Puller, started explaining in relentless, unpitying and irrelevant detail how to take a flash photograph. This took several chapters, or seemed th It's not often I'm compelled to drop a book out of sheer despair, but this is one of them. Well, not literally, since it was in audio format on my phone, and dropping it would have had serious consequences. But at the 54 minute mark of the 57 minute second cd, enough was enough. At a crime scene, Baldacci's shameless clone of Jack Reacher, here called Puller, started explaining in relentless, unpitying and irrelevant detail how to take a flash photograph. This took several chapters, or seemed that way, and as far as I can guess--since I don't intend to read on--served no point whatever. (More stalwart readers can tell me if I'm wrong.) This passage came not long after Puller abstractedly mused--as the local sheriff leveled a gun at him--that she had adopted the classic shooters stance pioneered by...who was it...Sgt So and So... in the 1950's...characterized by the legs this way...and the arms that way... and hands...one way or the other...and much more fascinating detail for ten or twenty pages. Since this was a completely gratuitous scene--not to mention that the sheriff was only about three feet away at the time,and unlikely to miss--this passage also seemed a trifle superfluous. And let's not even get started on the shotgun pellets. The whole book--sorry, the whole twenty percent I could bare--is like that. Relentless, senseless re-iteration of pointless trivia about anything and everything--for the sake of showing off, like a kid in school jamming as much cribbed information into his report as he can. Like Reacher's impressive physique and stone cold manner, Baldacci seems to have adopted his encyclopedic array of trivia as well for his own hero. But when Reacher riffs on a subject, it means something. With Baldacci's Puller, it's filler. The other fine reviewers here have remarked with great detail and wit on the uncomfortable similarity of Puller to Reacher. For this reason alone the book has to be tossed into the 'what was he thinking!' pile. Surely Baldacci was not intending to write a 400 page tribute? Or parody? Most books I read come to me in audio, and how the narrators interpret the characters do shape my impressions. Unfortunately Hachette audio chose to bring in a second reader to voice the female dialogue. Why some audiobook producers do that is a mystery. If it were a radio play, that would be one thing, but in the context of an audiobook the random intrusion of a completely different voice, obviously not recorded at the same time or place, is jarring and breaks up the flow, and here makes a bad situation worse. It's very rare when I have to toss a book aside. I can get through the most amazing, convoluted, impossible-beyond-belief nonsense just to see how things turn out. But there's good nonsense, and bad. This, I'm afraid, is one of those.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jane Shambler

    I have read a few books by this author and have never been disappointed until now. I was really looking forward to it as well So I am doubly disappointed. Now I normally do not have any issue with this authors writing style until now. Since when has it been ok to talk in very short sentences. If this was an audio book I get the feeling the narrator would speak to me slowly. Also, no offense but this has been done before. Too many times before. The main character is Puller who is a highly decorate I have read a few books by this author and have never been disappointed until now. I was really looking forward to it as well So I am doubly disappointed. Now I normally do not have any issue with this authors writing style until now. Since when has it been ok to talk in very short sentences. If this was an audio book I get the feeling the narrator would speak to me slowly. Also, no offense but this has been done before. Too many times before. The main character is Puller who is a highly decorated and obviously has issues regarding PTSD. He saves a lot of people but remembers the one's he couldn't save. Puller is a good guy. The bad guys in this book are evil. When Puller go's on an investigation the guy has this bottomless pit rucksack that seems to hold everything he needs. Think Reacher. I saw Tom Cruise everywhere. The story isn't too bad. But I like Baldacci when he keeps you guessing. This was kind of obvious. It's a good action novel just kind off predictable. Enjoy! *ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley*

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I really like David Baldacci's books. He is intelligent and provides a suspense filled story with clean dialogue and well written characters. This particular book just didn't grab me. The problem was the acronyms for me. The protagonist is military and a lot of acronyms are used that I don't know. They are defined but I didn't want to keep looking back in the book to be reminded. Like I said, Baldacci is brilliant and he understands a lot of things that I don't having to do with forensics which I really like David Baldacci's books. He is intelligent and provides a suspense filled story with clean dialogue and well written characters. This particular book just didn't grab me. The problem was the acronyms for me. The protagonist is military and a lot of acronyms are used that I don't know. They are defined but I didn't want to keep looking back in the book to be reminded. Like I said, Baldacci is brilliant and he understands a lot of things that I don't having to do with forensics which I find fascinating. Military lingo is different than what speak and understand. I was also disappointed with the crime scene not adding up to the crime, itself. It was weird. I can do weird. I watched Medium for a couple of years until it got too weird. Weird as in sadistic and shocking. It reached that level for me. I know Baldacci does a lot of forensic information in his books. I know the criminals are sadistic at times. But this one just didn't add up. It's still a good read. If you like Baldacci, read it. If you've not read his books before, I'd start with another one. They are quite heart stopping and keep you guessing.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Fahad Naeem

    David Baldacci never exerts to disappoint his readers. Zero Day was occasional boring: when John Puller tried to investigate local people of Drake. There were too many people of the same name, and it brought difficulty in keeping track all of them. I often confused Roger Trent with Sam Cole's brother. When DHS brought Dari and Turbans to plot something big in Drake, I was disappointed with David Baldacci for stereotyping his book with the content already available in the market but in the end, h David Baldacci never exerts to disappoint his readers. Zero Day was occasional boring: when John Puller tried to investigate local people of Drake. There were too many people of the same name, and it brought difficulty in keeping track all of them. I often confused Roger Trent with Sam Cole's brother. When DHS brought Dari and Turbans to plot something big in Drake, I was disappointed with David Baldacci for stereotyping his book with the content already available in the market but in the end, he brought politics and rogue elements to put all the blame to the inner plot. I like David Baldacci for not only glueing his readers to the book but also for writing interesting content with not-so-tradionational endings . I did not want Samantha Cole to die as, like Puller, I have also built a bond like feeling with her. Even if living in Asia, I do not believe, building a nuke is as easy as David Baldacci has placed in his book. Overall, it was a very interesting book and I'd recommend to those interested in reading a really good thriller. I'm also looking forward to reading more of John Puller series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    kartik narayanan

    When I first noticed John Puller, the first thing that struck me were his obvious similarities to Jack Reacher. Both are MPs (of sorts), both are big men and both of them kick ass. Obviously, this resemblance combined with the fact that the series is authored by David Baldacci, meant that I had high expectations and wasted no time in reading it. Now that I have finished it, I am a bit disappointed though. On the positive side, John Puller's character as well as those surrounding him are fleshed o When I first noticed John Puller, the first thing that struck me were his obvious similarities to Jack Reacher. Both are MPs (of sorts), both are big men and both of them kick ass. Obviously, this resemblance combined with the fact that the series is authored by David Baldacci, meant that I had high expectations and wasted no time in reading it. Now that I have finished it, I am a bit disappointed though. On the positive side, John Puller's character as well as those surrounding him are fleshed out well. But this attention to detail is let down by the weak and lack lustre plot. There is a lot of build up with gruesome murders and hints of conspiracies. But, at the end, I was essentially thinking 'is this it?". I was also a bit let down by the lack of action. Overall, this book is only average. Now, to see how 'The Forgotten' turns out to be.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    I am a huge fan of the Will Robie series, so I thought I'd try the John Puller books. Plus action/adventure and suspense fans really recommend this series. John Puller is more like Jack Reacher than Will Robie. He's enlisted army and he's an investigator of crime scenes with military ties. His father is a three star general and his brother is in max security prison for treason. John is a by the books guy who follows the evidence. He is a decorated combat veteran with PTSD, but he manages to work I am a huge fan of the Will Robie series, so I thought I'd try the John Puller books. Plus action/adventure and suspense fans really recommend this series. John Puller is more like Jack Reacher than Will Robie. He's enlisted army and he's an investigator of crime scenes with military ties. His father is a three star general and his brother is in max security prison for treason. John is a by the books guy who follows the evidence. He is a decorated combat veteran with PTSD, but he manages to work past the flashback and triggers and uses the lessons he learned in Iraq to stay alive. What seems like it should be a routine investigation into the murder of an Air Force officer and his family in one in a dying mining town in West Virginia leads to a conspiracy that goes much further and wider, and much deadlier. Baldacci can write. John Puller is man of great self-control but he is no pushover. He can handle himself and is no fool. Highly intelligent and methodical in his work, he thinks on his feet and uses his logic and intuition expertly. I listened to the audiobook and the male narrator nails Puller. His diction is precise in speaking John's dialogue, making him feel distinct from other characters. The female narrator also does a good job, especially with the regional dialects. I liked having both a male and female narrator, because it gives the audiobook flow a vibrant energy. The descriptions of the forgotten mining town and its citizens in comparison to the luxury enjoyed by the rich man who owns most of the town has a realism that grounds the story. The theme of broken promises and environmental rape and pillage, taking advantage of the workers and the townspeople for that extra dime in the pocket. The suspense is expertly written. What starts as a grisly murder of a family that seems completely random leads to a climax that puts the lives of John, Samantha, the town sheriff, and the whole town and perhaps the region in jeopardy. The clock is ticking while Puller works to solve the puzzle of who, what, where and why. The action is very good and it's balanced by a plot that is free of holes. I play a game when I read mysteries, trying to guess whodunit. I didn't guess this one, but fortunately John figures it out. At first glance, John seems to be a very rigid guy, but glimpses of a sense of humor, empathy, pathos and vulnerability shine through his tough facade. His principles are rock solid, and it's clear that he doesn't like bullies or those who harm innocents. He's not moved by people who try to use their power and influence as bargaining chips. To him, bad is bad, no matter how big their bank accounts are. His relationship with his father is nuanced. His father is suffering from dementia and it's clear that interacting with his father through his fog of memory loss is very painful for John. But he's a man of duty and loyalty and honors his father, even when it's hard for him. I like John a lot. I'll be adding him to list of Kickbutt heroes. I prefer Will Robie over John Puller, but I definitely enjoyed this book and plan on continuing to read it. It's just me, I like the Black Ops Asssassin trope a lot. But Puller is great for a procedural with a hero who is intellectual but also very capable of kicking butt. I think the mystery of Puller's brother Robert's treason a mystery worth delving into, and eventually I know that John will put his skills to work on it. John is a good 21st Century hero, a man of honor, integrity, intellect but also physical skills and capabilities that carry him through and make him an interesting and admirable lead character. I'd recommend this to action/adventure suspense fans, especially for those look for an NCIS-style book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    William Bentrim

    Zero Day by David Baldacci Baldacci has a new hero, a new ethos and another, never boring cliff hanging, throat grabbing thriller. John Puller takes over for John Carr without a Camel Club or a gang of cronies. Although Puller is dedicated Army, he runs without a safety net throughout the book. The Army is his life and his passion is it’s Criminal Investigative Division. He is an elite Army cop and he is thrown into a situation involving mass mayhem. Every time he turns around there is another mu Zero Day by David Baldacci Baldacci has a new hero, a new ethos and another, never boring cliff hanging, throat grabbing thriller. John Puller takes over for John Carr without a Camel Club or a gang of cronies. Although Puller is dedicated Army, he runs without a safety net throughout the book. The Army is his life and his passion is it’s Criminal Investigative Division. He is an elite Army cop and he is thrown into a situation involving mass mayhem. Every time he turns around there is another murder. Puller ends up partnering with Sam Cole and the two of them bond through their mutual desire to find the perpetrators’ of mayhem in an impoverished coal mining community in West Virginia. Once again Baldacci paints such a vivid picture. He sets his stage with clarity and depth. His characters are both larger than life and realistically human. I worked in an impoverished Appalachian coal community years ago. Baldacci accurately captures the poverty and despair that often results from long term un or under employment. One can only hope that we see more of John Puller. He was a complex, likeable character. I highly recommend it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Aidil

    I read "The Forgotten" (the 2nd of John Puller series) and enjoyed it so I had high expectations going into this book. This is the 1st John Puller series who is a Military investigator / CID. The 1st 100 pages was good but then the pace didn't seem to pick up, for a thriller it was quite unexciting. The plots weren't strong enough and it felt too ambitious. Its like trying to show that Puller is so perfect and capable almost robot-like. Even the way he speaks is almost void of feelings which is I read "The Forgotten" (the 2nd of John Puller series) and enjoyed it so I had high expectations going into this book. This is the 1st John Puller series who is a Military investigator / CID. The 1st 100 pages was good but then the pace didn't seem to pick up, for a thriller it was quite unexciting. The plots weren't strong enough and it felt too ambitious. Its like trying to show that Puller is so perfect and capable almost robot-like. Even the way he speaks is almost void of feelings which is justified by 'being in the army is like that' or because Puller boys don't cry. I didn't really enjoy this Puller series. The reason I'm giving it 3 stars is because it did have a good storyline (though towards the end it was somewhat chaotic/a mess) and I did finish it so it wasn't that dull. Its just that I wouldn't recommend it to anybody whose looking for a fast paced, exciting plots and great characters.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    Listened to this exercise book while on treadmill. Derivative. Predictable. Cliche ridden. And annoyingly patriotic. Spare me the rhapsodies about the U.S. military. If we were a bit more honest about the fact that war was legalized killing, perhaps we would get into fewer of them. Glorifying our military misadventures in the Middle East and Afghanistan isn't helpful. It speaks only to manipulating the patriotic fervor of others. Puller's love interest never comes to fruition - so he is left (lik Listened to this exercise book while on treadmill. Derivative. Predictable. Cliche ridden. And annoyingly patriotic. Spare me the rhapsodies about the U.S. military. If we were a bit more honest about the fact that war was legalized killing, perhaps we would get into fewer of them. Glorifying our military misadventures in the Middle East and Afghanistan isn't helpful. It speaks only to manipulating the patriotic fervor of others. Puller's love interest never comes to fruition - so he is left (like the archetypal cowboy of the American western) with only his horse and his quest for justice to keep him warm at night. Oy. The good guy is perfect - and modeled on hundreds of archetypal American hero types. The bad guys are really, really bad. Others have mentioned that Baldacci used Child's Reacher as the model for Puller. Sad, because Reacher is an incredibly annoying character as well. Come on Baldacci. You can do better than this manipulative drivel.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brenda H

    Zero Day is the first book in the John Puller series by David Baldacci. The series centers around John Puller, a combat veteran and the best military investigator in the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division. Puller’s father, John Puller Sr., is a military legend known as Fighting John Puller for his strong-willed command of the Army’s elite 101st Airborne Division. Puller’s older brother, Robert, was a Major in the Air Force but is now serving a life sentence in federal military prison for tre Zero Day is the first book in the John Puller series by David Baldacci. The series centers around John Puller, a combat veteran and the best military investigator in the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division. Puller’s father, John Puller Sr., is a military legend known as Fighting John Puller for his strong-willed command of the Army’s elite 101st Airborne Division. Puller’s older brother, Robert, was a Major in the Air Force but is now serving a life sentence in federal military prison for treason. Puller is sent out to a remote coal-mining town in West Virginia to investigate the horrifying deaths of an Army Colonel and his family. The brutal crime scene suggests that the family was tortured and interrogated. While investigating the murder of the family, Puller uncovers more mysteries in this little town that indicate that things are definitely not as they appear on the surface. This is a great opening to a new series for me. The main character, John Puller, is an interesting man. Loyal to his family, determined in his investigation and loving to his cat, AWOL, Puller is a multi-faceted character. Puller is definitely someone that I want to learn more about and follow his investigations. There are currently only 4 books in the series but I expect that I will continue with them all. I listened to this book on unabridged audio with narration performed by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy, both of whom I am familiar with from the Camel Club audio books. Both of these narrators are able to bring the characters to life through tone and inflection making for a good read. Rating: 4 Stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    SPOILERS INCLUDED! Reading this book made me feel elitest and I don't enjoy that feeling. The story wasn't bad by any means. I wanted to know how it ended but getting there was pretty rough. So the main character is John Puller Jr. Puller is an Army CID Investigator who is the son of America's greatest Soldier and is no slouch himself. Unfortunately for Mr. Baldacci, I am also a Soldier and I found the description of Puller to be almost offensive. He does everything the way the Army trained him to SPOILERS INCLUDED! Reading this book made me feel elitest and I don't enjoy that feeling. The story wasn't bad by any means. I wanted to know how it ended but getting there was pretty rough. So the main character is John Puller Jr. Puller is an Army CID Investigator who is the son of America's greatest Soldier and is no slouch himself. Unfortunately for Mr. Baldacci, I am also a Soldier and I found the description of Puller to be almost offensive. He does everything the way the Army trained him to do it and has no personality as a result. He is boring and everything we learn about him is told to us instead of shown to us. His character is more boring than the citations for his awards. He is border-line one dimensional and I found everything about him to be completely uninteresting in every way possible. Cardboard has more personality. The story unfolds slowly for 7/8 of the book and then the climax takes about four pages with no real build up and the story is over. At least Mr. Baldacci had the decency to kill off a major character but that is the only cliche he avoided en route to this toilet bowl reader (not as demeaning as it implies, this book sat on the back of a toilet and I read it while in the bathroom). This novel wold be lucky to get a C in my writing classes in college. The passive verbiage was irritating and I found it very distracting to read. Long story short, I've always held a grudge against NYT Best Sellers because I thought they were mass produced crap written for the masses who don't appreciate really good literature. This book proved that point true and is the reason I feel elitest. If you liked this novel, good, please continue reading anything and everything you can. I didn't and now I know. The key is that we all need to keep reading.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nick Brett

    oh, what to make of David Baldacci? A capable and entertaining author, much of his recent work has not been up to the standard set by his early books. My personal view is that this came about as he started producing books on a more regular basis, quantity over quality if you like. And now we have "Zero Hour" which is a very hard book to review... The good news is that this is the best book from the author in some while, a fast paced page turner about an US Military investigator looking into some oh, what to make of David Baldacci? A capable and entertaining author, much of his recent work has not been up to the standard set by his early books. My personal view is that this came about as he started producing books on a more regular basis, quantity over quality if you like. And now we have "Zero Hour" which is a very hard book to review... The good news is that this is the best book from the author in some while, a fast paced page turner about an US Military investigator looking into some deaths in a small town and realising there is a far bigger picture..... The bad news is that I am astonished at how this rips off Lee Child's Jack Reacher! A tall military cop who goes by his surname, adept with his fists or weapons, hightened obserrvaional an analytical skills, the setting of small town US and a lady sheriff to boot! It's almost like he went with a check list of a standard Reacher book! It's astonishing almost to the degree that it is funny. But it actually ain't bad and Reacher fans will probably enjoy this while thinking Mr Baldacci has a bit of a cheek. But the truth is, with the ripped off character and formula and Baldacci's ability, this works well and I have to say I enjoyed it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    Puller is quite the tough guy. And an effective CID. I had trouble putting this down, but I didn’t like the end. Boo!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mark Chisnell

    I’ve not read any David Baldacci books before, and I only started with this one because it sat at the top of the UK charts with a bunch of good reviews and a 20p price tag – but I’m glad I picked it out, and I’m giving it four stars. It would be three and a half, but that isn’t possible. Zero Day is the first in what I’m sure will be a series starring Jack Rea... sorry, not Jack Reacher, John Puller. Spot what Baldacci did there? Many other reviewers have drawn the comparison between Lee Child’s I’ve not read any David Baldacci books before, and I only started with this one because it sat at the top of the UK charts with a bunch of good reviews and a 20p price tag – but I’m glad I picked it out, and I’m giving it four stars. It would be three and a half, but that isn’t possible. Zero Day is the first in what I’m sure will be a series starring Jack Rea... sorry, not Jack Reacher, John Puller. Spot what Baldacci did there? Many other reviewers have drawn the comparison between Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and Baldacci’s Puller, and while there are only seven basic plots in story-telling and some overlap is inevitable, I’d still have to say that Baldacci’s Reacher is unnecessarily close to Child’s Puller. If you see what I mean. The story begins with John Puller being assigned to investigate the murder of an entire family. Puller is Army CID, and he’s given the job because the father was in Defence Intelligence. The investigation unwinds slowly, and the book really gets going at about three quarters of the way through when we learn the reason for the murder. It was done to cover up multiple wrong-doings, and part of that is a very nasty terrorist attack that Puller must prevent once he’s figured out who the bad guys are. The book’s writing style is a curious mix of spare with a tendency to being long-winded. The set pieces are economically described – a little bit too economical for my liking, it’s a bit slow in the slow parts, and never really fires up in the action. This is not gritty realism, this is a CSI-style procedural detective story, with thriller action in the end game – also very much like a Jack Reacher book. So if you’re one of those people for whom Child’s one-a-year output is not enough, then this is right up your street. Despite my reservations about the comparisons, I enjoyed this one and thought it was just about worth the four stars. It stretched my suspension of disbelief too much to stand any chance of getting the fifth star, and while I was always engaged with the story, it never came close to rising up and sweeping me away. It was a perfectly good nuts and bolts thriller with, for the most part, tab b very effectively fitted into slot b. If you’re looking for paroxysms of excitement or enlightenment, this isn’t where you’ll find it, but it’s a more than pleasant diversion for a winter evening.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Spinster

    Zero Day was like bad action movie, so clichéd that my fingers and toes combined aren't enough to count the times I rolled my eyes or laughed at the absurdities in the story. I mean, a hardass super soldier who knows everything about anything and if there is one very precise area of knowledge he's not an expert on, he has a family member that is. Murders, guns, explosions, sweat and muscle - that's the recipe for a good story. Or not. The book reeked with testosterone and Baldacci clearly wasn't Zero Day was like bad action movie, so clichéd that my fingers and toes combined aren't enough to count the times I rolled my eyes or laughed at the absurdities in the story. I mean, a hardass super soldier who knows everything about anything and if there is one very precise area of knowledge he's not an expert on, he has a family member that is. Murders, guns, explosions, sweat and muscle - that's the recipe for a good story. Or not. The book reeked with testosterone and Baldacci clearly wasn't afraid of compensating the weakness in the storyline and characterization with adding a little more testosterone, just in case. Create a big enough boom or kill off as many as you can and the reader won't mind that the story is hollow, right? A few hundred unnecessary acronyms won't hurt, either, it will just distract the reader from realizing that the characters are pretty hollow as well. Puller, the protagonist, is more like a robot than an actual human being. His brain is a computer and his eyes don't miss anything. Anything! He will notice a bee flying from a mile away, calculate its course, assess the threat to him and other people and take necessary actions in a millisecond. Puller makes no mistakes, ever, and apparently has no feelings. Even his nightmares are carefully controlled, for Pete's sake. The women in the book are either tough guys who work to protect others or the type that marries for money. They have something in common, though, they're all incredibly flirty and practically throwing themselves at Puller. Well, maybe not the old lady, but probably only because she was too old and sick to make a move. The book wasn't that bad if you managed to forget about the ridiculous and annoying parts. The story moved forward with a decent pace and although at times it felt like a parody, it didn't take too long to finish so obviously there was something right. And I did find it amusing to imagine Puller the Superman scooping cat poop.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    I put this on my "Thriller" shelf as that's what this is supposed to be. Sadly it doesn't really move fast enough to actually give, "thrills". Our hero a warrant officer investigator for the Army CID (Criminal Investigation Division) gets called to WV when a flag officer and his entire family are murdered. The flag officer (Full bird colonel) was an intelligence type. Things get odd rather quickly... The crime is important enough for a CID investigator but then he's sent in alone with no back up I put this on my "Thriller" shelf as that's what this is supposed to be. Sadly it doesn't really move fast enough to actually give, "thrills". Our hero a warrant officer investigator for the Army CID (Criminal Investigation Division) gets called to WV when a flag officer and his entire family are murdered. The flag officer (Full bird colonel) was an intelligence type. Things get odd rather quickly... The crime is important enough for a CID investigator but then he's sent in alone with no back up and almost all support cut from him. Working with a local sergeant from the sheriff's department a mystery is slowly uncovered. At first things get more and more convoluted...as they also become more and more deadly. The book does a good job of laying out the investigation and it does a good job of building the characters. The weakness is the there many, many times that the "story" simply bogs down. First we get conversations that move away from topic. These are supposed to (I suppose) give us more insight into the people involved and also the local. Then we get (again) many, many diatribes about the author's views on coal mining. Coal mining is a very controversial topic. Yes there are huge problems, but it's not a single sided argument. Ask the people who live amid the trouble...these are the only jobs going. I won't take a stand here, I'll just say that by the time you finish this book you'll have no doubt where David Baldacci stands. He'll tell you...in Spades. So pretty good novel. The plot gets a little buried in book length and excess verbiage but it doesn't make the book unreadable. Decide for yourself.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Skip

    Eerily similar to Lee Child's The Affair. An Army CID goes to a small town to investigate the murder of an Army officer and his family, and becomes embroiled in local town politics and policing. Nobody is quite sure why John Puller is alone nor why Homeland Security and other senior governmental officers have an ongoing interest in the case, especially in a small coal town in West Virginia. Local motorcycle gang is cooking meth, but the real danger is much more dangerous, involving an Army cover Eerily similar to Lee Child's The Affair. An Army CID goes to a small town to investigate the murder of an Army officer and his family, and becomes embroiled in local town politics and policing. Nobody is quite sure why John Puller is alone nor why Homeland Security and other senior governmental officers have an ongoing interest in the case, especially in a small coal town in West Virginia. Local motorcycle gang is cooking meth, but the real danger is much more dangerous, involving an Army cover-up of long-forgotten Cold War activities.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Corey

    A new series by David Baldacci that I've started. The main character is a CID (Criminal Investigation Division) agent named John Puller. He's a really interesting character, he's like a Clint Eastwood no nonsense kind of guy who gets the job done. In Zero Day Puller is called to a small rural community in West Virginia to investigate a murder. The story keeps you guessing up until the very end who's behind it all, many twists and turns and awesome character development! Now I can't wait to read A new series by David Baldacci that I've started. The main character is a CID (Criminal Investigation Division) agent named John Puller. He's a really interesting character, he's like a Clint Eastwood no nonsense kind of guy who gets the job done. In Zero Day Puller is called to a small rural community in West Virginia to investigate a murder. The story keeps you guessing up until the very end who's behind it all, many twists and turns and awesome character development! Now I can't wait to read more Puller adventures!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Its as though Baldacci was being paid by the word as apposed to writing a tight cohesive novel that I've grown accustomed to reading. The rest of this story is unnecessarily long and only the crisp ending raises this novel to 5 of 10 stars

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    Title: Zero Day (John Puller Series #1) Author: David Baldacci Pages: 448 Year: 2012 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars. My first novel that I read from this author was a story in another series with the main character being a man named Amos Decker. After I read those, I decided to try another series by the author and I am glad to share with you how fantastic this novel was to read! The John Puller series I think is going to be just as thrilling and suspense filled as D Title: Zero Day (John Puller Series #1) Author: David Baldacci Pages: 448 Year: 2012 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars. My first novel that I read from this author was a story in another series with the main character being a man named Amos Decker. After I read those, I decided to try another series by the author and I am glad to share with you how fantastic this novel was to read! The John Puller series I think is going to be just as thrilling and suspense filled as David’s other novels. John Puller Jr. is in the Army CID. When an Army Colonel is found murdered, he is tasked with solving the crime. What at first appearance looks to be a somewhat hard and often trying case to solve turns out to be just the tip of the iceberg! John ends up in a small town in West Virginia that looks like its dying a slow death, but what occurs thereafter is the uncovering of decades old trouble with new antagonists. On top of that, John’s father is in a home being cared for because his mind is slowly losing ground and his brother is in jail for treason. The author weaves a thriller that includes the military, local law enforcement, civilians and a government cover up. The case could be the last one of John’s career as he isn’t getting help to find those responsible for the Colonel’s death and bodies are starting to stack up as John comes closer ever so slowly to the final piece that will expose the danger to America! The next book in the series is titled, The Forgotten, which I cannot wait to start to see what case John will be working and where! I hope you take time to really enjoy this suspense thriller because it is well crafted and there are surprises in the plot I never saw coming that were brilliantly inserted! There is no sex in the book, which I am always grateful for and just some use of foul language. However, the story is what will draw and keep your attention until the very last page and emotionally packed ending! Read and see!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    I have never read a book by David Baldacci that I didn't like, and Zero Day is no exception. It kept me awake nights and that is one of the things that determine how well I like a book. The situations were borderline unbelievable, but then so are most of Dean Koontz, Stephen King and others ... it doesn't detract from the pleasure of the book. John Puller is a career military man, a CID investigator with a tough exterior and soft heart and soul. His brother is serving a life sentence for treason I have never read a book by David Baldacci that I didn't like, and Zero Day is no exception. It kept me awake nights and that is one of the things that determine how well I like a book. The situations were borderline unbelievable, but then so are most of Dean Koontz, Stephen King and others ... it doesn't detract from the pleasure of the book. John Puller is a career military man, a CID investigator with a tough exterior and soft heart and soul. His brother is serving a life sentence for treason at Leavenworth (we never do learn exactly what he did to earn this), and his father is a retired army general, so the military blood runs thick through Puller's veins. His latest case sends him to rural West Virginia where a family was murdered. The husband/father was with the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and Puller is sent to find if the murders are connected to something the man was working on. The people in this small coal-mining community are fairly believable, as is the description of the town. The situation, not so much. No spoilers, but let's just say that by the end of the book I was shaking my head and thinking I didn't see that one coming! Lots of red herrings here to sift through, but this book is an enjoyable journey.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jonel Boyko

    Oh my goodness! Could you just imagine? Baldacci has taken one of the most terrifying possibilities and brought it to our backyard in a chillingly realistic manner. Chilling narratives combine with an intricate storyline to create a very believable, chilling, and entertaining whole. The plot twists were never ending. I couldn’t believe that I never figured out the mastermind. I actually had to wait to be told in the last chapter. At the same time, I didn’t feel as if it came out of left field. I Oh my goodness! Could you just imagine? Baldacci has taken one of the most terrifying possibilities and brought it to our backyard in a chillingly realistic manner. Chilling narratives combine with an intricate storyline to create a very believable, chilling, and entertaining whole. The plot twists were never ending. I couldn’t believe that I never figured out the mastermind. I actually had to wait to be told in the last chapter. At the same time, I didn’t feel as if it came out of left field. It made perfect sense to me. I really enjoyed getting to know the major characters in the novel. Baldacci develops them on multiple levels, really allowing readers to get the inside track on the story. The main character easily carried this story forward, keeping me coming back for more. The audio version of this novel was great. The narrators worked well together to bring the characters to life. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them. The sound effects that were built in to the story took it up to another level. They ramped up the intensity at times and really brought the entire concept home. Baldacci has once again created a story that kept me hooked. It was a joy to read & listen to.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emilie

    Picked this up at the airport on a whim. I typically like Baldacci's books and this one was ok. Other commenter's have remarked on the main character's uncanny similarity to another well-known character. I have never read any of those books (although now I'm going to!) to make that comparison, so that was lost on me. There is a lot of exposition and sort of dumbed-down/white-washed military/law enforcement stuff. I noted in the acknowledgements that Baldacci seemed to do quite a bit of research Picked this up at the airport on a whim. I typically like Baldacci's books and this one was ok. Other commenter's have remarked on the main character's uncanny similarity to another well-known character. I have never read any of those books (although now I'm going to!) to make that comparison, so that was lost on me. There is a lot of exposition and sort of dumbed-down/white-washed military/law enforcement stuff. I noted in the acknowledgements that Baldacci seemed to do quite a bit of research on this, so I won't insult a writer by assuming he just looked stuff up on Wikipedia. :) It was detailed enough for me -- even if some stuff seemed a little TOO elementary. I figured out where the plot was going but there were some good twists and turns. There was probably a few too many subplots going on, and I wasn't sure which of them were really going to be relevant when it was all said and done. Bottom line - it was enough to entertain me for a 3.5 hour flight and worth the $5 (since I can exchange it for a refund via the airport bookstore). I don't know that I'd recommend paying full price for this one -- get it from the library if you want to read it.

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