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Zero Day by David Baldacci
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Zero Day (2011)

by David Baldacci

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Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
John Puller is a Army CID - called into investigate a brutal family killing in rural West Virginia. The father is a Defense Intelligence Agency high ranking colonel about to transition to civilian life. Puller questions his solo assignment to the highly sensitive case. He is also saddled with a father who is a living (though retired) Army legend and a brother serving life for treason. Along the way he partners with a local police detective - female detective Samantha Cole. Baldacci gives enough background to promote interest without bogging down the story. And just as you think you have it ... the story takes a sharp left. Concisely written police procedural wrapped around a compelling story. If only David Baldacci and Lee Child would get together and introduce John Pullman to Jack Reacher. What a story that would be. Highly recommend any of his books.
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  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Thriller, 2016 ( )
  newnaturalmama | Mar 20, 2016 |
Whew! What a scary "could-it-really-happen?" kind of thriller! I loved how the pieces of this story knit together and loved that it freaked me out! It makes me wonder what could really be happening out there in rural America. And no...I'm not paranoid. It was just one of those books that makes you second guess your sense of security.

As for the characters, I liked John Puller from the start. Was he a little too perfect? Well, his family is a mess, his father is healthy, but senile and confined to the VA Hospital. His brother is in prison. John clams up the one time his mother is mentioned. That sounds like a disaster, so it made perfect sense to me that he threw himself into his work. Maybe he was a little too good at some things, but I enjoy reading about a fearless, die hard, military hero who can take care of business. So shoot me. I was really way to involved with putting the pieces of the puzzle together to care one way or another.

I adored Sam! I knew from her first conversation with Puller that she was tough-as-nails and more than capable of doing her job. Loved her sass, too. I enjoyed their working relationship immensely. So...Curse you, flying cement! And curse you, Baldacci! May the heat of a thousand suns melt your favorite laptop! Couldn't Sam have just...like...been injured? Or been comatose for awhile so you could squeeze Puller for two more books? C'mon! You could've TOTALLY worked that out! I could've helped you with that plot point, bud. Just ask next time, okay? Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. I'll still buy the next two books. I'm hooked!

This was my first read of Baldacci's work and I believe I have another favorite in the thriller genre. Definitely moving on to book two. ( )
  Becky_McKenna | Mar 10, 2016 |
Typical Baldacci plot however for nearly half the book nothing much happens wrt story moving ahead. its nearly after half the book that things really start to move and it moves in typical Baldacci sytle. Real page turner with loads of tech on nuclear bomb (yup thats correct) ( )
  _RSK | Jan 26, 2016 |
When a postal carrier in a rundown West Virginia coal town tries to deliver a package and stumbles onto a bloody crime scene, he panics and calls the local police. The victims are an officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency, the officer's wife, and their two children. The murders seem out of place in the small town so they call the Army who send in John Puller Jr., an investigator in the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command. Puller is assigned to the case and told that there's heavy interest "at the top." Puller is a decorated combat soldier who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. His father was a legendary commanding officer and his brother is a convicted traitor serving time at Leavenworth. This combination makes him quite a loner. We follow Puller to West Virginia, where the local authorities are supervising the murder investigation under the leadership of Samantha Cole. Sam Cole knows she can't carry out this investigation alone so she and Puller cooperate with each other to find out who is behind the murders despite attempts on their lives.

This novel has lots of twists and turns, and even though I found many of the secondary characters to be underwritten, it didn't stop me from quickly turning the pages of this highly addictive story. There is an obvious similarity to Jack Reacher including their height and love of coffee. You can argue with which one is the more complex character but I think for me....there's room for both Reacher and Puller.
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  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
The book, which debuted earlier this month, is now number one on the New York Times best sellers list.

It introduces former Army Ranger John Puller, now the “best military investigator in the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigative Division,” who is assigned to solve the particularly brutal murder of Army Colonel Matthew Reynolds and his family in a small West Virginia mining town.

Baldacci said he based his hero on CID agents he’s known – agents who are called in when a crime involving the military happens in a civilian environment.

“These guys tend to be very tenacious,” the author said. “I became interested in how the military would work in the civilian justice sector. The American people see a lot about the military soldiers and the Pentagon and the war. I wanted to take a soldier who had seen all that war and bring him back to work on domestic ground.”

Puller is a haunted man. A career Army veteran, he’s lost men in Afghanisitan, driving him close to the edge.

“As horrific as the murders of the Army officer and his family were, they couldn’t come close to what Puller’s seen in battle,” Baldacci explained. “He’s got a laser beam focus. When he misses something, people die. He can’t accept that. If he becomes unfocused, the edges would start to swallow him. He can’t allow that to happen. He’s like a machine in some ways, but right now, that’s the only way he can survive.”

Creating a new character has its own challenges.

“I really tried to focus on making John Puller the kind of guy who’s going to lead you through a story,” he said. “He doesn’t care about upsetting superiors or getting local cops mad at him. He needs to find out who killed these people.”

Puller’s father is a military hero. His brother, also an officer, is locked up for treason.

“For a military person, that’s an extraordinary amount of baggage – a legend on one side, a traitor on the other,” Baldacci said. “Having a father who was a major general is not always a good thing.”

Puller, however, decided to build a career in the Army. He didn’t attend West Point like his father and brother. He’s made his own way, on his own terms.

There are more John Puller books planned.

“This was the first book I’ve written where I sat down and knew this was going to be a series,” said Baldacci, whose book sales have reached over 110 million. “We’re sending it [‘Zero Day’] out to Hollywood this week. We’ll see what happens.”
 
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To the memory of my mother
And to Charles "Chuck" Betack, my friend
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The cloud of coal dust driven deeply into his lungs nearly caused Howard Reed to pull his mail truck off the road and throw up onto the stunted, burnt grass.
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Book description
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 Investigation 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.
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Combat veteran John Puller, now working as an investigator for the Army's Criminal Investigative Division, tries to solve the murder of an Army man and his Pentagon contractor wife in their isolated rural home.

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