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Zero Day by David Baldacci

Zero Day (2011)

by David Baldacci

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John Puller is a combat veteran and the best military investigator in the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Division. 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. 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.

Very suspenseful. Keeps you guessing until the last chapter. John Puller is a great character - a mix of flawed and compassionate; macho, but not handsome necessarily. Very realistic. There is a potential love interest and some sexual tension, a local police officer who helps him solve the case, but the relationship is a minor part of the book. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series. ( )
  lrobe190 | Mar 20, 2015 |
First Baldacci for me. Recommended by a co-worker. Glad I read it and will put John Puller books in my wishlist. For me I want this type of fiction to entertain me, but not insult my intelligence. Baldacci delivers. We all have to suspend disbelief with fiction, but just how far. ( )
  DCavin | Jan 9, 2015 |
Have read of few of Baldacci’s books and I liked The Forgotten (#2 Puller) better than (#1 Puller) Zero Day. I listed to both on audio and enjoy sound effects and the narrators Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy made the novel very interesting.

Again war hero, John Puller is the top investigator in the US Army CID. As in Forgotten he is called to work the case after someone is brutally murdered in a remote area of West Virginia. As usual, upon his investigation, there is more than meets the eye and teams up with local homicide detective Sam Cole. There are secrets of the past and deceit surfaces. Without giving up the ending-- A shocking conclusion of family and justice and how to make things right – A fast-paced book with battles between good and evil.
( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
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. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
I enjoyed this first John Puller novel. Puller is a CID investigator who is called upon to investigate the brutal murders of a family in Drake, West Virginia. He is sent alone, although usually he is sent as a team to any investigation. That's the first inkling he has that this investigation will be different from others. It turns out to be different in ways he could not possibly have imagined. Puller was a very interesting character, and his family problems added to the plot. The other characters in the book were likewise well done. I suspect that the scientific angle was probably full of holes, but most people are not going to have the knowledge to argue with it, and it certainly made for an exciting scenario. I look forward to more John Puller books. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Jul 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (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
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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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Military investigator John Puller is called out to a remote, rural area far from any military outpost to investigate the brutal murder of a family in their home. The dead husband was in the army and the wife worked for a Pentagon contractor. The local homicide detective, a woman with personal demons of her own, clashes with Puller over the investigation. What neither of them knows is what is waiting for them across the street from the murdered family's home.… (more)

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