Author, rabid Audible listener.
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and especially enjoyed the narration with both female and male parts. It made the book come alive.
The man character had shades of "Jack Reacher" to me. I don't know if anyone else felt that, but I am looking forward to more of him in upcoming books.
I don't know whether Baldacci wrote this novel as a tongue in cheek homage to Lee Child's Reacher series, or whether he intended to what is otherwise a blatant ripoff of Child's bestselling series. I am a long-time devotee of Jack Reacher's adventurers and there were times when I found it hard to remember I was not reading about a younger version of Reacher before he left the Army.
Baldacci's "John Puller" reads suspicously like Lee Child's "Jack Reacher". Army investigator. Check. Coffee jones. Check. Internal Clock. Check. Unusually acute observations. Check.
Despite this vague sense of deja vu, David Baldacci always writes a good story.
I found multiple narrators a little disconcerting. Almost like a "performance" audiobook.
Pretty good story. I can see Baldacci writing several Puller books. Puller seems to be inspired somewhat by Reacher, but is not exactly the same.
There is a few times when "Puller said nothing" and he does head butt a guy which is one of Reacher's favourite moves. Patricia pointed out some other parallels.
To Carolyn : Orlagh Cassidy has done the female voices for several Baldacci books now. She was Michelle Maxwell in The Sixth Man. I thought she did Annabelle Conroy in one of the Camel Clubs.
Anyway, I had trouble getting into The Magicians and Damned. Baldacci has a knack of getting you right into the story pretty quick. If you are a fan of this genre (Sean King, Oliver Stone, John Corey, Reacher, Pendergast, etc) you will like this book.
I have been a big fan of Baldacci's Jack Reacher and the Camel club... oh wait! Baldacci wrote the Camel Club, but didn't write the Jack Reacher series, Lee Child did. On top of that Zero Day is a BAD ripoff. This book was so cliched, the characters so stereotyped and superficial, the suspense so non-existent that I am certainly finished paying money to read/hear books authored by Baldacci. Ron McClarty was good as always, but the combination with Orlagh Cassidy did not work well- her reading of the women characters was flat, and she was at a disadvantage because McClarty was the dominant narrator including "She said" Cassidy is a fine narrator, it just did not work in this book.
It's turned me off from other books in this genre by David Baldacci.
They did the best they could with what they had to work with... although Cassidy's characters came across as very flat.
It isn't as though the book was obscene, but it was so phenomenally mediocre and such an obvious ripoff of Lee Child that no, it has no redeeming qualities for me.
I just finished Zero Day by David Baldacci. I lked thia one very well an started it on aTuesday evening and finished it a day later in the afternoon; so that should tell you that it kept me interested. If you where in the Military its even a better read. You will never be more suprised of the ending and it just doesn't drop it off on you like some books do.
ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance
I usually enjoy reading Baldacci's novels-but can't recommend ZeroDay as anything but an average knock off of Jack Reacher as the army cop. Puller is even built like Reacher!
The plot was fair but the presentation was irritating...music during what was supposed to be suspenseful parts, sound effects and poor southern accents on the part of both readers made this listen hardly worth buying. Sadly I bought both books in the series on the authors name alone, without reading the reviews....
I really wish producers would read the reviews-when there is complaint after complaint about the sound effects and music, one would think they would pay attention and let the reader simply read the novel sans enhancements.
Not particularly recommended.
I have always loved David Baldacci, and really looked forward to this book.
It was a huge disappointment.
The story line was not remotely believable (and I am usually pretty easy going on this score). The characters were not believable. I didn't like the quasi dramatization (the occasional use of sound, eg gunfire). Worst of all was the preachy tone - anti mining, anti smoking. I do understand that surface mining = bad environmentally, but I don't need to be preached about it when I'm "reading" a book for pleasure. And the smoking lectures were a real turn off to this non-smoker who hates smoking.
I'm down to the last few chapters, and honestly, I don't care how it turns out or if he gets the "bad guys". I may not finish it, and this after devoting 10 painful hours already.
I am sure we will be reading about this in the papers. If Lee Child doesn't view this book as a copyright infringement on his Jack Reacher series then something is wrong. Baldacci is certainly a better writer than this. The Jack Reacher series is a good read but my word it isn't worth copying. The army, the coffee, the clock in his head, being well over 6 ft tall, the headbutt to the nose, walking rather than driving, the only thing Puller has that Reacher doesn't is a change of clothes. If I didn't know better I would think David Baldacci is a pen name for Lee Child. Simply to close for me. Don't put me on the jury. Child would win hands down. Baldacci gets an "F" for lack of orginality.