PIC: THE NOVEL ZERO DAY
David Baldacci is an author who requires no introduction, having published more than 33 best-selling novels till date and over 150 million copies of his books sold worldwide in more than 45 different languages. He is among a handful of authors today with such credibility, and true to his name he seldom fails to deliver.
In his novel Zero Day, David is back again with a gripping plot and action of such high intensity that it’s almost impossible for a reader to stop reading the book in the middle. David, so skillfully, like a mater tactician writes the plot of his books and keeps the readers in the guessing mode till the last chapter.
Colonel Matt Reynolds of DIA (Defense Investigation Agency), is found murdered in his father in law’s house in a small county Drake, West Virginia. As a military officer is murdered,army sends its top investigator and best man Special Agent John Puller, in the case to catch the killers.
John puller is a decorated soldier, having served in Afghanistan and the Middle East, he has enough medals on his chest that speak of his valor and effectiveness on the field. To help him in his investigation, he is assisted by a local cop, Sergeant Samantha Cole.
On arriving the crime scene Puller finds the officer guarding the perimeter to be missing and informs Cole about it, and later on it’s discovered that the officer too is murdered after his body is found hanging in the store room of the house.
Later on the neighbors of Reynolds’s Molly Bittner and Eric Treadwell are found murdered too, taking the death toll to seven. So what started off as a murder of a DIA officer, possibly to get some classified defense information and takes a completely different turn the USACIL confirmed that there was nothing in the laptop that could have led to the killing. Thus, this case was becoming more complicated with time.
Puller interrogates the commanding officer and direct senior in the chain of command, Brigadier General Julie Carson, who first denies that she knows anything about Matt Reynolds’s death, but later on persistent questioning by Puller breaks down and confirms that Matt told her that he has stumbled upon something very serious connected to national security and sensing this as an opportunity to get another star she told him to dig in more info regarding the matter.
Roger Trent, the owner of Trent Exploration, a major coal and energy company who also happens to be husband of Sam’s sister Jean informs her that he has been receiving death threats, they suspect Randy,Sam’s brother, to be behind all this as he blames Roger for the death of their parents.
Joe Mason of DHS (Department of Homeland Security) contacts Puller and informs him that NSA have picked up a chatter in Dari, an Afghanistan Dialect, with says that “Justice Will Be served” and that Puller had only three days to act before anything serious happens. This is when the real action starts…
A major twist in the storyline comes when it is discovered actually there was a nuclear angle to the story,a nuclear fuel, highly enriched Uranium and Plutonium were hidden in a bunker covered with three feet of concrete that belonged to the cold war era. Randy, discovered this and told Eric Treadwell about it, this piece of information eventually led to a string of murders in Drake.It was now clear to puller that whoever killed these people were after the nukes.
After a roller-coaster of events with one clue leading on to another ( just as a classic action-thriller novel) ,Puller found out that Bill Strauss the COO of Trent Exploration and Joe Mason actually knew each other,they together laid out the master plan and this is how they intended their plan to be.
Every piece of the puzzle came together and it was crystal clear to Puller that Joe Mason was behind this and that he wanted the Nukes so that he could sell them off in the Black market for billions of dollars.
When colonel Reynolds found out about this, they silenced him, Puller also found that it was bill Strauss who was behind the death threats because he wanted the Lion’s share in Trent Exploration and that they knew with Mason’s contact with the DHS their plan would be successful .They also found that bomb was planted in the bunker which was their third attempt to eliminate Puller( after 2 unsuccessful ones before), but Puller with the help of his elder brother Robert successfully detonated the bomb in time and saved thousands of people in Drake, but in this process he lost Samantha Cole when a chunk of concrete from the explosion hit her head.
In his last rendezvous with Joe Mason, Puller,with the help of General Carson secretly records in a tape Joe mason admitting he was behind all this ….things get really exciting as it was a country’s traitor and sell-out Joe Mason vs. core patriot Puller. All Mason ends up with is prison term for treason, John is rewarded double promotion for his exceptional brilliance in solving the case which he denies.
So finally Case solved… Phew!
In this book the author takes you in a delightfully bumpy ride , with an unpredictable plot and characters that leave lasting impression in your head, this book contains every element of a good action thriller packed together, this is what sets David Baldacci and his experience apart from the herd of other writers. A lasting read for me definitely