Zero Day
David Baldacci
Grand Central Publishing 2011
434 pages

Thriller writer David Baldacci sets up a new character in Zero Day. John Puller is fairly different from both John Carr aka Oliver Stone of the Camel Club series and private eyes Sean King and  Michelle Maxwell. Still, David Baldacci cannot resist making his characters enigmatic and with a troubled past. Puller is a good enough character to drive Zero Day but perhaps not solid enough for a series (reading this review much later I realize I was dead wrong). Zero Day is a good read but you can skip over a chapter here and there.

John Puller is an investigator with the U.S. Army. He is put on a case in West Virginia after a Colonel and his family are slaughtered. The bodies start piling up fast and early when the neighbors across the road and a cop watching the murder scene are also killed. Puller teams up with small town cop Samantha Cole.

Everything works smoothly in Zero Day though the pacing is a little off and some of the secondary characters read like filler material. Puller is a little too good at self-defense to be really believable but that is not a real problem.  The reveal as to the why of the murders is pretty good. The resolution is a little too Bruce Willis action flick to my taste: you can almost see the camera angles and close ups.

If you enjoy David Baldacci, Zero Day makes for a good read. If you are not familiar with Baldacci, start with the Sean King or Camel Club mysteries which are tighter.