In David Baldacci's Zero Day
, a mailman in the small West Virginia coal mining town of Drake stumbles onto the scene of a mass murder. Killed are a family of four – father, mother, daughter, and son. Moreover, the father was an Army colonel and a member of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Enter John Puller, former Army Ranger turned special agent for the Army's Criminal Investigative Division. Sent to investigate the murders, Puller is immediately suspicious of his superiors because contrary to SOP, he is sent alone with no investigative team and no forensics support. Puller teams up with local cop Samantha Cole and as the number of bodies starts piling up, Puller realizes there is something more to little Drake than meets the eye.Zero Day
has a good plot and good characterizations of the small town and its people. I was initially put off by the character of John Puller. He seemed to be a mixture of Nelson DeMille's John Brenner (without the wise cracks) and Lee Child's Jack Reacher (with a softer side). By the end of the book, however, I began to warm to him.
There are a number of errors in the book that may make many veterans cringe, and at times there are detailed passages that sound like entries from Wikipedia. Nevertheless, the plot and the characters make Zero Day an entertaining and enjoyable read.