Wednesday 13 January 2010

PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry

Police officer Joe Ledger, martial arts expert, ex-army and self-confessed brutal warrior is scared. The man he's just killed is the same man he killed a week ago. He never expected to see the man again, definitely not alive and definitely not as part of the recruitment process for the hyper-secret government agency the Department for Military Sciences. But the DMS are scared too - they have word of a terrorist plot straight from a nightmare - a bid to spread a plague through America - a plague that kills its victims and turns them into zombies.

Time is running out and Joe has shown he has the abilities they need to lead one of their field teams. And so begins a desperate three mission - to contain the zombie outbreaks, to break the terrorist cell responsible and to find the man in their own team who is selling them out to the terrorists.

This is a book that I should've enjoyed a lot more than I did. After all, there are zombies. Usually, that's enough to capture my attention and urge me to keep reading, and enjoy every minute of it. But that didn't happen with this book. Actually, I put it down and went back to it several times. It took me a long time to read because I could only manage to read it in blocks. And even then, found myself skimming a little. :(

Joe Ledger is a cop who finds himself in a strange situation. You see, he's killed the same man twice in one week. This leads him to the Department of Military Sciences (DMS), who want to recruit him to help them with a new terrorist threat. A threat that will unleash a virus, turning people into zombies. Its sounds good, doesn't it? Yet, it didn't click for me.

Maybe it was the military angle. Maybe it's that I didn't quite connect with Joe. Maybe it's that I was expecting it to be more horror than a military-terrorist-plot thriller. Whatever it was, I just didn't enjoy it. But the book's very well-written, in a format that keeps the story flowing with crisp and short chapters, switching from Joe to other characters. And it's action-packed too.

I'm afraid that Patient Zero didn't work for me, which is a shame because I was really excited about reading it.

Patient Zero, April 2009, ISBN 978-057-508691-3, Gollancz Paperback

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