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Countdown (Joe Ledger 0.5)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  1,080 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Countdown: A Joe Ledger Prequel Short Story to Patient Zero

"I didn't plan to kill anyone. I wasn't totally against the idea, either. Sometimes things just fall that way, and either you roll with it or it rolls over you. Letting the bad guys win isn't how I roll."

Meet Joe Ledger, Baltimore PD, attached to a Homeland task force… who's about to get a serious promotion.
ebook, 12 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin
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(showing 1-30 of 2,317)
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Dec 27, 2013 Armina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Armina by: Rhea
3.5 stars

Great action-packed short story which can be read before the main series. It's only 20 minutes in audio but I was hooked from the start. I like the style and more important - I like the MC's voice. He's calm, tough and hardly hesitates before shooting ;). I definitely want more of him and more of this story so book #1 is already in my TBR soon.

Audio Note: I'm giving half a star up because of the fantastic audio performance. This was my first listening to Ray Porter and he was great! Hal
Ken McKinley
Feb 21, 2015 Ken McKinley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, own-kindle
I'm giving Countdown 3 1/2 stars. Why? Because it's kind of an unnecessary preview to a personal favorite of mine, Patient Zero. I love Patient Zero and Countdown is kind of like a 15-20 page prelude that is pretty much the same as the beginning of Patient Zero. So, you've got one of two choices. If you're undecided on whether you want to read Patient Zero (which you shouldn't be, by the way), you can download Countdown for free and get a taste of what it is like. Or you can simply start reading ...more
Barb S.
Jan 04, 2015 Barb S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is very short. It is pretty much just the first chapter of Patient Zero and then a preview of another book-that I didn't want to read yet because I'm just starting this series.
Here's a rarity. A prequel that can actually be read before the book it is prequelling!

But that's because most of the contents are actually in the book it's prequelling. Word for word.

This is a bit of an expansion on the introductory part of Patient Zero. Don't look for much new here, you won't find it. But it's not a bad way to burn a few minutes.

For a more satisfying short read, try Zero Tolerance, but make certain that gets read after Patient Zero, or it will seriously spoil.
May 22, 2012 Barry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, there is virtually NOTHING in this story that isn't a part of the full 'Patient Zero' novel. In the novel, the events here are depicted in a flashback, so perhaps this is a little more fleshed-out. So, I'll admit: reading an action-packed short story was kind of fun.

Secondly, there is NOTHING in this story that has ANYTHING to do with Pine Deep! I know that one of the other novels/stories featuring Joe Ledger having something to do with that town (where Maberry's trilogy of 'Ghost Roa
Apr 30, 2014 Tiffany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Very short & free. Seems like it will be a good introduction to the Joe Ledger series.
This was an interesting little story, ut I'm not sure it added anything to the arc of the series.
Michael Roop
May 30, 2011 Michael Roop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Oh crap. The world of Joe Ledger gets deeper and deeper. Here Jonathan Maberry takes Joe to the town of Pine Deep. A town Jonathan Maberry wrote a series about as well called the Pine Deep Trilogy. In this town Joe meets up with some hardcore action and ghosts...maybe? The end of this short story leaves you scratching your head and wanting more. MORE! It wasn't long enough and it was hardcore to the max. The action was tense and gripping leaving your one armed fist pumping for Joe and Echo Team!
This short story is a recap if you've already read Patient Zero. It describes the events that put Joe on the radar of the DMS. It's a great one to read if you're curious about the style of the Joe Ledger series but don't want to invest a lot of time to find out if you'll like it.
A Reader's Heaven
"I didn't plan to kill anyone. I wasn't totally against the idea, either. Sometimes things just fall that way, and either you roll with it or it rolls over you. Letting the bad guys win isn't how I roll."
Meet Joe Ledger, Baltimore PD, attached to a Homeland task force… who's about to get a serious promotion.

This short story felt more like a scene from a bigger book, not a stand alone story. Otherwise, this is a very well written story with plenty of action that made me sure that I want to read m
Brian Stubbs
Jul 29, 2016 Brian Stubbs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this after having already finished the first 6 books of the Joe Ledger series, so the foreboding nature was lost completely on me. That being said, if you haven't started this series yet and were looking to, I strongly urge you to track down this short story (I believe it's in the Special Ops collection?) and start there before diving into Patient Zero. It's like, 30 pages, and really could have been used as the full beginning of PZ instead a slightly truncated version.
Ben Nash
Jonathan Maberry is really good at what he does, but I just can't take much of it.

When writing his action scenes, they're fast-paced and meticulously written, but the violence-porn gets to me after a while. I know there's a big market out there for this (a friend of mine is really into this, and I get into it in small doses), but I just can't take much of it at once.
Feb 28, 2014 Ru rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just a quick preamble and backstory before the meat-and-potatoes of "Patient Zero", but it helps flush out the introductory chapters and the firefight that occurs... along with the other thing. Not really necessary to read before "Patient Zero" because some of it is repeated in the main book, but it is helpful, nevertheless.
Apr 04, 2016 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the prequel to Patient Zero. I found the prequel to be unnecessary if you have already read Patient Zero. It added zero insight into the overall story of Joe Ledger. However, if you hadn't read Patient Zero, I think it would be a great little story to get you excited about the series.
Joan Lloyd
Sep 20, 2014 Joan Lloyd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short story - prequel to Patient Zero. I really enjoyed it and it led me to others of Mr. Maberry's books. I'll get back to you on Patient Zero. I lost patience with it early on, but since them I've enjoyed a few other books of his so I think I'll give it another chance.
Victor Catano
Apr 16, 2016 Victor Catano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice appetizer

This short story retell the events that brought Joe Ledger to the DMS from a different perspective. It's a nicely done action scene, but doesn't add a lot to the story of Patient Zero. Just makes me eager to read his new book this month.
Jan 26, 2014 Michelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-i-read
This is a prequel to the story Patient Zero. Unfortunately I actually read that before this one so the events told in this particular story were no surprise to me. However my version of this this also contained some chapters from what I believe is the story The King Of Plagues. It was interesting and I'm curious to see how the events unfold.

Amy at bookgoonie
Slam Bam Thank You Mam. This is a uber-short, uber-intense novella. Because I haven’t started Patient Zero, it left me a little befuddled. Joe Ledger, Baltimore cop and ex-Army Ranger, is in on a terrorist sting operation. Holy heavy fire and possible zombie in a box had by head spinning. Then fast forward and jump continents, unknown Doctor Evil has some bad mojo planned for London. *clears throat* Me. Confused. How are they connected? Are they connected? Are zombies connected with terrorist? T ...more
A prequel to Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger series.

Time is too short!

I found this to be a disappointing, mediocre, short story that failed in it's attempts to hook me into wanting to read any more from this series or by this author.

Reading the dialogue was almost as pleasant as chewing on tin-foil and I found that I couldn't bring myself to feel anything but boredom and indifference to the main character.

The plot was the only redeemable aspect of this short work of fiction.

A new kind of global t
Not really necessary if you have already read patient zero since most of this is in the book...but an ok starting place if you have not read the book yet...
Read this as part of Special Ops, a collection of Joe Ledger shorts. Not a must read. If you read Patient Zero 98% of this story is included.
I'll preface this: this is my first Joe Ledger story. I have not read any of the novels yet.

As a short trailer for the first Joe Ledger book, it was like a shot of adrenaline to the heart. Fast paced, action packed, 150 miles per hour story, no time to stop and think because you'll get bit. But this style of short story is emotionally vapid, and here in particular, cliche; at the same time, it leaves you wanting more. Although, I know Joe Leger is a bad-ass and want to read more, I just hope tha
Thomas Britton
Dec 06, 2014 Thomas Britton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
first time reading a short book
big fan of the ledger series
takes about an hour to read short and sweet if want a quick read
Dec 04, 2014 Lesli rated it liked it
Typical of Maberry. I'm a little biased about the Joe Ledger series. I find it clever, entertaining, and scary.
How I missed reading this author's works! I'm definitely looking forward to reading "Patient Zero"!
Penny Ramirez
Another impactful short story, this one a prequel, bringing Joe into the DMS. I love backstory!
Mar 16, 2014 Normandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

I definitely need to read Patient Zero now. Good little teaser. Enough to get you hooked. I've read Ghost Road Blues by Mr. Mayberry.
This is a great short story/introduction to the Joe Ledger series. I gave it 4 stars because the story was basically the first part of the book. It's still a great short but needs to be read BEFORE you read the first book "Patient Zero," which is one of the best books I've ever read (actually, still reading). Anyway, Maberry is a phenomenal writer who knows how to keep me hooked and my adrenaline flowing. Ledger is at the top of my list of kick-ass (reluctant hero) Action/Thriller/Protag's. If y ...more
Lydia Kass
Apr 26, 2015 Lydia Kass rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He has what it takes in terms of thriller novels; this is a prequel to Patient Zero
This was a nice prequel to Patient Zero but it really wasn't needed. Everything that happened in this short story was explained in Patient Zero. It was a nice introduction to the series for anyone who hasn't read it but it wasn't necessary. I also didn't like how the short story was only really half the size as advertised on my Kindle and the rest was a teaser to King of Plagues. Good read yes, recommended.... no. I would only suggest someone read it if they want an introduction to the Joe Ledge ...more
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JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than a dozen countries.

His novels include the Pine Deep Trilogy: GHOST ROAD BLUES (Pinnacle books; winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel in 2006), DEAD
More about Jonathan Maberry...

Other Books in the Series

Joe Ledger (10 books)
  • Patient Zero (Joe Ledger, #1)
  • The Dragon Factory (Joe Ledger, #2)
  • The King of Plagues (Joe Ledger, #3)
  • Assassin's Code (Joe Ledger, #4)
  • Extinction Machine (Joe Ledger, #5)
  • Joe Ledger: Special Ops
  • Code Zero (Joe Ledger, #6)
  • Predator One (Joe Ledger, #7)
  • Kill Switch (Joe Ledger #8)
  • Dogs of War (Joe Ledger #9)

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