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Patient Zero (Joe Ledger #1)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  16,403 ratings  ·  1,416 reviews
When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills. And that's both a good, and a bad thing. It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to d ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 16th 2009 by Gollancz (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jonathan Maberry has made a name for himself writing horror, but more specifically writing about zombies. Going into Patient Zero, I knew it would contain zombies, but it could probably fit just as well under the label of "covert ops" or some such (not that this fantasy nerd knows anything past dragons and magic). It technically contains a form of "zombie," but it really isn't a zombie book.

The real threat in this book is terrorism. Joe Ledger, the series' eponymous hero and Baltimore detective
Mike (the Paladin)
How can a book about zombie terrorists be boring? I wrote a review here (an earlier book)where I noted that I can at times read at a fairly fast rate and I do that especially when I have a large number of library books waiting to be read. In that review I noted that sometimes I regretted it as there were/are times I'd like to linger over a book....this isn't one of those books.

The book caught my interest initially and I had hopes for it. It "was/is" another "zombies are caused by an infection th
I usually steer clear of series fiction, but the Peter Straub blurb made me pick this one up. It's a fast-paced, somewhat cartoonish zombie-thriller involving Joe Ledger, the hard-boiled detective who is recruited by the super-super-ultra-secret Department of Military Sciences. There is plenty of action and the book is well-plotted (if by-the-numbers), but it does have a lot of howlers in it, particularly when protagonist Joe begins to feel patriotic or amorous. Joe can kill anyone, kick anyone' ...more
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With the protagonist Joe Ledger I am thinking of a blend of The characters James Bond, John Rambo and Jack Bauer from 24. The story actually is serving up a good slice of entertainment in the the hole that 24 and Jack Bauer no-more has left. It starts off the first half more of a cerebral approach of a thriller. Maberry writes with this story as if it has been ripped from today's headlines incorporating terrorism and political battles from across the shores. A good story that incorp
Excusing all my derogatory comments about light / beach / vacation reading, I finally get it. If you have basically a cookie cutter action / thriller novel and it's about zombies I totally understand the appeal. If this had been merely about terrorists attacking America with some unstoppable hero going about shutting them down I'd think it was crap, but when the terrorists are spreading a zombie plague, now that I can get interested in and want to read. I'd probably still rather watch this as a ...more
The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
*** Note: this review follows a format intended for the "Group Read" in the Action/Adventure Afficionados discussion group. It may not conform to what your used to, but, it'll make sense... at least I hope it makes sense. End Note***

1. Did you feel that this was a good zombie novel?

Well, it’s a good book, it has Zombies in it, but it might be premature to call it a “Zombie Novel.” It was more action adventure with a risk of zombie apocalypse…and…it was a GOOD one.

2. Action scenes. How did they
Feb 03, 2010 Miriam rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miriam by: First Reads
What seems to be a straight-forward police raid quickly takes a turn for the bizarre when officer Joe Ledger is shown the man he killed in the raid, now reanimated as a zombie! The zombies is are not supernatural creatures but victims of a deliberately engineered virus which terrorists are testing for use on the populace. Ledger is recruited to a secret joint American and British effort to stop them.

This is an entertaining read with an interesting protagonist and plenty of action. Very short ch
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I don't like zombies, but I like this book!

I bought this one a while ago because I was intrigued by the idea of an action/adventure series about a special government agency which handles strange science threats. It's been sitting on my shelf, not because it didn't look interesting. I was just reading and doing other stuff.

Glad I was able to read it for the February group read for the Action/Adventure Aficionados group. A very strong selling point is that this one hits the ground running. I hate
Sep 01, 2011 Christina added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christina by: Android's Dream (sci-fi/horror/fantasy book club at the Doylesto
I have thoroughly enjoyed doing dramatic readings of the Joe Ledger chapters of this book in as gravelly a Christian-Bale-as-Batman voice as I can muster (which isn't all that gravelly, because I am, after all, a girl). This book lends itself perfectly to that kind of parody.

Because it is a parody.

A parody of a parody.

It's cliched in the worst possible of ways...

You've got main character/hero Joe Ledger who walks with a big stick and supposedly has a bigger dick. He's self-aware enough to know t
The Crimson Fucker
Joe Ledger was sent to America to kick platypus ass and kill zombies!! And there ain’t no more platypuses on this continent! So watch it zombies cuz this “man” can kick the shit out of a room full of special forces members in less than 6 seconds!! Yes you read right! 6 seconds, he can make a last stand against dozens and dozens of zombies without even getting a scratch, this man is like the Chuck Norris of zombie slaying!! I swear to god I kept expecting him to grab a zombie by the arms rip em’ ...more
I started this on Audible a year ago and returned it. I started reading it last week and could not put it down. One of my Bookworm Buddies loves this series and now I see why. High action believable, human mutation story with a breakneck fast moving plot. The Characters were a bit crazy and over the top but fit the situation perfectly. I will definitely be reading more in this series as well as others by Jonathan Mayberry. It's hard for me to be fair to the next book I read after flying through ...more
This book is pure, kick-ass fun. Joe Ledger's a great action hero, and the story zips along at a great clip. I read the whole thing with a big sloppy grin on my face. I highly recommend it.
Well I'm definitely not on a roll here. Two books in a row and both left something to be desired.

Patient Zero seemed like a sure fire proposition. Zombie horror meets super charged action spy novel genre. Excellent. Right? Wrong.

To begin with I automatically disliked the hero Joe Ledger. Haven't we gotten beyond the perfect hero who is (prepare yourself. It's a long list), smarter, better looking, tougher, faster, stronger, wittier, more aggressive, infallible, a natural warrior and able to ge
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

“Patient Zero”,by Jonathan Maberry, follows smart-mouthed Baltimore cop Joe Ledger who, after joining a secret government agency, the Department of Military Science, or DMS, races to stop a plague from destroying the country, except this plague makes Ebola look like child’s play. This plague kills you, then re-animates you, zombie-style. Except the "zombies" in this book are not your traditional zombies. The “plague”, is,
Alissa Patrick
First off, I was totally amused that the zombies in this story are called Walkers. It made it much easier to get into the story, as weird as that sounds haha

If a Zombie apocalypse actually occurs, this is as close and accurate to the way I would imagine one being. It's scary, chaotic, and terrifyingly real. How can a zombie horror novel be realistic, you ask? Right in the beginning of the novel, there's an Author's Note that says "much of the technical information in this novel is based upon act
Janie Johnson
When I first started this book I was very interested and intrigued by it, and then about a quarter of the way through it got a little dull and boring and I thought it was gonna take me forever to get through the book. But then something happened and the book quickly turned course on me and I fell in love with all of it. The characters, the plot, and the overall story.

I have learned that Maberry has a great gift in story telling and for character development. Our main character who is my favorite

Baltimore Police Detective Joe Ledger gets recruited to work for a top secret government organization known as the Department of Military Sciences. There is an outbreak of hard to kill for good zombies, possibly caused by an infection and they need someone with Joe's razor sharp reflexes to give them an edge. Even without a gun, Joe works fast, real fast. The DMS, run by the mysterious Mr. Church makes him a team leader after locking him in a room of similar beefy military recruits types and tel
I won Patient Zero on this very website, so I went in knowing nothing beyond the blurb. I probably won due to my past reading history, a significant portion of which is horror. The title states that it's "A Joe Ledger Novel". I'm not sure if that means the author has used this character before or if this is his introduction. I won't get into what the book is about, because like me, you can get it from the blurb. To start with, Joe Ledger is pretty cool. Many times he's a little too cool, and tha ...more
Pure mindblowing awesomeness. That's all I can say. The only way I can properly describe this novel is that its "24 on pages" (referring to 24 tv show that is). From the Department of Military Science (DMS) standing in as this version's CTU, from one jawdropping INSANE action sequence to another, an earthshattering impending terrorist attack looming over the horizon, evil middle eastern terrorists and an westerner being the main puppetmaster behind all the scheming... Everything screams to me as ...more
Elii Vela

Con la narración en primera persona, Maberry nos permite conocer al policía-guerrero-asesino Joseph Edwin Ledger, un hombre que perdió a la mujer que amaba a manos de unos ladrones, un hecho que dejó una profunda huella en su corazón y su mente. Su padre y su hermano son detectives del departamento de policía de Baltimore, Joe fue a la academia de rangers y se graduó con honores; fue a la academia de policía donde no sólo demostró ser uno de los mejores de su clase, además de un bue
Dec 01, 2008 Jonathan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
From Publishers Weekly 12/1/2008:

Patient Zero Jonathan Maberry. St. Martin's Griffin, $14.95 paper (432p) ISBN 978-0-312-38285-8

While raiding a terrorist cell at the start of this exciting thriller from Stoker-winner Maberry (Dead Man's Song), Baltimore PD Det. Joe Ledger shoots two .45 slugs into Javad Mustapha, killing him very dead. Four days later, while trying out for a secret government antiterrorist unit, Joe has to kill Javad all over again. It appears the terrorists have figured out a w
Although this novel does involve zombies, it's much closer to a spy thriller than it is a typical post-apocalyptic zombie novel. The outbreaks are very isolated and contained rather than affecting the entire planet.

The zombies are made through a disease that was created as a bioweapon and each generation of the strain is more infectious than the last. Joe Ledger, a cop about to turn FBI, is recruited into a super secret branch of the government to head one of the teams trying to stop the terrori
Rick Fisher
Very impressive story by Jonathan Maberry. This one has it all. Thrills, spills and chills.
Mr. Maberry has impressed before with his "Rot and Ruin" series, but here, he shows he is a true master. He has mad skills. This is undoubtedly the best novel I have read in this genre.
Highly recommended.
10/5 - Another zombie book with the possible involvement of a mutant parasite? What a strange coincidence that I've just finished The Troop, my first book with zombies that aren't your usual run-of-the-mill zombies, and only a day later I start this one which has a now familiar theme running through it. I think this could be a five starrer for me, depending on some important factors. I like the language and style of this, the way Maberry is very confident in his descriptions of the sophisticated ...more
Ken McKinley
My exposure to Jonathan Maberry was reading his wonderful Pine Deep trilogy. So I was looking forward to what I thought was a zombie book and the start of a new series with the novel Patient Zero. The zombie craze has hit full force in the world of horror since the early 2000's (thank you Brian Keen for getting that jump started with The Rising) and I am becoming a big fan. For me, I'm loving the direction that it is going in with The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, Land of the Dead, etc. There's s ...more
The premise was better than some and "modernized" by having a major plot point involve jihadists and terrorism (this was either interesting or annoying -- I'm not sure which). The science was about as good as can be expected. However, the writing and storytelling was cliche and obnoxious. I will leave one quote which pretty much sums up the entire writing style:

"Grace looked very nice in a tailored suit that was a good balance between weapon concealment and curve revealment. ... She had on a lig
So… okay. I’m not entirely sure this book deserves the rating I’ve given it.

I mean, it wasn’t bad! There were zombies and terrorists and zombie terrorists, for realsies, and secret government organizations, and lengthy discussions of various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, and tourists in Hawaiian shirts nomming off the limbs of screaming reporters, and I’m totally down with all that. (Especially the shit about prion diseases, because if there is one thing that hypochondriacs like my
I have to say I'm not much of a zombie fan, I did enjoy The Walking Dead comic book but haven't really read any zombie prose. This was a club monthly read and since I picked it up cheap for the Kindle figured I would give it a try. I'm glad I did!

I'm not sure what I was expecting, maybe something along the lines of some video games or some of the cheesier movies. This book was much more like Jack Reacher with a little bit of wisecrackin' Elvis Cole thrown in for good measure. It's the story of J
This is offered up as a zombie book, and while that's accurate to one extent, it's mostly a CIA, terrorism, special ops book. I think if I had fully understood that point, I would have skipped this one. However, even though I don't go for military dramas, a well-written book in that genre would have scored more stars with me. I think my biggest problem with this book is the pacing. The action is almost non-stop, with tons of gunfights, military jargon, Team Leader this and Team Leader that, with ...more
Kasia S.
I don't think that anyone has to be a zombie fan to love this book, but love it I did! Jonathan Maberry had done an insanely great job with this novel, and I have all ready read two of his previous works and knew he was amazing, but this was even better than I could have ever expected. His previous books that I enjoyed were "Ghost Road Blues" and "Dead Man's song" (I am yet to read the third in this trilogy) and they were Earthy and organic, lush and rich horror that was a treat to read. "Patien ...more
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  • Tooth and Nail
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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 (9 books)
  • The Dragon Factory (Joe Ledger, #2)
  • Midnight Echo Issue 9
  • The King of Plagues (Joe Ledger, #3)
  • Assassin's Code (Joe Ledger, #4)
  • Extinction Machine (Joe Ledger, #5)
  • Code Zero (Joe Ledger, #6)
  • Predator One (Joe Ledger, #7)
  • Kill Switch (Joe Ledger, #8)
Rot and Ruin (Benny Imura, #1) Dust and Decay (Benny Imura, #2) Flesh and Bone (Benny Imura, #3) The Dragon Factory (Joe Ledger, #2) The King of Plagues (Joe Ledger, #3)

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“I’m not sure I could trust a man who would bypass an Oreo in favor of vanilla wafers. It’s a fundamental character flaw, possibly a sign of true evil.” 112 likes
“When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, then there's either something wrong with your skills or something wrong with your world.
And there's nothing wrong with my skills.”
More quotes…