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(Joe Ledger #0.5)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,528 ratings  ·  112 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.

Kindle Edition, 35 pages
Published (first published March 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,528 ratings  ·  112 reviews

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ᴥ Irena ᴥ
I've been planning to start Joe Ledger series for ages and this prequel seemed a good way to start. The creepy ending promises a great story. ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, horror
It was good to learn the backstory & I enjoyed the sly humor!
Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I wish they would just combine the short stories in with the books. 🤦🏽‍♀️ This book is a before the Patient Zero zombie Apocalyptic book. I’m not a fan of the .5 books lol.
Estevam (Impish Reviews)
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This one was pretty good, fast-paced, a lot of action and some intrigue that led to some of the strife on the first book, in this one we have a quick snippet of who is Joe Ledger, I'm not 100% sure but I think the beginning exists as the first few chapters of Patient Zero, still, this was a good small book. ...more
Sinisa Mikasinovic
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Whoever liked Patient Zero
Short introduction to the character of Joe Ledger.
Very good as well, but not meant to be a series starter.

It is a short story about the event that put Joe on the radar of DMS and what prompted Mr. Church to organize a... job interview for Ledger.

If you liked Patient Zero, you're going to like this short story as well. 5*

You may also read it before the actual series starter as it will provide a sense of continuity.

I should probably add that Patient Zero was one of the best books I read in 2015, a
Dec 27, 2013 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
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, adult, zombies
This is just a quick prequel to the events of book 1. It's always nice to have a bit of backstory. ...more
Kenneth McKinley
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-kindle, horror
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
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Aug 30, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Michael Roop
May 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
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. ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-kindle
The prequel to the Joe Ledger series: this is a very short snippet showing how Joe Ledger gets the job that he must have in the subsequent books. A good example of Maberry's ability to write action scenes. It gave me enough of a taste to read the others. ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
A good intro to the kind of guy Joe Ledger is. Definitely look forward to spending more time with him.
Apr 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Very short & free. Seems like it will be a good introduction to the Joe Ledger series.
Penny Ramirez
Another impactful short story, this one a prequel, bringing Joe into the DMS. I love backstory!
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
This was an interesting little story, ut I'm not sure it added anything to the arc of the series. ...more
Ebony Irby
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zombie, audible
This was a quick listen on Audible (20 mins). It's a prequal to the main story, Patient Zero. I got this for Free, so giving my honest opinion. I prefer zombie stories with every day citizens. When the main character has prior Military/officer training, the seem "Super Human" and it comes off as fake to me. Nothing against it, just not my preference. Now, if you're into that type of hero then this series is for you!! All in all this is good, again, if you're into the whole "prepared, trained, gu ...more
Kristia Peschka
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've loved all the Joe Ledger books I've listed to so far this one was no exception. It's a nice quick short shorty about Captain Ledger before Patient Zero

Ray Porter is also an amazing narrator!
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
This is a prequel to the series (about 20 minutes long). It's why they recruited Joe Ledger.

It's very good and filled with action for such a very short story.

I would agree with another reviewer - it's on audible - listen don't buy.

Then read Patient Zero and then will be hooked on the Joe Ledger series!
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: listened
This was exactly what you'd think - the prequel to Code Zero. It was the story of what happened to Office Joe Ledger in the boat when they first encountered the "zombie" virus. It wasn't a whole lot different from what was mentioned in Code Zero. ...more
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
I like the in between stories to get new short stories or background or whatever the case may be. I didn't like this one, because all but the last scene was pretty much told word for word in the 1st book. So it seemed like a pointless story. ...more
Bobby Z.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Interesting little prequel to the first book -- definitely makes me want to read more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Didn’t add anything to story and the shootout seemed identical to the one in patient zero
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Most of this is repeat information as this is a prequel to Patient Zero. If you have read Patient Zero, which I have, this is essentially redundant. Regardless, I am a huge fan of Maberry.
Brant Bush
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you read Patient Zero. You read this.
Benjamin  Thomas
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There's no waste of words here. Just enough to whet your appetite for the beginning of an amazing series. This author and Joe Ledger series is one of my golden discoveries in 2018. YESSSS. ...more
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a short and entertaining novella in the Joe Ledger series. It's a prequel to the series. Read it first and then dive into the series. ...more
Mike Murray
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Cool intro to the character and the story, but this is nearly word-for-word the same information that shows up at the beginning of the full novel Patient Zero. Ultimately superfluous.
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JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, anthology editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. He was named one of the Today’s Top Ten Horror Writers. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT &

Other books in the series

Joe Ledger (1 - 10 of 11 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)
  • Code Zero (Joe Ledger, #6)
  • Predator One (Joe Ledger, #7)
  • Kill Switch (Joe Ledger, #8)
  • Dogs of War (Joe Ledger, #9)
  • Deep Silence (Joe Ledger #10)

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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