Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Zero Day (John Puller, #1)” as Want to Read:
Zero Day (John Puller, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Zero Day (John Puller #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  48,945 Ratings  ·  2,868 Reviews
War hero John Puller is known to be the top investigator in the US Army’s CID. So when a family with military connections is brutally murdered in a remote area of West Virginia, Puller is called to investigate, and soon suspects the case has wider implications.

As the body count rises he teams up with local homicide detective Samantha Cole. As the web of deceit is revealed
Hardcover, 434 pages
Published October 31st 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Zero Day, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Will Thor writes for a living. He probably wanted to develop a terrorist theme as Angela and Jean suggest but ran out of time and failed to finish editing…moreThor writes for a living. He probably wanted to develop a terrorist theme as Angela and Jean suggest but ran out of time and failed to finish editing his book. Still I enjoyed this book as I have enjoy his other novels. I especially like it that his hero would not stand out in most crowds and SPOILER ALERT he will let important people die.(less)
The Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAngels & Demons by Dan BrownThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
2,620 books — 3,242 voters
American Assassin by Vince FlynnTransfer of Power by Vince FlynnKill Shot by Vince FlynnProtect and Defend by Vince FlynnConsent to Kill by Vince Flynn
Best Thrillers Ever
145 books — 116 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ben Jackson
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
And just when I thought I had finished the Jack Reacher series, Lee Child er...David Baldacci writes another Reacher the first Puller novel.

Jack Reacher John Puller is a crackerjack military investigator, who heads out of the DC area to the south, to check out the death of a senior officer in unsavory conditions. Reacher sorries, Puller is a big dude, and he likes to punch people. Also he travels light. And punchy.

Jack Reacher John Puller comes from a military family. His father died now has Al
Moonlight Reader
Sep 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: w-o-b-b-l-e
Poorly written.

This is a book. It is a book with a red cover. It is written in short sentences. Like this. That is supposed to make the reader feel like things are happening. I guess.

This book is about a man, Puller. Puller is in the Army. He's just a man. In the army. Where he belongs. He investigates things. Like a badass. Sometimes, he saves people's lives. Except when he fails. He remembers combat. Sleeps. Lightly. M11 in his hand. Three seconds to wake and shoot. He has ma
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Those that really need to read every Baldacci book
The good guy is perfect and the bad guys are really, really evil. Sometimes David Baldacci gets it just right and sometimes he just falls flat. I am putting Zero Day in the latter category.

John Puller is in the Army's Criminal Investigation Division and is called upon to investigate a murder in a small West Virginia coal mining town. While there, he learns these deaths may have very large implications.

The story really falls short in a number of ways. First, the sheer size and scope of the invest
Alex is The Romance Fox
I really like this author and have enjoyed reading most of his books.

This is the 1st book in the John Puller Series and introduces John Puller, the hero, who works in the military.

Good writing, good plot and some great characters.

Enjoyable read.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's not often I'm compelled to drop a book out of sheer despair, but this is one of them. Well, not literally, since it was in audio format on my phone, and dropping it would have had serious consequences. But at the 54 minute mark of the 57 minute second cd, enough was enough. At a crime scene, Baldacci's shameless clone of Jack Reacher, here called Puller, started explaining in relentless, unpitying and irrelevant detail how to take a flash photograph. This took several chapters, or seemed th ...more
I enjoyed my last book by Baldacci, but this one hit too many of my hot buttons. The hero was too heroic, a super hero who could solve a murder, beat up the toughest, be a CSI tech, & figure out the crime from a mark in the dust. Think NCIS with Puller in all the roles from Gibbs down to that cute, weird girl in the lab. Seriously, he was doing better than Ducky at one point. But he can't figure out the difference between the sound of a fan & a possible opponent. Ugh.

Possibly worse, Bald
Katherine Adams
May 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
I've read several of David Baldacci's books, and enjoyed them. "Zero Day," however, isn't one of them. Baldacci's main character -- Army investigator John Puller -- is a dull twin of Lee Child's popular protagonist Jack Reacher. It was surprising to see so many similarities to such a well-known character like Reacher. The first time Puller craved coffee, I thought "Reacher." Aside from a strange (I hope coincidental) similarity to a well-known contemporary character, this book is filled with unn ...more
Jane Shambler
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, army
I have read a few books by this author and have never been disappointed until now. I was really looking forward to it as well So I am doubly disappointed. Now I normally do not have any issue with this authors writing style until now. Since when has it been ok to talk in very short sentences. If this was an audio book I get the feeling the narrator would speak to me slowly.

Also, no offense but this has been done before. Too many times before. The main character is Puller who is a highly decorate
Nov 26, 2011 rated it liked it
I really like David Baldacci's books. He is intelligent and provides a suspense filled story with clean dialogue and well written characters. This particular book just didn't grab me. The problem was the acronyms for me. The protagonist is military and a lot of acronyms are used that I don't know. They are defined but I didn't want to keep looking back in the book to be reminded. Like I said, Baldacci is brilliant and he understands a lot of things that I don't having to do with forensics which ...more
William Bentrim
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Zero Day by David Baldacci

Baldacci has a new hero, a new ethos and another, never boring cliff hanging, throat grabbing thriller.

John Puller takes over for John Carr without a Camel Club or a gang of cronies. Although Puller is dedicated Army, he runs without a safety net throughout the book. The Army is his life and his passion is it’s Criminal Investigative Division. He is an elite Army cop and he is thrown into a situation involving mass mayhem. Every time he turns around there is another mu
Jul 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
Listened to this exercise book while on treadmill. Derivative. Predictable. Cliche ridden. And annoyingly patriotic. Spare me the rhapsodies about the U.S. military. If we were a bit more honest about the fact that war was legalized killing, perhaps we would get into fewer of them. Glorifying our military misadventures in the Middle East and Afghanistan isn't helpful. It speaks only to manipulating the patriotic fervor of others.
Puller's love interest never comes to fruition - so he is left (lik
Brenda H
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zero Day is the first book in the John Puller series by David Baldacci. The series centers around John Puller, a combat veteran and the best military investigator in the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division. Puller’s father, John Puller Sr., is a military legend known as Fighting John Puller for his strong-willed command of the Army’s elite 101st Airborne Division. Puller’s older brother, Robert, was a Major in the Air Force but is now serving a life sentence in federal military prison for tre ...more
Sep 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 28, deployment-12-13

Reading this book made me feel elitest and I don't enjoy that feeling. The story wasn't bad by any means. I wanted to know how it ended but getting there was pretty rough.

So the main character is John Puller Jr. Puller is an Army CID Investigator who is the son of America's greatest Soldier and is no slouch himself. Unfortunately for Mr. Baldacci, I am also a Soldier and I found the description of Puller to be almost offensive. He does everything the way the Army trained him to
Nick Brett
Nov 04, 2011 rated it liked it
oh, what to make of David Baldacci? A capable and entertaining author, much of his recent work has not been up to the standard set by his early books. My personal view is that this came about as he started producing books on a more regular basis, quantity over quality if you like. And now we have "Zero Hour" which is a very hard book to review...
The good news is that this is the best book from the author in some while, a fast paced page turner about an US Military investigator looking into some
Apr 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I read "The Forgotten" (the 2nd of John Puller series) and enjoyed it so I had high expectations going into this book. This is the 1st John Puller series who is a Military investigator / CID. The 1st 100 pages was good but then the pace didn't seem to pick up, for a thriller it was quite unexciting. The plots weren't strong enough and it felt too ambitious. Its like trying to show that Puller is so perfect and capable almost robot-like. Even the way he speaks is almost void of feelings which is ...more
Mark Chisnell
Dec 15, 2012 rated it liked it
I’ve not read any David Baldacci books before, and I only started with this one because it sat at the top of the UK charts with a bunch of good reviews and a 20p price tag – but I’m glad I picked it out, and I’m giving it four stars. It would be three and a half, but that isn’t possible.

Zero Day is the first in what I’m sure will be a series starring Jack Rea... sorry, not Jack Reacher, John Puller. Spot what Baldacci did there? Many other reviewers have drawn the comparison between Lee Child’s
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: do-not-bother
Zero Day was like bad action movie, so clichéd that my fingers and toes combined aren't enough to count the times I rolled my eyes or laughed at the absurdities in the story. I mean, a hardass super soldier who knows everything about anything and if there is one very precise area of knowledge he's not an expert on, he has a family member that is. Murders, guns, explosions, sweat and muscle - that's the recipe for a good story. Or not.

The book reeked with testosterone and Baldacci clearly wasn't
Mar 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-detective
Eerily similar to Lee Child's The Affair. An Army CID goes to a small town to investigate the murder of an Army officer and his family, and becomes embroiled in local town politics and policing. Nobody is quite sure why John Puller is alone nor why Homeland Security and other senior governmental officers have an ongoing interest in the case, especially in a small coal town in West Virginia. Local motorcycle gang is cooking meth, but the real danger is much more dangerous, involving an Army cover ...more
Lisa Johnson
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Title: Zero Day (John Puller Series #1)
Author: David Baldacci
Pages: 448
Year: 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars.
My first novel that I read from this author was a story in another series with the main character being a man named Amos Decker. After I read those, I decided to try another series by the author and I am glad to share with you how fantastic this novel was to read! The John Puller series I think is going to be just as thrilling and suspense filled as D
Mike (the Paladin)
I put this on my "Thriller" shelf as that's what this is supposed to be. Sadly it doesn't really move fast enough to actually give, "thrills".

Our hero a warrant officer investigator for the Army CID (Criminal Investigation Division) gets called to WV when a flag officer and his entire family are murdered. The flag officer (Full bird colonel) was an intelligence type.

Things get odd rather quickly... The crime is important enough for a CID investigator but then he's sent in alone with no back up
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have never read a book by David Baldacci that I didn't like, and Zero Day is no exception. It kept me awake nights and that is one of the things that determine how well I like a book. The situations were borderline unbelievable, but then so are most of Dean Koontz, Stephen King and others ... it doesn't detract from the pleasure of the book.

John Puller is a career military man, a CID investigator with a tough exterior and soft heart and soul. His brother is serving a life sentence for treason
Jonel Boyko
Oh my goodness! Could you just imagine? Baldacci has taken one of the most terrifying possibilities and brought it to our backyard in a chillingly realistic manner. Chilling narratives combine with an intricate storyline to create a very believable, chilling, and entertaining whole. The plot twists were never ending. I couldn’t believe that I never figured out the mastermind. I actually had to wait to be told in the last chapter. At the same time, I didn’t feel as if it came out of left field. I ...more
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, thrillers
I really hope I'll be reading more about John Puller soon! Masterful character development.
Emilie Hendryx
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, thriller
*Sigh* This was fantastic - which I expected it would be. Though the ending was bittersweet. I love how Baldacci takes a "seemingly simple" plot and explodes it (no pun intended) to be so much bigger than it is. I also love his characters - so well thought out and intriguing with their own flaws, quirks, and motivation. I've already downloaded The Forgotten!

This was an audiobook read for me
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
John Puller, CID agent for the army, is sent to West Virginia to solve the murder of a general and his family. Local law enforcement is overwhelmed and Puller appears to be the only one who can catch the killer.

I've read and loved all of Jack Reacher but John Puller looks like a worthy partner to put closely on the shelf until another Child book is available.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it
John Puller works for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Unit. So whenever the Army is in need of the best to help solve a murder, they turn to John. This latest murder case is a gruesome one. A colonel and his family including two little children were slaughtered.

John is joined by local authority Samantha “Sam” Cole. Together they head down a path of deceit, greed and murder.

It has been several books since I have read one from Mr. Baldacci. I have to admit that this was not one of his stronges
Nov 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
So, I was needing "good read" and I got it with this one. Mr. Baldacci remains one of my favorite authors. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this (probably more than usual because I had just finished a rather disappointing novel from another of my favorites, who maybe won't be one of my favorites any more...but I digress).

One nit-picky complaint: I got a bit weary of reading about how someone was fat. Too many fat someones.

That said, the hero of this one was "larger than life", a nearly perfect exam
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Picked this up at the airport on a whim. I typically like Baldacci's books and this one was ok. Other commenter's have remarked on the main character's uncanny similarity to another well-known character. I have never read any of those books (although now I'm going to!) to make that comparison, so that was lost on me. There is a lot of exposition and sort of dumbed-down/white-washed military/law enforcement stuff. I noted in the acknowledgements that Baldacci seemed to do quite a bit of research ...more
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
ok, there's no question that while reading this book comparisons will be made between its protagonist - john puller - and good ol' jack reacher. they share far too many characteristics for that not to happen. but john is far more chatty, and still in the army. thereby following those rules and hierarchy. and he uses suitcases.

although there were parts in this book that i felt just went to slow - i will admit to some skimming - generally, the story moved along. as well, sometimes it felt like a t
Feb 08, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book by David Baldacci, but I kind of felt like I was reading a Lee Child book!

Did anybody else notice the following?

1) The name of Baldacci's main character in this book is John Puller. In Lee Child's books, the main character is Jack Reacher. John = Jack and PULLer vs REACHer.

2) (This one's a stretch, but a sort of cool stretch nonetheless!) John Puller meets up with a lady cop in Zero Day whose last name happens to be Cole. Now Child's Jack Reacher is not Joe Pike (of Robert Cr
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
did we read the same book? 18 393 Jan 11, 2017 05:29PM  
Mysteries & Crime...: BOM Dec 2015/Jan 2016 - Zero day 8 98 Jan 17, 2016 08:39PM  
LOVED IT...!!! 1 14 Nov 21, 2015 07:13PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Zero Day by David Baldacci 4 36 Mar 10, 2015 01:18PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Zero Day 1 2 Feb 09, 2012 09:00AM  
  • Full Black (Scot Harvath, #10)
  • The Drop (Harry Bosch, #17; Harry Bosch Universe, #21)
  • The Inner Circle (Culper Ring, #1)
  • The Last Man (Mitch Rapp, #13)
  • Coup d'Etat (Dewey Andreas, #2)
  • Capitol Murder (Dana Cutler, #3)
  • Buried Secrets (Nick Heller, #2)
  • The Secret Soldier  (John Wells, #5)
  • Portrait of a Spy (Gabriel Allon, #11)
  • The Intercept (Jeremy Fisk, #1)
  • The Lion (John Corey, #5)
  • Locked On (Jack Ryan Universe, #14)
David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, because “every mom needs a break now and then.”) He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; one year later ...more
More about David Baldacci...

Other Books in the Series

John Puller (4 books)
  • The Forgotten (John Puller, #2)
  • The Escape (John Puller, #3)
  • No Man's Land (John Puller, #4)

Share This Book

“Facing fear is better than running from it," he said.
"What if it's fear you can't beat?"
"Then it might be better to be dead," he answered.”
“Reed said he could maybe find out where it came from back at his office. Check the certified mail records.” 0 likes
More quotes…