“Zero Days” by Ruth Ware is a fantastic crime thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. I read it in a sitting; despite twigging to some of the solution before Ware revealed it, I still found this unputdownable.
Jack and her husband Gabe are penetration specialists – they break into companies, both physically and digitally, in order to find the gaps in their security. They’ve got an interesting collection of quasi-legal skills, but they work on the side of the law.
In this profession, when things go wrong they tend to really go wrong. A routine assignment goes sideways, and Jack arrives home exhausted and mildly frustrated, to find Gabe dead. It’s immediately clear it was no accident, and not much longer before it becomes obvious that it was a deliberate, planned killing.
Jack is still struggling with her grief and shock when she realizes that the police are treating her as their main suspect. Which means they’re not looking for anyone else, and Gabe’s real killer might escape. Jack doesn’t really care what happens to herself, but she will not stand by and watch her husband’s murderer walk away scot free. She goes on the run, determined to identify the killer before the police catch up with her.
There is nothing extraordinary about this plot – you’ve probably read many variations on it. That’s probably why I grasped some elements of the solution well before it was revealed. However, the combination of strong characters and well written action keeps this compelling.
The actions which lead up to Gabe’s murder are original. I doubt many readers will guess this aspect of what’s going on. When revealed, the motivations and actions are highly believable. Some thrillers are far fetched or simply unconvincing around motivating causes – not here.
Jack is the primary character. She narrates the novel, so we see everyone and everything from her perspective. She’s an incredibly empathetic character. Her grief is realistically depicted, but readers will also admire her grit, her determination, and her smarts. There’s a reason she’s good at her job, and she brings all those skills to bear on staying free and finding Gabe’s murderer.
Ware is an experienced writer – her most recent novel, “The It Girl” was equally memorable. It is no surprise that the writing flows easily, drawing you through the story with sharp descriptions, great pacing, and believable action.
This is one of those rare novels that seems impervious to criticism. The details of the plot are carefully worked out, with no inconsistencies or gaps. The characters will engage readers quickly, both emotionally and out of sheer interest in what they’re going to do next. Action is vividly conveyed, and technical information is credible.
Most importantly, I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was a great read, entertaining and interesting, and readers of both thrillers and crime should find it absorbing.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Zero Days by Ruth Ware. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember, and I love sharing that joy.
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember, across all genres. There’s not much I won’t at least try. I’ve been an enthusiastic book reviewer for years. I particularly enjoy discovering writers new to me, and sharing good writing with others.
My career has included time spent writing and editing technical documents, but it’s fiction that really moves me. I’ve reviewed for a number of different outlets over the years, and have been a judge in literary competitions.
I’m now raising little bookworms of my own, which brings a whole new kind of joy to sharing books.
More of my reviews can be found on my review blog www.otherdreamsotherlives.home.blog .