Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Finished: "Patient Zero" by Jonathan Maberry

Finished: Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry, 2009, 9780312382858.

I ordered this for the Library after a plug by J.D. Rhoades. Rhoades even has a blurb in the front of the book saying, "This book KICKS ASS!" Rhoades is correct. This was thick with action.

Baltimore cop Joe Ledger is working on a regional task force that raids a MD warehouse used by a terrorist cell. The raid turns into a gunfight and Joe ends up killing two or three bad guys. A couple days later Joe gets picked up by some mysterious FBI agents, is taken to meet a mysterious government guy (Mr. Church), and finds out one of the guys he shot is still alive. Turns out the guy is a zombie - but they call them "walkers". The walkers are infected by a super-advanced prion disease that a secret government agency is investigating and fighting. Mr. Church tries to recruit Ledger to join up.

At the same time pharmaceutical billionaire Sebastian Gault is plotting with the terrorists to do a wide release of the disease in Western hemisphere. Gault's deep pockets and multiple business interests have bankrolled and organized a super high-tech program to develop the disease and spread it.

Ledger fights the zombies on the East Coast and Gault works with the terrorists. Maberry does a great job moving the story back and forth among the main terrorist Mujahid, Mujahid's wife Amira (who is fucking Gault), Gault and his assistant, and Joe Ledger and his new team. I rarely read any international thrillers with spies and super agent dudes. This was real good. Lots of action scenes. A likeable hero. No political preaching. A mole inside Ledger's team causing havoc.

The ending is tied up nicely but with room for a sequel.

EDIT: The walkers are the slow shuffling type of zombie. But the evil scientist has been steadily evolving and mutating the disease to where the zombies are the lickety-split kind.

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