Joe Ledger has just came face to face with a guy he knew he had killed a few days ago. How can this be? There has to be something going on that Joe doesn’t know about. That something would be a new biological weapon that is suspected of being released in the next few days: Zombies.
In the novel Patient Zero, by Jonathan Maberry, zombies take on a whole new meaning. Weapons to be used by suspected terrorists as well as by a pharmaceutical giant. Joe Ledger is the man who is asked to lead the fight against the zombies and help find out who is making them and where they are coming from. Joe is a Detective for the Baltimore police and has a military background as well as excellent fighting skills and an ability to think while the action is erupting right in front of his face.
I have to admit that I went into reading this book thinking it was about something else. I read a synopsis of the book but it was very short and didn’t offer much in the way of details. When I realized the book was more of a thriller/suspense one that was focused on Joe Ledger, I was surprised and had to think of this book in a new way. Not to say the book was bad – it wasn’t – just that it wasn’t what I thought and had to adjust my thinking.
Joe is a man’s man but has a soft, decent side to him. Joe is recruited to work with the DMS – Department of Military Science – a top-secret agency that has technology no one else has even heard of or seen. The DMS is also able to act with impunity and has a direct line to the president. Ledger is thrown into action quickly with no time to get to know his team or with the needed knowledge of what is really going on. His good friend and psychologist, Rudy, is unexpectedly thrown into action with the DMS as well. The zombies Joe and the DMS face are ones that are made – not quite the risen dead, rather a manufactured virus that they come to face in various stages of speed and viciousness. The brains behind the zombies think no one will ever find out who they are. A brilliant but egotistical scientist is on the bad side. The bad guys use terrorists to their advantage as well.
The pace of this book was good, not too fast and not too slow. This is definitely an action type book and I can see this easily being made into a movie. The ending chapters got a little bit too winded and long for me. They seemed too much like a long drawn out action scene that is in need of some editing. There was a tinge of too much macho-ness for me as well but I still enjoyed this book. The main character is a likable enough guy and the surrounding cast is interesting and doesn’t slow the pace. Maberry has a full Joe Ledger series as well as a follow-up to Patient Zero that I’d be interested in checking out. I’d say this is a fun book to read and not take too seriously. I liked the zombies as a bio-weapon aspect, which made the book seem slightly different from a typical thriller/suspense novel. Overall a good book that is enjoyable and a fun read.