Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Zero Days by Ruth Ware

Zero Days
by Ruth Ware
Read by

Published by June 2023 by Scout Press

Publisher's Summary: 
Hired by companies to break into buildings and hack security systems, Jack and her husband, Gabe, are the best penetration specialists in the business. But after a routine assignment goes horribly wrong, Jack arrives home to find her husband dead. To add to her horror, the police are closing in on their suspect—her. 

Suddenly on the run and quickly running out of options, Jack must decide who she can trust as she circles closer to the real killer in this unputdownable and heart-pounding mystery from an author whose “propulsive prose keeps readers on the hook and refuses to let anyone off until all has been revealed”

My Thoughts: 
Zero Days is the seventh book by Ware that I've read, which makes her a rarity in Lisa's world. There aren't many writers who work I've devoured so voraciously. So finding that Ware had a new book out was exciting news; and, as happens so often with my go-to authors, I didn't even look at the book's summary before I requested it. Had I done that, I still would have requested this one; I just would have known that this book wasn't in Ware's usual vein. There is nearly always a locked-room component to Ware's books and, generally, an unreliable narrator. Neither of those features in this one. 

The book started off with a bang (had I read that summary, the first chapter would not have been nearly as exciting). Jack is in the process of breaking into a building, in search of the server room. In her ear, Gabe is directing her from their home, as he explores floor plans and attempts to hack further into the building's security. Of course, we're meant to believe that these two are criminals and I bought into it, except for that part of my brain that couldn't imagine that the main characters of the book would be criminals. It made for an exciting opening scene - akin to those high energy starts to action movies that don't always entirely tie into the rest of the movie, other than to introduce us to the characters and give us some background. 

And then things kind of went awry to me, even as I raced through the book. 

What worked for me: 
  • Technology playing a big part, especially having a female lead who was savvy enough to use it to stay one step ahead of her pursuers. 
  • The fast pace of the book. 
  • Thanks to another of Ware's books, I was never entirely sure that our heroine was going to solve the mystery...or even survive.
  • The ending. 
What didn't work for me: 
  • Fairly early on in her run, Jack injures herself. You and I both know that this injury is going to continue to get worse and worse and that, in the end, it will be a race against that injury to solve the mystery of who killed Gabe. 
  • Also, that injury was, very early on, causing Jack excruciating pain. I don't know about you, but when I've experienced excruciating pain, it's laid me low. But somehow Jack just keeps pushing on. Even as the pain gets even more excruciating. We know because Ware tells us again and again and again how bad the pain is. 
  • We learn early on that Jack's sister is a journalist and her brother-in-law is a lawyer. I 100% assumed they were given these careers because that was going to come into play. It doesn't and I can't imagine why not. 
  • Jack's skills don't seem to help all that much throughout the chase, except for a couple of times. 
  • Ware tries to point us in the direction of a man we're meant to believe killed Gabe because he and Jack were once in an abusive relationship. He had told her that if he couldn't have her, no one could. But I never for a minute bought that he was the killer. Except that I'm usually so bad at predicting the actual killer that I wondered if Ware was intentionally making it too obvious. 
  • Along the chase, Jack meets a person who I was certain was going to come back to play a part in the plot, but he entirely disappeared. In a book with so few characters, this seems an odd waste. 
  • Something happens about half way through the book that should have tipped Jack off immediately as to a person she couldn't trust, but she never made the connection. 
  • AND I figured out who was behind the killing almost immediately, it was just a matter of figuring out why. And even that I had figured out well before the end of the book. You all know how rare that is for me. So rare that I began to wonder if I had read too much into some things. I hadn't. 
  • Also, the ending. Yes, I know I said it worked for me; part of it did, the part where somethings were left unsettled. But other things were tied up too neatly. 
For Ware, this one was a disappointment. Even so, I did race through it, wanting to see if I was right in my assumption of who the killer was and wanting to see how Jack might survive the loss of Gabe. If I scored books, this one would probably come in at a shaky three. Still, I'm not giving up on Ware. 

No comments:

Post a Comment