Books & Literature

Book Review: Zero Days, by Ruth Ware

THRILLER: The deadly cat-and-mouse thriller from the international bestselling author.

A pacy, engrossing, crime thriller.

Feature image credit: Simon & Schuster

Jacinta “Jack” Cross, an expert in breaking into buildings, is happily married to computer-hacker Gabe. Together they run a “penetration testing” company, paid to break into physical and digital assets, in order for businesses to evaluate the holes in their security. One night after a job, Jack returns to find her beloved Gabe murdered in their own home. But her nightmare is just beginning, as she finds that she is the police’s chief suspect.

Knowing that while they focus on her as a suspect, the real culprit will get away, Jack decides to go on the run and find her husband’s killer on her own. On her tail are not just the police investigating the murder, but her controlling ex-partner, who is also a serving police-officer.

Ruth Ware is a highly popular writer of crime thrillers, with several of her works being brought to the screen in recent years. She certainly produces stories that feel as though they have a screen adaptation in mind from the get-go. Zero Days is no exception. There is action on nearly every page, right from the opening scene where Jack is in the middle of a “pen test,” climbing over walls, and dropping through ceilings. Her later decision to go on the run also allows for loads of action, and the odd interesting secondary character along the way. In narrative terms there are enough twists to keep the pages turning, and a likeable protagonist for whom to root.

There are no prizes for guessing that the plot revolves around hacking and digital security. Ware ensures that enough explanations are woven in, without sounding like she’s lecturing in Computing 101. This window into a niche world gives substance to the story, and lifts it up from being another literary equivalent of a long car-chase. Some of the dialogue is clunky and a bit cringe-worthy, but we forgive our genre-writers these small faults, if they deliver on their promise. Ruth Ware certainly does that.

Short, pacy, tightly-written, and engaging, Zero Days is an easy one-sitting read, and perfect fodder for a cozy winter weekend in the armchair.

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Twitter: @TraceyKorsten

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Simon & Schuster
Released: July 2023
RRP: $32.99

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