Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Review: Zero Day by Mark Russinovich

Zero Day: A NovelZero Day by Mark Russinovich
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publish Date: March 15, 2011
Hardcover, 320 pages 
Suspense/ThrillerISBN: 978-0312612467

My Review:
Why I read this: The premise sounded scary and fascinating at the same time I had to read it.

My thoughts:
Zero Day is a thrill-ride that is scary and yet you can't quit turning the pages either.  I enjoyed this possibly plausible techno-thriller from Mr. Russinovich from start to finish.

I really liked the characters.  For a suspense/thriller that is really plot-based, a fair amount of character development went into the main character of Jeff.  The rest of the characters aren't as fleshed out, but their motives and reasons for doing what they do and who they are aren't as integral to the plot.  Jeff was likable and realistic.  I was rooting for him through the whole book.

I also liked that the story was told from varying points-of-view.  From the different good guys and from the various bad guys and the ones that were kind of in-the-middle as well.  This was a great way to tell the story and thankfully Mr. Russinovich kept the number of characters down to where it was never too confusing about who was speaking and which characters were involved in that chapter.

The suspense kept the story moving pretty well.  There were a few times when I felt it was a little bogged down in techno-speak, but never enough to make me want to put the book down.  It seemed every time it started to bog down, something would happen to suck me right back into the story.

A good techno-thriller that is reminds me of the early Tom Clancy novels that I first read where I was afraid that book would get into the wrong hands and give the other side ideas.  It's that kind of scary, but that is also what makes it a good read, especially when you have good guys like Jeff working to save the day without realizing he is the one who can save the day.  It's a character like Jeff that really makes this book for me personally.

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

About the Book:

Zero Day is a suspense thriller presenting an eerily realistic scenario of a cyber-terrorist attack that threatens to destroy the Western world.  After a series of major international computer failures, former government analyst Jeff Aiken, who witnessed the mistakes made before the September 11 attacks, suspects something more than coincidence is at hand. He begins to fear these incidents signal the threat of a more serious cyber-terrorist plot, and soon finds himself ina race against time to gain access to codes that will prevent an international disaster.

About the Author: 

Mark Russinovich is a technical fellow in the Windows Division at Microsoft and a leading expert on cybersecurity.  With a Ph.D. in computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, he is the co-founder of the Winternals software, acquired by Microsoft in 1996 and Sysinternals.com, which has around 1.5 million visitors per month.  Russinovich is the co-author of the Windows Internals book series, is a contributing editor for TechNet Magazine and a senior contributing editor for Windows IT Pro Magazine.  He currently resides in Washington with his wife and daughter.
FTC Information: I received this book from Amie Currie at Phenix and Phenix Literary Publicists for a honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.