11 August 2023

Review: Zero Days by Ruth Ware

Zero Days by Ruth Ware book cover

* Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster *

Discovering The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware was a reading highlight of 2019 and the book made it onto my Top 5 Books of 2019 list. I've been chasing that high ever since, so when Ruth Ware's latest Zero Days arrived from the publishers, I dove right in with the hope this would be a return to previous top form.

Our protagonist, Jack and husband Gabe expose the security risks and weaknesses of companies who pay them to break in to their premises or hack their systems online. They're penetration testers or 'pen testers' and Jack is one of the best. Early on in the novel - it's on the cover, so not a spoiler - Jack comes home from a job to find her husband has been murdered and she's the primary suspect.

The trope of the wrongly accused fighting to prove their innocence or clear their name is a familiar one and I think I'm beginning to tire of it.

Jack goes on the run to try and work out what happened to her husband, who killed him and why. I love a kick-arse main character, but I did have to roll my eyes at Jack's extraordinary ability to soldier on in the face of injury and illness to the extreme that she did. 

Zero Days
by Ruth Ware was an enjoyable standalone crime thriller with good pace, but didn't give me the high I experienced at the end of The Turn of the Key. As I said, I loved that book so much that it made it into my Top 5 list that year. Since then, I followed up by reading One by One (4 stars in 2020) and The It Girl (3 stars in 2022) but Zero Days hasn't captured my heart, or snatched the breath from my throat.

Have you experienced this phenomenon? I feel like a novel junkie (yep, I did just say that) chasing that first gasp of surprise and elation Ruth Ware gave me and I think I'm still chasing. Luckily for me, I have plenty from the author's back catalogue to discover, and in the meantime, I hope Ruth Ware is given carte blanche to write her heart's desire, free from pressure so that she can steal our hearts once more.

My Rating:

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