Another Winner from Ruth Ware
Ruth Ware highlights the dangers of software hacking in her latest suspense novel Zero Days. The term represents the release of hidden malware or spyware in seemingly innocent apps or programs. But the heart of the story is the anguished resilience of the protagonist and her quest to find her husband’s attacker.
Jacintha “Jack” Cross is testing the onsite security of a company by breaking into headquarters, penetrating through physical barriers. Each step of the way, husband Gabe guides her via earpiece as he tries breaking into the security systems network from the safety of their home. In reality, Jack is in the safer spot.
Things go wrong for the “pen” testers. Horribly wrong.
Jack comes to life through Ware’s writing. Her backstory is divulged through action and dialogue. She has misgivings about the police from past experience. So, Jack becomes a fugitive. On the run she is mistrustful of strangers and cut-off from family. But turning to a friend of Gabe’s helps her in her push to find information before Zero Days commences. Helps and hurts. In the end she must rely on her instincts.
Zero Days as Backdrop
The author uses the dark web and the threat of hidden code in software to move the plot forward. Jack does not have the same computer hacking skills as her husband. So, she unravels the mystery on her terms; breaking and entering along with some misdirection.
However, Jack is also battling both emotional distress and a physical injury. So, her race against time brings a sense of heightened tension to the reader. And creates empathy for the character.
Most of the book focuses on Jack and her relationship with Gabe. But minor characters pop up to aid or hinder Jack as she counts down each day to the arrival of Zero Days. As time passes, the secondary characters actions and dialogue make it clear to the reader that Jack is living on borrowed time. Will she succeed before her body gives out?
Recommendation for Zero Days
Ruth Ware is an excellent writer. Zero Days is quite different from The Woman in Cabin 10, but every bit as compelling. Readers looking for suspense novels featuring strong female leads can’t go wrong with this 2023 release from Ware. Find a copy and enjoy!