“This is the kind of book you’ll gallop through” – Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone

zdebWe’ve had to wait since November 2017 to get our hands on the third and final instalment in Ezekiel Boone’s spider horror trilogy, Zero Day. I know, “oh, the humanity” right? First World problems. But there was a serious point buried obliquely in there. Boone is the kind of writer who employs quite an extensive cast in his globe trotting tale of marauding, ever-evolving spiders and there were certainly times in the first two books (which we read back to back over the space of about a week) when we had moments where we had to flick back and double-check we knew who we were reading about. Thankfully, his latest demonstrates how adept he is at dropping in the odd detail or two such that you quickly recall who’s who and what’s what. And, as you’d expect, all of the characters we were introduced in the first two books are back here – Steph, the female President, Manny, her right hand man, Manny’s ex-wife Melanie, who just so happens to be one of the world’s leading experts on spiders, as well as rough at the edges with a heart of gold copper Mike and his partner Leshaun, Gordo and Shotgun and their merry throng of entrepreneurial inventors, Lance Corporal Kim Bock and her pack of marines – all the usual faces, as we said.

Now – quick spoiler alert – given that the last book ended with a – ahem – series of detonations, Zero Day begins with a certain amount of spoilage being waded through. And, in addition to the spiders – who as we said, are evolving, red stripes and silver stripes and humongous queens and the like, all of who have their tricks – there is also a coup to contend with (it all gets a little Homeland at times but in a good way – there are no rolling eyed Carries to deal with, thank the Lord). There is horror and action and a sprinting narrative (Boone is fond of his short chapters and so your point of view merrily skips across the globe) and, once again, this is the kind of book you’ll gallop through, if it’s your cup of tea. There is a sense that there are a couple of characters at the very least who Boone had to find some kind of resolution for (the mob on Stornoway don’t get to do much but wave amidst the happy end, Pierre down in Peru is led a merry dance that doesn’t lead anywhere particularly), but blink and you’ll miss them as the book storms to its climax.

Is it silly? Yes. Could you line this up alongside your award-winning literature and say, ah but is it as good as… whatever book you care to choose? Well, I’d say you’re not comparing like with like. If you rate your books according to how much you enjoy them, how much they distract you from the day to day, how much pleasure they give – well, let’s just say Ezekiel Boone has done a good job and Zero Day brings the trilogy to a close with aplomb.

Any Cop?: Not one for book snobs possibly, but highly recommended for horror fans.

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