Review

Contact Zero

by David Wolstencroft



David Wolstencroft is rapidly establishing himself as one of the
new major players in the thriller genre. He is the creator of the
British television series "Spooks" (seen in the United States on
the A&E network under the name "MI5"), which is in the midst of
its fourth season in Britain; published a brilliant novel last year
entitled GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS; and is now repeating the latter feat
with CONTACT ZERO, his latest --- and better --- work. CONTACT ZERO
is one of those books that gets under your skin and crawls all
around you every minute you're reading it, a story you can't put
down not only because you can't wait to see what happens next but
also because you can't wait to find out what is really, really
going on.


CONTACT ZERO centers primarily, though not entirely, on Ben Locke,
a recent graduate of the MI6 School of Spycraft. Locke is on
assignment when he is framed, Hitchcockian style, for a crime he
did not commit. He quickly finds out that most of the other members
of his graduating class have been framed in mid-assignment as well
and in fact have been murdered.


The only exceptions are Ben and two others, Nat Turner and Lucy
Matthews, alive and on the run. The three share an uneasy and at
times painful past, the memories of which they are forced to set
aside in order to focus on the future. Cut off and abandoned by
their superiors, their only hope is a legendary, and probably
illusory, entity known in the spy craft mythos as contact zero ---
a hope of last resort, when all one knows is wrong and the world
stands against you.


The trio --- and one other --- set forth on a journey that takes
them literally around the world, a journey fraught with danger and
mistrust, where they have to follow their instincts as to when to
rely on one another and when to rely on themselves. Think of Dirty
Harry being led by his nose around San Francisco, running from pay
phone to pay phone, and you'll get a faint glimmer of what
Wolstencroft puts the fledgling agents through. He does a masterful
job of rendering his complex plot line understandable, exciting,
and very, very readable, all the while maneuvering everything
toward a highly satisfying conclusion.


Wolstencroft demonstrates that he has talent and ambition in equal
and complimentary parts. And --- not to give anything away, of
course --- I have the feeling he is merely getting warmed up.
Highly recommended.


   










Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 28, 2010

Contact Zero
by David Wolstencroft

  • Publication Date: September 22, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult
  • ISBN-10: 052594902X
  • ISBN-13: 9780525949022