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Patient Zero Hardcover – 16 Apr 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (16 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575086904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575086906
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,144,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-selling and multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning horror and thriller author, editor, comic book writer, magazine feature writer, playwright, content creator and writing teacher/lecturer. His books have been sold to more than two-dozen countries.

He writes in several genres. His young adult fiction includes ROT & RUIN (2011; now in development for film; named in Booklist's Ten Best Horror Novels for Young Adults, a Bram Stoker and Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading winner; nominee for several state Teen Book Awards; winner of the Cybils Award, the Eva Perry Mock Printz medal, Dead Letter Best Novel Award, and four Melinda Awards); DUST & DECAY (winner of the 2011 Bram Stoker Award; FLESH & BONE (winner of the Bram Stoker Award; 2012; and FIRE & ASH (August 2013). His thrillers include The Joe Ledger Thrillers from St. Martin's Griffin (PATIENT ZERO, 2009, winner of the Black Quill and a Bram Stoker Award finalist for Best Novel; THE DRAGON FACTORY, 2010; THE KING OF PLAGUES, 2011; ASSASSIN'S CODE, 2011; EXTINCTION MACHINE, 2013; CODE ZER0, 2014, and PREDATOR ONE, 2015.

His mystery novels include the upcoming Dylan Quinn mystery-thriller series for teens: WATCH OVER ME (Simon & Schuster, 2014) and COLD, COLD HEART (2015); and the NIGHTSIDERS series of middle-grade horror/sci-fi adventures, which debut in 2015.

His horror novels include The Pine Deep Trilogy from Pinnacle Books (GHOST ROAD BLUES, 2006, winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and named one of the 25 Best Horror Novels of the New Millennium; DEAD MAN'S SONG, 2007; and BAD MOON RISING, 2008), as well as DEAD OF NIGHT, 2011 and its forthcoming sequel, FALL OF NIGHT, 2014. He also wrote the movie novelization, THE WOLFMAN, 2010, winner of the Scribe Award for Best Adaptation; and is scheduled to write DEADLANDS: GHOSTWALKERS, an original novel inspired by the million-copy-selling role-playing game.

He is also editor and co-author of V-WARS, a shared-world vampire anthology from IDW, and its forthcoming sequel, V-WARS: BLOOD AND FIRE; and he'll be writing a new V-WARS ongoing comic book.

He is also the co-editor for the REDNECK ZOMBIES FROM OUTER SPACE (2013) and editor of the forthcoming dark fantasy anthology, OUT OF TUNE (JournalStone, 2014).

Jonathan was an expert on the History Channel documentary, ZOMBIES: A Living History. He will also be featured in That $#(!'ll Rot Your Brain: How the Monster Kids Transformed Popular Culture, a forthcoming documentary on horror movies directed by Robert Tinnell. And he was participated in the commentary tracks for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED.

His many nonfiction works include VAMPIRE UNIVERSE (Citadel Press, 2006); THE CRYPTOPEDIA (Citadel, 2007 -winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction; co-authored by David F. Kramer); ZOMBIE CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead (Winner of the Hinzman and Black Quill Awards and finalist for a Stoker Award; 2008); THEY BITE! (2009 co-authored by David F. Kramer); WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE (2010; Bram Stoker finalist; co-authored by Janice Gable Bashman); THE VAMPIRE SLAYERS FIELD GUIDE TO THE UNDEAD (2001, written under the pen name of Shane MacDougall); ULTIMATE JUJUTSU (Strider Nolan, 2001); ULTIMATE SPARRING (Strider Nolan, 2000); JUDO AND YOU (Kendall Hunt 1991); and many others.

He writes a variety of projects for Marvel Comics involving CAPTAIN AMERICA, BLACK PANTHER, DOOMWAR, WOLVERINE, DEADPOOL, THE X-MEN, FANTASTIC FOUR, the NY Times bestselling MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN, MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE PUNISHER. MARVEL UNIVERSE vs WOLVERINE and MARVEL UNIVERSE vs THE AVENGERS. In 2014 he'll launch two new comic book titles: BAD BLOOD (Dark Horse) and V-WARS (IDW), and will be writing a ROT & RUIN ongoing comic for IDW as well. All of Jonathan's comic book collections are released as Graphic Novel collections within a month or two of individual comic publication.

Jonathan has published several dozen short stories in a variety of genres: mystery, horror, thriller, science fiction, military fiction, fantasy, western, urban fantasy, humor and others. His collections include JOE LEDGER: THE MISSING FILES, 2011 from Blackstone Audio; HUNGRY TALES (2012) and TALES FROM THE FIRE ZONE (2012) and the forthcoming JOE LEDGER: SPECIAL OPS (2014, JournalStone). His work also appears in the audio anthology LIAR LIAR from The Liars Club (released by Blackstone Audio in 2013).

Jonathan is the co-creator (with Laura Schrock) of ON THE SLAB, an entertainment news show in development by Stage 9 for ABC Disney / Stage 9. He was also a 'blog correspondent' on Sony's zombie-themed web show 'WOKE UP DEAD'; and was a recurring character on Laura Schrock's 'IT'S TODD'S SHOW'.

Jonathan's Big Scary Blog ( focuses on the publishing industry. Jonathan's interviews include Sandra Brown, Gayle Lynds, Alafair Burke, Charlaine Harris, James Rollins, Harlan Coben, Jeff Abbott, John Saul, Jonathan Kellerman, Barry Eisler, CJ Box, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jack Ketchum, Tom Piccarilli, Dale Brown, Kevin J. Anderson, Joe Lansdale, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, Carrie Ryan, and many other best-selling authors. Jonathan also writes the SCARY OUT THERE blog, through which he and his guests explore teen horror fiction in its many aspects. Current and upcoming guests include R.L. Stine, Holly Black, Libba Bray, Nancy Holder, Kim Harrison, Ellen Hopkins and many others. That blog can be found on the website of the Horror Writers Association: In 2014 he'll launch THRILL RIDE, a new blog discussing mysteries and thrillers for teens.

He is a frequent keynote speaker, guest of honor and workshop leader at genre cons, libraries, writers conferences and publishing industry events, including the American Library Association, KeyCon, American Library Association, ThrillerFest, Zombie Fest, Heather Graham's The Writers for New Orleans, Central Coast Writers Conference, NeCon, NY Comic Con, Texas Library Association Annual Conference, Sisters in Crime, BackSpace, PennWriters, Dragon*Con, PhilCon, Horror-Realm, Boucher Con, HorrorFind, Monster Mania, Philadelphia Writers Conference, Balticon, Romance Writers of America, American Library Association, ZenKaiKon,The Write Stuff, Hypericon, AnthoCon, KillerCon, NAIBA, LunaCon, and many others.

Jonathan has sold more than 1,200 feature articles and 3,000 columns; as well as greeting cards, song lyrics, poetry, technical manuals, call-floor scripts, and two plays, including Tales from the Fire Zone. He is developing a psychological thriller novel based on that play.

Jonathan is a Contributing Editor for The Big Thrill (the newsletter of the International Thriller Writers), and is a member of SFWA, IAMTW, MWA, SCBWI, SFWA and HWA, as well as a jurist for the Edgar, Stoker, and Scribe Awards.

Jonathan was the Executive Director of the Writers Room of Bucks County (2005-06) and co-owner of the Writers Corner USA (2006-2009). Jonathan regularly visits local middle schools, high schools and colleges to talk about books, reading, publishing and the writing life. He is a board member of the River Union Stage, a professional equity theater based in Stockton, New Jersey. In 2006 he helped found the Wild River Review, an notable online literary journal.

Jonathan is a founding member of The Liars Club, a group of networking publishing professionals that includes celebrated authors Merry Jones, Gregory Frost, Jon McGoran, Ed Pettit, Dennis Tafoya, Keith Strunk, Don Lafferty, Kelly Simmons, Marie Lamba, Solomon Jones, Stephen Susco, Chuck Wendig, Janice Gable Bashman, Cordelia Biddle, Eric Red, Amber Benson, Kathryn Craft, Jeff Marriott, Nancy Holder and Michael Boatman. The Liars Club works to support booksellers, raise awareness and support for public libraries, and cultivate a joy of reading and books. The late NY Times bestseller L. A. Banks was a founding member of the Liars Club.

Jonathan created the Writers Coffeehouse, a free three-hour open-agenda networking and discussion session for writers of all genres and levels of skill in multiple locations each month.

Jonathan has been a popular writing teacher and career counselor for writers for the last two decades. He teaches a highly regard series of classes and workshops including Write Your Novel in Nine Months, Act Like a Writer, Revise & Sell, Experimental Writing for Teens, and others. Many of his students have gone on to obtain representation and/or publish in short and novel-length fiction, magazine feature writing, nonfiction books, TV, film, and comics.

In 2004 Jonathan was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame largely because of his extensive writings in that field.

Jonathan and his wife, Sara Jo, to whom he dedicates all of his published works, and their dog, Rosie, live in Del Mar, California.

Visit his website/blog and sign up for his free newsletter at,

Product Description


"I had a fine old time reading PATIENT ZERO. Jonathan Maberry has found a delightful voice for this adventure of Joe Ledger and his crew: while the action is heated, violent, and furious, the writing remains cool, steady, and low-key, framing all the wildness and exuberance in a calm rationality (given an almost comic edge) that renders it as palatable as your favorite flavor of ice cream. This is a lovely feat, and Maberry has written a memorable book." - Peter Straub
"Patient Zero is high-octane excitement from beginning to end, and the start of a fabulous new series. Joe Ledger and the DMS have my vote as the team to beat when combatting terrorist threats on a grand scale." - David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of FIRST BLOOD and CREEPERS
"Scary, creepy, and gripping--PATIENT ZERO is 'Night of the Living Dead' meets Michael Crichton."--Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Power Play
"A fast-paced, creepy thriller that as prickly as a hospital needle and sounds a little too convincing. This guy is good." --Joe R. Lansdale
"Brutal action, insanely intelligent, and so real that the hair on the back of your neck stands up!" --L.A. Banks, The Vampire Huntress Legends Series, New York Times Best-selling Author --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

24 meets 28 DAYS LATER - a fast moving, hyper-violent techo-thriller with horror overtones. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Daryl Clarke on 3 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book was suggested by Amazon based on the volume of Zombie fiction I had previously purchased, I had never heard of the novelist before but decided to give it a try.
What a great book, fantastic characterisation (although the villain is a little clichéd), brutal pace and very violent action, the main character, joe ledger, is sure to feature in many more novels, he has just the right moral compass to succeed in a crowded market of disposable heroes.
The setting of terrorists using zombies as biological weapons gave the book a contemporary feel and sets it apart from the typical "end of the world" zombie novel.
I am working my way through the rest of the writers books and its always a joy to discover a new novelist in an unexpected manner, let's hope Mr Mayberry can keep up the high standard.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Zombie Fan on 28 July 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very good read, I would go as far to say even if you weren't a zombie fan. The story did basically say what was on the back cover a mix of 28 days later and 24, some people have criticised the stereotypical characters but in fairness there were enough quirks that all characters did not fall into this mould. I also take the point about research into some of the facts like a female SAS major and some of the kit the British army uses, I would suggest 5 minutes on Google would have sorted that, but minor annoyances aside it was a good story that will hopefully see the main characters develop in his next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 July 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm not a big fan of zombie books; it seems to me that there is limited scope once you get over the fact that zombies can only do one thing.

In this book, however, we've moved on. Anti-western elements have pretty much perfected a zombie which can think, talk and generally behave badly. That many hundreds are disposed of in this fast and furious helter-skelter ride is only a problem for the West.

Enter Joe Ledger, all action super-hero (yes, another American) with a little help from a Brit as the love interest who, mistakenly described as a major in the SAS, can also pack a punch above her weight.

The book is a great holiday read. Don't expect pages of moralising (there are a few) but do expect page upon page of a rising body count, an almost unkillable hero and his team and another Muslim extremist group intent on, again, taking over the wold, though, as ever, with a little bit of help from greedy Westerners.

My review is light-hearted since that's the way the book comes across, of course. I did begin to flag towards the middle of it because, as I mentioned ealier, there is really only so much you can do with a zombie. Much has been made of 28 Days etc. Maybe somebody will make this into a film but don't expect much by way of innovative ways to kill a zombie. We all know how to do it should the need ever arise.

Having said all this, I hope that we see Echo Team back again. The characters are larger-than-life, necessarily so, but it makes for a good read when looking for escapism. I got this book through a swap and I'm pleased I read it. I will look forward to book 2 which, hopefully, will exclude the living dead for a change.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Bowes TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
'Patient Zero' is a competent post-9/11 thriller that mixes elements of zombie horror with futuristic bioterrorism and corporate skulduggery to produce a pacy but rather generic read. For the most part the book is designed to appeal to the reader who enjoys rapid plot movement, lots of twists and turns and violent bloody action. It's also written very much with a patriotic and anti-Islamic American audience in mind - although Maberry does provide the British reader with one source of entertainment in the form of a most unlikely female SAS major.

There are a few individual touches - notably an unusual preoccupation with the psychological consequences for the hero and his colleagues in the super-secret DMS organisation of the awful things they have to see and do - but on this showing, Maberry isn't a writer of the calibre of Max Brooks. His characters are mostly lazy stereotypes and the plot, though complicated and carefully worked out, is Bond-ishly implausible. On balance, 'Patient Zero' is just good enough: undemanding, forgettable entertainment to while away a long flight or train journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Patient Zero flagged as a recommendation on Amazon after I bought Turn Coat (Dresden Files 11) some time ago. After reading the synopsis I dismissed it as a dumb action horror novel; all mindless gore and guns.

The recommendation reappeared after I bought Chris Farnsworth's extremely enjoyable Vampire/Espionage cross-over Blood Oath (highly recommended and definitely not a Twilight or Tru Blood cash-in). This time there were some readers reviews to go with the synopsis, and these suggested that contrary to appearances there was more to Patient Zero than a muscle-bound hero blowing away Zombie hordes. The fact that Nick Brett, whose reviews I generally trust, thought it a fun read made me think twice and so I took the plunge.

I am very glad I did, because Patient Zero is not at all the sort of book I was expecting. Even with the positive reviews I was still thinking it would be a mash-up of a Matthew Reilly novel, all frenetic but implausible action, and Romero's Living Dead movies. I pretty much dismissed reviewers reference to Michael Chrichton as overly excessive praise. It turns out that, whilst I still can't really see the similarities with Chrichton's work, Patient Zero is very far from being just action and zombies. It is a proper, adult thriller with a relatively complex plot, some decent characterisation (for the genre) and at least a stab at making the science behind the 'zombies' (or 'Walkers' as the book calls them) sound plausible.

There is plenty of action of course; some of the most intense and best written I have come across in a while.
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