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Review,  Thriller

Zero Day by S. Hussain Zaidi – thriller on cyberterrorism

Zero Day is a thrilling, suspenseful, fast paced, and plot driven thriller on cyberterrorism. If you’re fan of the author’s previous work I’m sure you would enjoy this.

thriller on cyberterrorism

Zero Day by S. Hussain Zaidi

Publication Date : March 14th 2022

Publisher : HarperCollins India

Genre : Thriller

Pages : 213

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Tea for Book : As it’s thrill ride, Saffron Tea suits this.

Disclaimer – I received this book as part of Blogchatter Book Review Program. Many thanks to Blogchatter and publisher.

Synopsis

Mumbai is in a state of chaos. All traffic signals across the entire city have stopped working.

Shahwaz Ali Mirza, head of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, receives an anonymous email claiming it to be a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. He quickly puts together a crack team that includes his protege, IG Cybercrime Vikrant Singh, and gets to work trawling the dark web for more information on this mystery attack. However, a move to bring forward the hacker backfires, leading to a second, deadlier attack on Mumbai’s lifeline, the railway system.

It is their first brush with cyberterrorism: a zero-day vulnerability in the Indian government’s system that could bring the country to its knees. Racing against time and investigating a case unlike any other, in Zero Day, Mirza and Vikrant face the most dangerous mission of their lives.

Review

Zero Day is an intriguing thriller that revolves around DDoS attacks in Maharastra and ATS team trying to catch the hacker behind attacks. The story is about cyberterrorism, teamwork, police system and how it works, revenge, and border conflict.

Writing is simple, lucid, and to the point. The story is written in third person omniscient narrative. The setting of Mumbai is great and plot is amazing.

Book started with Traffic signals are crashed all over Mumbai by DDoS attack. Head of ATS (Anti-Terrorist Squad), Shahwaz Ali Mirza, receives email from hacker telling he is behind the attack with a warning of his next attack will be bigger than this. Mirza gets together his team which includes his protege- IG Vijrant Singh, Major Shaina Verma of NSG, SP Samar Deo, and DCP Karthik Vijayan- an implant by Mirza’s rival. As they work on strategies to make decisions and keep public anxiety and media under control, they angers the hacker more which leads to another DDoS attack on Mumbai’s lifeline, Trains. When the team learns about hacker’s Zero Day vulnerability plan, things get more complex and the only way to save the country from buckling the biggest attack is to checkmate the hacker in his own game.

This is plot driven story. The action and thrill is nonstop and the suspense of hacker’s identity and his Zero Day plan is intriguing. But that also means there is fewer details and development in characters. We have few details on each character- their career background, personality, and relationship with each other. But they are all one-dimensional with one goal in mind catching the hacker. We see the flicker of emotions through their rage and anger, the thrill of being in chase, disappointments and irritations but they stay detached and don’t reach readers.

I also couldn’t pinpoint main character as they all played equal role. One charcter that made most impression and stole the show is Samar Deo. He is brilliant and more tech savvy officer in team whose smart moves save their asses more than once and his last move helped in winning the game.

Author kept the focus on the best part of the story that leads the story and keeps it intriguing, the plot and suspense. Another thing that liked most is the technical aspect and police sytem and their work. I enjoyed reading simple and well explained hierarchy in police system, their procedure, different agencies and their role, and technologies they use. Cyber terminologies and its description in layman’s language is interesting to read. It was scary how easy it is for hackers to send malware to any system, there is no way one can be fully secure from cyber threats and attacks which in a way proves hacker’s point.

There is another mystery within the story related to border infiltration. I’m not most au courant when it comes to politics or what is happening on borders unless it’s too big news so it was interesting to read about real story of terrorist and his mission. Even though it has been a different and parallel story I liked how author integrated it with main mystery of cyberterrorism.

All twists and turns are well written. Some turns I could see coming but some I couldn’t. Third half of the story is full of action, thrill, and adrenaline filled. I could see their plan and yet it was enjoyable. The end is good and satisfying, exactly as I guessed.

Why 4 stars-

As I said characters are one-dimensional so I didn’t care if and what happens to them. Romantic elements didn’t add much to story. I would have been fine without it. I wish layer of cyber terrorism was more discussed with more depth (we just see one of the newspapers writing an article on it and that’s it).

Overall, Zero Day is a thrilling, suspenseful, fast paced, and plot driven thriller on cyberterrorism.

I recommend this if you like,
Plot driven story
fast paced thriller
Nonstop action
Less focus on character
Well written Technical aspect
Simple and amazing details on Cyber terminology
Great twist and turns
Intriguing suspense
Indian setting

Book Links

Goodreads | Amazon.in | Amazon.com

Thank you for reading! Let’s chat..,

What do you think about book and review?
Have you read any book by the same author?
Have you read a book on cyberterrorism? If so which is your favorite?

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

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