Why I Wrote Patient Zero
PATIENT ZERO ties together my love of classic horror, my love of thrillers, and my lifelong involvement with armed and unarmed combat. In Joe Ledger, I was able to create a hero who has a heart, high-end skills, and enough emotional baggage to open a luggage shop. M. J. Rose described him as a ‘hero with a heart’. The story also showcases some of my political views. I tend to be a bit to the left, but if it came down to saving my family or my country, I’d do whatever was necessary. I also believe that terrorism is an ideology rather than a nationality, a view that hasn’t always been represented by my country’s international policies.
I’m an avid reader of thrillers and horror, and I wrote PATIENT ZERO largely to please myself. I wanted to write exactly the kind of thriller that I would buy. I wanted complex characters, a conflicted protagonist, multi-dimensional villains, explorations of right and wrong, and lots of oddball (but frighteningly plausible) science.
I also wanted to create a series in which I could explore a lot of different directions. The first book has terrorists and zombies, but also hinged on a back-story of greed as the root of all evil. The follow-up, THE DRAGON FACTORY, allowed me to explore a different kind of evil (Nazi medical experiments, Eugenics Program, and ethnic genocide), wild science (transgenics and gene therapy), as well as to deconstruct how both heroes and villains can be killers.
It pleases me that advance reviews on PATIENT ZERO show that it appeals to a much broader audience than either thriller or horror fans. And it appeals to both sexes. Joe Ledger and his colleagues have become very real to me, and I think I’ve found the voice for a new kind of 21st Century thriller.
“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
About the Author(s)
Jonathan Maberry Jonathan Maberry is the multiple Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Ghost Road Blues (Pinnacle Books, 2006), first of a trilogy of thrillers with a supernatural bite. He is a professional writer and writing teacher and since 1979 has sold more than 1100 articles, seventeen nonfiction books, six novels, as well as short stories, poetry, song lyrics, video scripts, and two plays. In 2004, Jonathan was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame largely because of his extensive writings in that field. View all my reviews