Brad Meltzer, Author . Warner $25.95 (480p) ISBN 978-0-446-53098-9

Meltzer credits 143 people in his acknowledgments, a testament to massive research involving everything from the smallest details of our government's inner workings to the scientific complexities of chaos theory and advanced neutrino research. He's far too seasoned a pro (The Tenth Justice ; The Millionaires ) to ever let readers bog down in minutiae, though, using his impressive background material as rocket fuel for this rip-roaring novel of government intrigue. Best friends Matthew Mercer and Harris Sandler have worked for years as professional Capitol Hill staffers. With boredom and burnout threatening, they've joined a secret group of other like-minded workers to play the Zero Game, which uses congressional voting and government administrative procedure as the basis for placing bets. "We don't change the laws, or pass bad legislation, or stroke our evil goatees and overthrow democracy as we know it. We play at the margins; where it's safe—and where it's fun." The two decide to bet their life savings when a seemingly innocent appropriations item, the sale of an abandoned South Dakota gold mine, becomes part of the game. Because of his senior position as an appropriations committee staffer, Matthew is sure he has a lock on this one. Things go horribly wrong, and soon Harris and Viv Parker, a young Senate page, are on the run, fleeing from hired killer Martin Janos. Their flight takes them to the abandoned gold mine, where they find more mystery and near death 8,000 feet below the surface of the earth. Janos, their nemesis, is relentless, as is the action, and readers will be left breathless. (Jan.)

Forecast: A clever plot hook, nonstop action and Meltzer's built-in fan base will make this one a shoo-in at the polls. The Zero Game was recently bought by Universal for producer Kathleen Kennedy and director Gary Ross, whose most recent film was Seabiscuit.

Reviewed on: 01/12/2004
Release date: 01/01/2004
Show other formats
Ebook - 978-0-7595-0993-1
Ebook - 978-0-446-40267-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 491 pages - 978-1-4555-1970-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-60024-249-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 468 pages
Hardcover - 978-0-340-82502-0
Open Ebook - 978-0-7595-0857-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-58621-603-0
Paperback - 978-0-446-61376-7
Book - 7 pages - 978-0-7927-3109-2
Open Ebook - 978-0-7595-0856-9
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7595-0854-5
Hardcover - 666 pages - 978-0-446-53316-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-58621-604-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-58621-602-3
Book - 8 pages - 978-0-7927-3110-8
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-7927-3111-5
Hardcover - 460 pages - 978-0-340-82501-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 461 pages - 978-1-4555-0819-8
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.