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Starts and ends strong, but middle lags
on March 31, 2011
The Zero Game refers to a game where Capitol Hill staffers try to put pieces of legislation into law. The person who bets the most, must then make that happen. So when a harmless, tapped gold mine is put into play, Harris' friend Matthew, who's Rep. is on the Appropriations committee, bets everything he's got--then is killed. Harris decides he must figure out what's going on. So Harris gets Viv, a 17-year-old Capitol page, involved and before you know it, they're flying cross country in a Gulfstream (claiming to be on a trip for a Senator) to enter this mine 1.5 miles deep. They don't understand what they discover, but end up making an appointment back in DC with a scientist with the NSF. All the while, they're being chased by a highly skilled killer (but not highly skilled enough to kill our two main characters, of course).
"The Zero Game" started off intriguingly, went off in a rather odd tangent, then came back and finished pretty strongly. Unfortunately, a good bit of it was pretty implausible. The relationship between Harris and Viv was quite unbelievable. And the chases within the Capitol itself...I mean, c'mon. There's no security cameras in parts of the Capitol? Really?
In the hands of someone like Crichton (RIP) this would have been a much better book. Not that this is bad, it's just not that great.