Mark Russinovich is a legend in the Windows kernel world. He is the author of the SysInternals suite of tools. I cannot touch a Windows computer without having these tools on it. He also writes blog posts and gives talks that show how to find the underlying cause of those strange Windows problems. These are written and delivered in the style of a mystery novel and are highly entertaining. So, when I discovered that Russinovich was writing technical thrillers, I decided to read one. I picked Zero Day, the first in his series and boy did my hopes come crashing down!
Zero Day is a novel where a bunch of Arab terrorists are trying to destroy Western civilization by exploiting a zero day vulnerability in the firmware and software that runs most computers. Sounds extremely cliched, but the actual plot, characters and writing are much worse. Despite being a systems programmer himself, Russinovich does not reveal any juicy details about these rootkits and zero day vulnerabilities. The cardboard characters are right out of a B-grade Hollywood movie. The males spout cheesy lines and the females are pretty bimbos who sleep around with the males. I kid you not! The less said about this novel the better. Just stay away from Zero Day!