Want to play the world’s most dangerous game?
The New York Times bestselling author of The Millionaires and The First Counsel returns to Washington, D.C., taking us behind closed doors and into the clandestine world of…THE ZERO GAME.
Matthew Mercer and Harris Sandler are playing a mysterious game. It’s a game almost no one knows about—not their friends, not their co-workers, and certainly not their bosses, who are some of the most powerful Senators and Congressmen on Capitol Hill.
It’s a game that has everything: risk, reward, mystery, and the thrill of knowing that—just by being invited to play—you’ve confirmed your status as a true power broker in Washington.
But as Matthew and Harris quickly discover, the Zero Game is hiding a secret so explosive, it will shake Washington to its core. And when one player turns up dead, a dedicated young staffer will find himself relying on a tough, idealistic seventeen-year-old Senate page to help keep him alive…as he plays the Zero Game to its heart-pounding end.
Packed with high-octane suspense and heart-pounding action, THE ZERO GAME is Brad Meltzer at his supercharged best.
Two jaded Capitol Hill staffers.
One idealistic Senate page.
A clandestine game.
An explosive secret.
THE ZERO GAME.
You can bet your life on it.
New Trailers and Interviews
Brad Answers All
Q. Could The Zero Game Really Happen, And Do You Think That Right Now, There’s A “Zero Game” Being Played On Capitol Hill?
To be honest I made it up, but so far, two different government employees have told me they’ve seen a smaller variation being played (i.e., people betting on how many votes will be cast for a certain bill). That’s just scary. Also, I’m honestly amazed by how many staffers on the Hill, when they hear the plot, say, “I wouldn’t be surprised if someone was doing that right now.” God bless America!
Q. On The Site, You Have A “Deleted Chapter” From The Zero Game. How Much Of What You Write Never Makes It Into The Final Book?
I wish I could say all of it makes it into the final version, but that’s just not the case. For me, it’s the early chapters of a book that get cut down the most. When I’m done with my research and ready to start a new novel, I’ve got so much I want to put in there, I just vomit it all out in the opening chapters. Those are the same chapters that all my family and friends read and say, “Nice research, but can you get on with the book?” So the early chapters get cut. In The Zero Game, the first seventy pages were originally a hundred and twenty. And the scene in the mine was another thirty pages longer. Welcome to the cutting room floor.
Q. Did You Really Go Down Into That Mine?
Yep. Probably not the smartest move, but I did—eight thousand feet straight down. The first time I went, because of a flood, we could only go down two thousand feet. I went back two weeks later and they took me to the very bottom. Two weeks after that, those miners got trapped in that Pennsylvania mine. They were 240 feet down; I was 8,000. My wife wanted to kill me—but for my readers, I’ll risk my life.
Q. How Hard Was It To Write The Character Of Viv?
Far harder than I thought. Viv is a young, black female Senate page. So let me put it this way: There are three things that, no matter what I do, I know I’ll never be in my life: young, black and female. But I just didn’t want to write a walking cliche, so I spent months researching…talking to friends…interviewing people…anything that would put me in that character’s brain. The gender part I could manage—the race issue was tougher. I hope I did her justice.
Q. What Was The Most Fun You Had Researching This Book?
Tie. Crawling around the basements and attics of the Capitol—and going down into the mine (c’mon, they let me wear that hat with the flashlight—what beats that?).
Need More Brad? Click below to see a full in-depth interview with him talking about his other books, writing in general, and why he always hates his author photos.