This book is definitely non stop action, but at times it feels as if the action is forced, as if the author is relying too much on the guy right behind your shoulder to keep the reader glued to the pages.
Harris Sandler and Matthew Mercer are senior staffers for congressmen and they have involved themselves in a game that is not as benign as they originally thought. They essentially bet on the way congress will vote. No one really knows who is in on the game, you just know who invited you into the game and who you invite.
When the latest bet comes around, Matthew & Harris think they have hit it big and put up their life savings. They need to make sure that the sale of a defunct gold mine gets into the latest bill. When Matthew hands over the money for the bet to a senate page, he has second thoughts and follows the page. This is a bad move because he is murdered because of what he 'could have learned' and as a reader, this murder completely throws you off.
Why? Well first, the blurb on the book reads: "Matthew Mercer and Harris Sandler are best friends who have plum jobs as senior staffers to well-respected congressmen. But after a decade in Washington, idealism has faded to disillusionment, and they're bored. Then one of them finds out about the clandestine Zero Game. It starts out as good fun--a simple wager between friends. But when someone close to them ends up dead, Harris and Matthew realize the game is far more sinister than they ever imagined--and that they're about to be the game's next victims. On the run, they turn to the only person they can trust: a 16-year-old Senate page who can move around the Capitol undetected. As a ruthless killer creeps closer, this idealistic page not only holds the key to saving their lives, but is also determined to redeem them in the process."
So, how is it that a main character gets killed?
Second, up until the point that Matthew gets killed, the story was being read in Matthew's POV. Very disturbing to read a book in the POV of someone being killed. And the whole thing about the Senate page redeeming them... Viv is a very reluctant savior and is dragged most of the way.
Other than that confusing beginning, the rest of the book is a chase to find out who was behind the bet, what is hidden in a gold mine and why is its secret so important that Matt had to die for it. Now, if you don't read the blurb on the book you will not be confused at all and will definitely enjoy the ride Meltzer takes you on.