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Sniper: A Thriller [NOOK Book]

Overview

When a sniper kills four people on Boston Common, Boston homicide detective Mike Houston and his partner Anne Bouchard are sent to investigate the case. Amidst the blood and terror, Houston discovers similarities, likenesses—the killer’s positioning, his choice of victims, and his code of ethics—between the crime scene and his own training as a US Marine scout and sniper. And with the staging of the scene set for prime shock value, Houston has ...
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Sniper: A Thriller

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Overview

When a sniper kills four people on Boston Common, Boston homicide detective Mike Houston and his partner Anne Bouchard are sent to investigate the case. Amidst the blood and terror, Houston discovers similarities, likenesses—the killer’s positioning, his choice of victims, and his code of ethics—between the crime scene and his own training as a US Marine scout and sniper. And with the staging of the scene set for prime shock value, Houston has to wonder what it is this murderer intends to accomplish.

The connection is confirmed in the worst possible way when the sniper strikes again, this time killing Houston’s ex-wife, severing what’s left of the bond between Houston and his estranged daughter, Susie. It’s personal now, and as the death toll rises, Houston and Bouchard will stop at nothing to find the cold-blooded sniper who’s making a mockery of their department. In a final gesture of cat and mouse depravity, the killer kidnaps Susie, luring Houston to an island on a remote lake in Maine for a deadly, sniper-to-sniper showdown.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/02/2013
Four people lie dead on Boston Common at the outset of Hardaker’s hard-hitting, if predictable first novel. To Det. Mike Houston’s trained eye, the evidence points to an experienced sniper, someone trained, as Houston was, by the U.S. Marine Corps. When Houston’s ex-wife, Pamela, falls to the assassin’s bullet, he knows that the lives of his family and friends are at stake. Allying himself with criminals, Houston takes on his unseen opponent in a game of cat and mouse that leads to a bloody showdown on an isolated Maine island. A paean to vigilante justice, this thriller offers a rich assortment of revenge fantasy clichés without building on them in any way. Readers should be prepared for torture scenes, problematic racial and misogynist elements, and a passionate rejection of rule of law in favor of more emotionally satisfying violent confrontation. Agent: Paula Munier, Talcott Notch Literary Services. (Feb.)
From the Publisher

“Born in Southie and forged by the Marine Corps, there’s no way Boston police detective Mike Houston is going to sit still for a sniper shooting up his city, never mind going after the people he loves. A tense and exciting duel that turns the pages for you.”

—Stephen D. Rogers, author of Shot to Death

“From its initial horrific crime to its hold-your-breath climax, Sniper is a full-throttle thriller. Hardacker has written a page-turner that feels authentic both technically and in its very human cast of characters. Fans of Stephen Hunter’s Bob Lee Swagger won’t want to miss this outstanding debut!”
—Steve Ulfelder, Edgar-nominated author of Shotgun Lullaby

"Tense, taut, and genuinely chilling. Hardacker instills this disturbingly sinister tale of vengeance and terror with true Boston heart and authenticity.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan; Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark award–winning author of The Wrong Girl

Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-22
Random killings are bait to draw a Boston detective to the killing ground in this cop-vs.-military thriller. Mike Houston is a homicide investigator from the hard-boiled school of fictional predecessors. He is a tough guy from Southie; a former Marine sniper, recovering alcoholic and ex-husband whose brother-in-law happens to be on the other side of the law. Perfect. Four people are shot and killed on a lovely summer day on Boston Common, and Mike thinks the hit is too precise, too clean to be other than a trained sniper kill. Why? The question and the answer go back years to a military deployment in Mogadishu. Former Marine Hardacker knows his stuff and begins each chapter with a quote from the Scout/Sniper Training Manual that serves as setup for the action following. Mike, his partner, Anne Bouchard, and crime boss/brother-in-law Jimmy O'Leary provide nonstop suspense through the streets of Boston and into the bush in Maine. When the killings get personal, Mike resorts to his own training as a Marine Scout/Sniper. Hardacker balances the action with scenes of Mike's struggle to be a complete man, and the undercurrents are poignant: reconciliation with his estranged daughter, suppressed romantic interest for his partner, the balance of good and evil with his job, and the vigilante actions of Mike's brother-in-law. All is not as it seems, and the thrill is in watching the whole revealed. Hardacker handles the action and the characters well and ties things together in a suspenseful manner.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781628739053
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/4/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 9,976
  • File size: 668 KB

Meet the Author


Vaughn C. Hardacker is a veteran of the US Marines, and he served in Vietnam. He holds degrees from Northern Maine Community College, the University of Maine, and Southern New Hampshire University. Hardacker is a member of the New England Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, and his short stories have been published in several anthologies.
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    Posted February 18, 2014

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