Bestseller Hunter keeps Bob Lee Swagger, his home-spun, hard-charging hero, doing what Swagger does best in his sixth novel to feature the former Marine sniper: thwarting the authorities, staying loyal to a disappearing code of honor and hunting down evildoers who deserve everything they get. When a sniper shoots dead Joan Flanders (think Jane Fonda) and three other victims associated with the 1960s peace movement, the FBI decides the killer is “the most famous sniper in America,” Carl Hitchcock, who’s gone nuts and decided to up his total number of kills. Swagger soon realizes that Hitchcock, a fellow ex-Marine and Vietnam vet, is innocent, while the real killer, who’s using cutting-edge, electronic sniper gear, is still at large. After two inferior Bob Lee Swagger books, The 47th Samurai (2007) and Night of Thunder (2008), Hunter is back at the top of his game. He’s the best on the subject of guns and what damage bullets can do to human flesh. (Dec.)
Someone is killing the aging antiwar radicals of the 1970s and using incredible sniping skills to do it. With bodies piling up, the FBI calls on the skills and knowledge of Bob Lee Swagger (last seen in Night of Thunder), who quickly determines that an American war hero has been framed and then murdered. The chase is on to find out who's responsible and why. As with all of Hunter's Swagger novels, there is much more than meets the eye, with cover-ups and nasty villains galore. Swagger is a loner, a paladin, and a violent and politically incorrect corrector of injustice, a cousin to Lee Child's Jack Reacher. VERDICT Hunter's thrillers are always taut, exciting, and well written, and his latest is no exception. There's also a lot of gun and tech talk as Swagger uses decades' worth of skills to stay a step or three ahead of the baddies. Swagger fans will not be disappointed.—Robert Conroy, Warren, MI
In his guns-a-poppin' latest, Hunter pits his series hero (Night of Thunder, 2007, etc.) against a nest of sharp-shooting vipers. For a while, Carl Hitchcock was viewed as the ultimate warrior: a super marine, a sniper extraordinaire, none more famous. Credited with 93 kills in Vietnam, he traveled the gun-show circuit, basked in gunslinger glory, sold autographs, raked in testimonial money and was an authentic NRA rock star. But then Hitchcock cracked, went rogue, took to taking down certain of those who, back in the day, had been in the vanguard of the anti-Vietnam war movement; inevitably, the media tagged him the "Peacenik Sniper." Eventually, after relentless pursuit by the FBI, Hitchcock saw no way out but to shoot himself. Or so the narrative went. Persuasive as it was to virtually all, it left Bob Lee Swagger unsettled. In his view, a renegade Carl Hitchcock was a contradiction in terms. The behavior ascribed to him was a betrayal of the code of warrior honor. In short, it was not "the sniper way." It smacked of conspiracy, dark and dirty. Asked by FBI good guy Nick Memphis to help with the investigation, Bob Lee soon proves himself right while proving to others that no dark-and-dirty conspiracy, no matter how powerfully mounted, is safe so long as there are knightly snipers to keep the faith. Ah, but there are wicked snipers, too, just as sharp-eyed, trigger fingers every bit as quick. Really? Well, dust off the OK Corral. Even the somewhat squeamish (11 shivery pages amount to a tutorial in how to endure water-boarding), and even certifiable gun-dummies, may once again find chivalric, heroic Bob Lee just about irresistible.
“…Hunter is back at the top of his game.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“It’s a troubling moral position, of course, the idea of the sniper as a man of courage, and Hunter makes the most of it, demanding that the reader rethink common cultural assumptions about good and evil. Those philosophical underpinnings give the narrative depth, but finally, as all Bob Lee fans know, it comes down to 'straight killing time.' And so it does, in a ramped-up, high-tech High Noon finale that will leave even unsympathetic readers gasping. As always, Hunter makes it work with precise, detail-rich prose that strips the faux glamour from gun fighting and leaves only the skills of the combatants set against the horrors they wreak.”—Bill Ott, Booklist, starred review
“In his guns-a-poppin’ latest, Hunter pits his series hero against a nest of sharp-shooting vipers. [D]ust off the OK Corral. Even the somewhat squeamish, and even certifiable gun-dummies, may once again find chivalric, heroic Bob Lee just about irresistible.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Hunter's thrillers are always taut, exciting, and well written, and his latest is no exception. There's also a lot of gun and tech talk as Swagger uses decades' worth of skills to stay a step or three ahead of the baddies. Swagger fans will not be disappointed.”—Robert Conroy, Library Journal
"Stephen Hunter’s I, Sniper brings back one of the great characters in modern thrillerdom, Bob Lee Swagger, everyone’s favorite lethal, dour Southerner. I kind of want Swagger to meet up with Lee Child’s Jack Reacher one day, in a contest to see who could say the least while doing the most damage."—Malcolm Gladwell