Soft Target

Soft Target

by Stephen Hunter

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Another action-packed thriller from Stephen Hunter, this time starring Ray Cruz, the son of ex-Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger, who was introduced in Hunter’s previous bestseller, Dead Zero.

Ten thousand people jam the aisles, the corridors, the elevators, and the escalators of America, the Mall—a giant Rubik’s Cube of a structure with its own amusement park located in the spacious center atrium. Of those people, 9,988 have come to shop. The other twelve have come to kill.

Ray Cruz, one of the heroes of Hunter’s last bestseller, Dead Zero, is in the mall with his fiancée and her family. The retired Marine sniper thought he was done with stalking and killing—but among the trapped thousands, he’s the only one with a plan and the guts to confront the self-proclaimed “Brigade Mumbai.” Now all he needs is a gun.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439138717
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 09/25/2012
Series: Ray Cruz Series
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 299,341
Product dimensions: 4.30(w) x 6.58(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

Stephen Hunter has written over twenty novels. The retired chief film critic for The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, he has also published two collections of film criticism and a nonfiction work, American Gunfight. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Soft Target 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Mikeeman More than 1 year ago
Extreme characters (on both sides of the law) that are meant to stir your emotions in an over the top plot that tests the readers patience in this predictable yarn. Saying that first, it is a fun , escapist read in seeing how the author will resolve what he set up to be an unresolvable situation. He semi-succeeds but in an unsatisying and unsatisfactory way. I hope he soes not plan to bring some of the these flawed characters back.
scorpion56 More than 1 year ago
The plot for "Soft Target" provided the author with an opportunity to develop a nice story, but instead it turned out to be predictable, sophomoric and snarky while throughout, not believable. Without giving away the story, all the access doors to the mall are locked and the police are stymied as to how to gain entrance because of this. Has the author ever driven by a mall to see all the glass doors in the anchor stores that available for breaking in? Just an example of how the story never gets you pulled in. As another reviewer mentioned ("Rolling on the Floor"), the thinly veiled comparison of the head of the State Police (Col. Obobo) to someone of a similar name and heritage who lives on Pennsylvania Ave. is sophomoric and silly ...and snarky. Tom Clancy seems to have fallen into this political trap as well with his recent "Locked Down". None of the characters, with the exception of "Our Hero" have two neurons in their brain to rub together, and if they do, they are too self-absorbed to help the poor people in the mall. At only 256 pages, it's a mercifully quick read, but you can do better if you're looking for suspenseful mind candy.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
The author has shown that he can write a thriller, but this one did not have the edge that I expected from reading his previous works. The shopping mall may have been used as something that readers could relate to, but I didn't. The young bad guy has powers well beyond what a spoiled rich kid was likely to accrue, and I just couldn't see a real Iman buying into him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A book made for a paycheck. This book is almost unreadable. It starts off OK but quickly devolves into cliche drival serving up a poorly contructed political statement. It is so sad to see what would appear to be yet another author sell out quality to fulfil his publisher's quantity contract.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love almost everything Stephen Hunter has written but this book almost seems to be written by another person who just happens to be a hack. I'm not a fan of Obama but the character of Obobo is just too heavy handed to enjoy. The characters of the Giradi's could have been a chance at a tragic poignant side story but was turned into groaner of a twist joke. For a Hunter book the action falls way short as does the characterization. There are long stretches where nothing much happens. The main villian is a run of the mill cliched movie villian who just doesn't ring true, I would have preferred a straight Islamic protagonist to the goofy mastermind we're given. And speaking of movies, the use of pop culture references may have been Hunter's attempt at being hip but all it did was remind me how derivative this book was and how much better some of those movies are. I'm very disappointed by this latest work by one of my favorite authors. And while we're at it, Mr. Hunter, please create some all new worlds to explore. As much as I love the Swagger universe it's time for something fresh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worst book I ever picked up. What a waste, very boring, I skipped entire uninteresting worthless chapters of information about nothing. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY. If I could get a refund I would. Thumbs down minus 5 stars
bitsy08 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I keep reading Stephen Hunter and the only justification I can give is I like his characters. The basis for his stories are good, too, but I think if THAT story had been given to another writer, I would have enjoyed it much more. I was going to say "everyone would have enjoyed it more" but I don't like to include other people's opinions in mine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I keep trying to figure out what it is I don't like about his books and I think it's the dialogue. He seems to write like a 15 year old boy who's jacked up on bang, bang, shoot 'em up. Yes, I know Ray and Bob are heroes. Do we have to keep repeating it? I find myself skipping over multiple paragraphs to get back to the story. I know Bob is a backwoods southerner but geez - the dialogue. I think I have to let Stephen Hunter go. As much as I like his characters and his basic stories, for me - they're ruined by the dialogue the author writes.
alanteder on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stephen Hunter's "Soft Target" is a major disappointment that reads like a novelization of a superficial action film that includes sideline commentary on the state of America's politicians and lawyers. These latter elements make the book more of a satire than the type of action thriller that we have come to expect from Hunter. Yes, I know that characters like Howard "Howdy Duty" Utey from the Swagger series were also meant to personify the bureaucratic mindset in opposition to action men such as Bob Lee Swagger and Nick Memphis, but Colonel Douglas Obobo is an embarrassing right wing-nut/Tea Party inspired projection of, you guessed it, Barack Obama, as self-seeking bureaucrat personified. The hero this time is Ray Cruz who first appeared in Hunter's last book "Dead Zero". Journalist Nikki Swagger makes a cameo appearance and the iconic Bob Lee Swagger only appears via a brief recorded phone message. The villains are a pretty lame cardboard bunch of Somali Islamists some of whom who were coerced into joining the fight and they are led by, get this, a first-person-shooter video game obsessed American turncoat looking to direct and immortalize his own apocalyptic shoot-out. It all goes down in a Mall of America inspired location. Either Hunter has lost interest in writing the sort of thriller fiction that made for a solid core of fans from 1993's "Point of Impact" onwards or, like Tom Clancy, he has stopped writing his own books. I can't imagine that any long-term fans will find much to enjoy in this latest outing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has no redeeming features.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Yogasal More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It was a little scary actually, thinking this could happen. I was on the edge of my seat in so many parts of this book and angry that one of the main characters was such an egotistical jerk.
lawmarine32 More than 1 year ago
Stephen Hunter is truly an amazing author! Soft Target is a well written, exciting and somewhat ironic tale. Cruz is one of the best characters to come along in a long time. I highly recommend this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
What can a top-notch sniper do when he finds himself in a situation without a rifle? That’s what happens to Ray Cruz, just separated from the Marine Corp, finding himself Christmas shopping in America, the Mall with his girlfriend when a band of terrorists takes over 1,000 hostages in a “Holy War.” The answer: Improvise, of course. And that is exactly what he does as the authorities flounder outside and Ray, the sole possible savior inside, takes action in this latest action thriller packed with violence and derring-do. Hostages are shot and demands made. The novel continues the sniper series, which featured Bob Lee Swagger, Ray’s father. It takes a close look at the bureaucratic fumbling and political posturing inherent in those of authority, pitting the public relations pomposity against those who would move forward with forcefulness. The writing and plotting are graphic and concise, with the tale tightly woven to a thrilling finale. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MTT3107 More than 1 year ago
I read all of Hunter's Bob Lee Swagger novels, and really liked them, so, when I saw this, I expected another good read. Unfortunately this was not so... This novel is really bad, haave to agree with the review by scorpion56... The persona of Obobo is just rediculous, I wonder what got into Hunter, to drive this drivel, after writing some really good books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best i ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont see why every one is hating on this book there are a few things that get dragged on but it might have been better for me since i live in minnisota an go to the mall a lot i was able to relate to much of it very good