Four famed '60s radicals are gunned down at long range by a sniper. Under enormous media scrutiny, the FBI quickly concludes that Marine war hero Carl Hitchcock, whose 93 kills were considered the leading body count tally among American marksman in Vietnam, was the shooter. But as the Bureau, led by Special Agent Nick Memphis, bears down, Hitchcock commits suicide.
In closing out the investigation, Nick discovers a case made in heaven: everything fits, from timeline, ballistics, and forensics to motive, means, and opportunity. But maybe it's a little too perfect?
Nick asks his friend, the retired Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger, to examine the data. Using a skill set no other man on earth possesses, Swagger soon discovers unseen anomalies and gradually begins to unravel a sophisticated conspiracy - one that would require the highest level of warcraft by the most superb special operations professionals. Swagger soon closes in, and those responsible will stop at nothing to take him out. But these heavily armed men make the mistake of thinking they are hunting Bob, when he is, in fact, hunting them. And when Swagger and the last of his antagonists finally face each other, reenacting a classic ritual of arms, it is clear that at times there's nothing more necessary than a good man with a gun and the guts to use it.
©2009 Stephen Hunter; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
First off, Carlos Hathcock, whom I have met, as a guest instructor at the school in 86 WAS NOT demeaned, etc. Read it to the end!. Yes it has a little too much gun tech jibber jabber, and there were a few plot/continuity flaws. Why we Snipers are getting all this TV and Movie and Book press is beyond me. Hunter has been writing since before gulfwar 1 and def. knows his stuff. At least his subjects and characters AGE! Some writers got jason bourne , jack ryan etc. aging 10-15 years over a 30 year period! or worse aging 30-40 years over a 10 year period! Without spoiling the plot/end the "Irish" team were a little too obvious.
How can the characters in this year's True Detective be worse? Ferrill is asexual, drunk, corrupt, a child abuser and worse!
First, I love the sniper characters. Some of the criticisms I read before purchasing the novel were complaining about Hunter's politics, which appeared to them as right wing. This surprised me and intrigued me because, as a conservative, I constantly ignore the left leaning politics of most all of my favorite authors. I thought surely even liberals cringed at the actions of Jane Fonda during Vietnam, Bill Ayers' terrorist acts and Ted Turner's loony, chauvinistic, and extreme obsessions.
Nevertheless, I give this one 2 stars due lack of cleverness, poor narration, (did the reader have a cold?), and very poor character development.
Hunter has gotten away from the Bob Lee in Point of Impact as a real world character with plausable scenarios and gone to turning him into a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Superman. Still exciting but getting out of the original realm.
It may not be the greatest literature, but it is well-written enough to hold my attention from start to finish, and Buck Schirner does a great job bringing to life the story and its sometimes memorable characters. ..... Maybe I was unknowingly responding to what this book calls "tactical culture" when I first noticed my interest in the sniper storyline in "The Janson Directive." I was amazed to learn of the physics knowledge, skills and personalities of the military/law-enforcement sniper. I then went from Ludlum to Hunter, thoroughly enjoying "Point of Impact" (narrated by Beau Bridges) The movie version, starring Mark Walburg, presented a younger Bob Lee Swagger than I had been imagining, but he was quite believable in the role). "I, Sniper" takes place 10 years later, when Swagger's expertise (nicely detailed) is called upon by the FBI in their attempt to bring to justice the perpetrator what of seems to be a serial sniper murderer. I enjoyed the true-to-life characters (also a characteristic of "POI"), and I recommend the book as an entertaining read.
If you like Stephen Hunter novels and Bobby Lee Swagger you will enjoy this book. I usually try to listen to a book over a couple weeks so I stretch my 1 credit per month. This book I finished in a days. As good as any Daniel DaSilva with Alon or David Balducci trilogies. Enjoy.
Dont let the narrarator ruin your listening to a good book! I read waaay to many "critics" who go on and on about a bad narrarater, so what!
First before the review, having been an 8541 for many years in the 80s, and having had Hatchcock as a guest instructor, I can say that this book is NOT disrespectful to him, yes in the beginning he is shown as a patsy etc. BUT read/listen to the whole book!
The book is sort of a conspiracy type plot and yes the characters from hunter's older books are probably too old to do what they do in this book, but its not bad. Yes hunter does over detail the weapons etc. but he ALWAYS does that so its not a surprise. Curious to see how the newer characters are developed in future books as replacements for Swagger/Memphis.
Regarding the ANTI LIBERAL bias, of course! Most of the leftists killed in the book got what was coming to them, better late than never I guess. Hunter is pro second ammendment etc. If libs dont like the "bias" maybe they shouldnt read the book but read the constitution instead.
Retired Army, avid listener
I am a fan of Bob Lee- not sure what has happened to Stephen Hunter this time around. A little too much detail on all the gun technology, something a few gun smiths would enjoy, but it dragged on without adding to the story. The bad guys get the technology, it is a little too far off for me to enjoy, and it made the ending predictable. At least towards the end the pace picked up before I put this book down. His other books I would rate higher- this one really dipped and I can not recommend it.
Better than what Hunter's work has been of late. More in the tone of the original Point of Aim. He gets all the technical stuff right. One of the few.
I find the whole premise for how the case is is broken a little questionable. No such thing as a perfect rifle and perfect ammo. Everything induces small errors. (Trying to be vague so as to not give anything away) Anyway 200-300 yards are hardly challenging shots requiring sniper gear.
Seems like excessive gear and and brand name dropping; way beyond being detailed to almost feeling like a commercial.
Really liked the part about how the newspaper's accusations ended and the details of authenticating a photo. Well done.
This is a special genre, and Hunter is a master of it. The environment is good versus evil, with a traditional hero who is an expert with firearms. The technical details are accurate and informative.
The narrator is superb, making the dialogue with a large number of characters understandable, and keeping the plot moving.
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