New York Times best-selling author Stephen Hunter is back with another breakneck thriller, in which ex-Marine sniper, Ray Kruz, must outwit a group of murderous Somali terrorists who’ve laid siege to the Mall of America.
Recently retired marine sergeant Ray Kruz has been talked into a mall trip by his fiancé, the beautiful Molly Chan. For Ray, Molly represents a way to reconnect with normal life, something his 20 years in the service and five tours in two combat zones have prevented. But now he finds himself in the middle of the softest target of all, a huge consumer mall where a self-styled “Mumbai Brigade” has come to bring massive death to the heartland. They just didn’t know Ray Cruz was in the building….
©2011 Stephen Hunter (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Reader, writer, quilter, needleworker, Kentuckian.
Didn't read the print versions.
Ray Cruz, of course. He's the Hero. I liked his pragmatism and willingness to step up.
Yes! He always does an amazing job, and this was no different. His narration serves the story well.
Fast-paced thriller with several points to make
I enjoyed this book. The action was fast-paced, and Ray Cruz is a wonderful character. I would recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers. I gave it 4 stars because overall it was worth the $$. However, a number of the characters were more vessels to make a point than individuals living the story. The most pronounced example was Obobo, who is a very thinly disguised Obama figure. Hunter does not have much respect for our president nor for "let's all just get along" liberal/pacifist thinking. I am for the most part on the same page, but his efforts to make the point were heavy handed at times so it did interfere with the story. He also busted trial lawyers (one was named "Shyster" - seriously?!).
The basic story line is that a group of Islamic fanatics take over The Mall of America with the goal of killing everyone to strike a blow in retaliation for the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The majority of the bad guys are Somali, and Hunter does make the point that they grew up very hard. Our hero, Ray Cruz, is shopping with his fiancée when the attack starts and steps up to end the situation from the inside out. Meanwhile, Obobo, the head of the state police, is so knotted up in liberal-think and cowardice that he refuses to do what needs to be done to stop the situation with least harm. A "rogue" SWAT commander steps up on the outside to do what Obobo won't. The meat of the story is how all those elements come together to bring resolution.
Many of the repeat characters in the book are non-Caucasian - Hmong, Somali, African American, half-Chinese. The ethnicities don't play a role in moving the story forward, so I found it interesting that Hunter made that choice. Perhaps to counter-balance the Obama hammering? It doesn't distract either, so it's just a "huh." moment.
Overall, a book worth your money unless you think Obama is awesome and would get your shorts in a wad reading this characterization of him.
Very exciting! Never boring! Interesting characters! Made the drive to and from work fly by! Highly recommend. Will look for more by this author.
Hunter is at his best writing fast-paced, action thrillers. Regrettably, in the past few years he has gotten off-target (pun intended) with densely-plotted procedurals involving the venerable Bob Lee Swagger. Bob Lee played out years ago and should have been retired following "Time to Hunt." Keeping the character going has induced a form of writer's block displayed in "The 47th Samurai" and "The Third Bullet" among others. With this book, Hunter is back doing what he does best. This action-packed ripper ranks up there with "Point of Impact" for sheer excitement. Perhaps Hunter should drop the entire Swagger family (particularly Nikki, who is simply annoying), forget continuity with past novels, and invent new characters. This one is a definite winner.
I would but only because its the first in a series.
Yes, but its not Hunter and companys best.
Stephen Hunter is great, but ... Soft Target is a little forced. Ray Cruz is a lttle too straightforward and wily at the same time. The story hovered on the verge of credibility the whole time, but I'm glad I heard it and look forward to the next Cruz book with a touch harder target.
Ray Cruz's skills need to be developed but it was a great Pilot book
Phil is a wonderful narrator. I love listening to anything he does.
The relationship that developed between Ray and feisty Miss Lavelva were wonderful together.
PLEASE develop Lavelva as his partner and we are good to go for a long time series. Loved the book
The book is filled with action packed scenes which keep your interest but the story is based on an unusual premise that is beyond reality.
Another action packed thriller.
Yes. The action scenes would make it worth while.
The performance by Phil Gigante was very good and as always, it's great to hear the firearms expertise by Stephen Hunter - something lacking in many other novels in this genre. In one scene, he describes the nuances of downhill shooting perfectly - it reminded me of my first miss from a tree stand looking downhill at a buck. Anyway, the action scenes really peaked my interest despite the unusual
Not typical Hunter.
I will continue to read Hunter. He is usually very dependably entertaing.
Don't expect vintage Hunter.
I liked the plot. I wish the ending had been a little more satisfying. I grew to dislike the police commander and his bootlicker worse than the terrorists. I finished the book frustrated.
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