Ray Cruz, former Marine Gunnery Sergeant, son of Bob Lee Swagger, is a worthy successor as star sniper in the fiction of Stephen Hunter. This book is about a terrorist attack on a giant mall near the Twin Cities in Minnesota, much like the actual Mall of America. The terrorists trap some one thousand shoppers on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.
The terror gang, following an unlikely leader, appears ready to butcher their prisoners, who are held in such a way that any attempt at rescue would be delayed until most of the captives were executed. The terrorists claim to be acting for the glory of Allah.
Ray Cruz happens to be in the mall as the attack begins. He is shopping with his fiancee and her family. Of course, he does not passively sit back and watch events unfold.
I don't want to reveal much more, for I remember that I was soon fascinated by the developing plot.
There's a clever subplot involving the commander of the Minnesota state police, who takes charge of the armed response. Seems he is an ambitious, politically savvy official, who very much believes he can handle the crisis and save many lives. But can his approach possibly work?
Also appearing are "Mr. and Mrs. Girardi." They pop up from time to time on the periphery. Exactly who are they? We learn their identity in the final pages. I found this part of the book to be particularly entertaining.