A Bob Lee Swagger Novel
By Stephen Hunter
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781416565154, 432pp.)
Publication Date: December 29, 2009
Other Editions of This Title: Mass Market Paperback
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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 ninety-three 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. 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. As Swagger penetrates the deepest secrets of the sniper world and its new technology, Nick stands firm in the face of hardball PR initiatives and an inflamed media calling for his ouster.
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.
I, Sniper will satisfy Stephen Hunter's legions of fans and win him droves of new ones with its signature blend of brilliant plotting, vivid characters, razor-sharp dialogue, and extraordinary gunfights. 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.
Stephen Hunter has written 17 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.
“…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