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I, Sniper
Cover of I, Sniper
I, Sniper
Bob Lee Swagger Series, Book 6
The explosive New York Times bestseller by Stephen Hunter that sends ex-Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger into the thick of an FBI investigation and features some of the greatest gunfights ever to grace the page.
It takes a seasoned killer...

Four famed '60s radicals are gunned down at long range by a sniper. All the evidence—timeline, ballistics, forensics, motive, means, and opportunity—points to Marine war hero Carl Hitchcock. Even his suicide. The case is almost too perfect.

...to hunt one.

Recruited by the FBI to examine the data, retired Marine sharpshooter Bob Lee Swagger penetrates the new technology of the secretive sniper world to unravel a sophisticated conspiracy run by his most ruthless adversary yet—a marksman whose keen intellect and pinpoint accuracy rival his own. But when the enemy and his deadly henchmen mistake Bob for the hunted, it's clear that some situations call for a good man with a gun...and the guts to use it.
The explosive New York Times bestseller by Stephen Hunter that sends ex-Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger into the thick of an FBI investigation and features some of the greatest gunfights ever to grace the page.
It takes a seasoned killer...

Four famed '60s radicals are gunned down at long range by a sniper. All the evidence—timeline, ballistics, forensics, motive, means, and opportunity—points to Marine war hero Carl Hitchcock. Even his suicide. The case is almost too perfect.

...to hunt one.

Recruited by the FBI to examine the data, retired Marine sharpshooter Bob Lee Swagger penetrates the new technology of the secretive sniper world to unravel a sophisticated conspiracy run by his most ruthless adversary yet—a marksman whose keen intellect and pinpoint accuracy rival his own. But when the enemy and his deadly henchmen mistake Bob for the hunted, it's clear that some situations call for a good man with a gun...and the guts to use it.
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  • From the book

    1

    The time has long passed in America when one can say of a sixty-eight-year-old woman that she is "still" beautiful, the snarky little modifier, all buzzy with irony, signifying some kind of miracle that one so elderly could be so attractive. Thus everyone agreed, without modification, that Joan Flanders was beautiful in the absolute -- fully beautiful, extremely beautiful, totally beautiful, but never "still" beautiful. Botox? Possibly. Other work? Only Joan and her doctors knew. The best in dental work, an aggressive workout regimen, the most gifted cosmeticians and hairdressers available to the select? That much certainly was true.

    But even without the high-end maintenance, she would have been beautiful, with pale smooth skin, a lioness's mane of thick reddish blond hair, piercing blue eyes set behind prominent cheekbones, a slender stalk of neck and a mere slip of body, unfettered by excess ounces, much less pounds. She was dressed in tweeds and white cashmere, expertly tailored, and wore immense sunglasses that looked as if flying saucers of prescription glass had landed on the planet of her face. She took tea with a great deal of grace and wit, with her Hollywood agent, a famous name but with a dull generic quality to him no one would recognize, and her gay personal assistant. The group sat on the patio of the Lemon Tree in downtown East Hampton, New York, on a bright fall day with just a brush of chill in the air as well as salt tang from the nearby Atlantic. There were two other stars on the patio, of the young, overmoussed generation, one female, one indeterminate, as well as a couple of agents with their best-selling writers, the wives of a couple of Fortune 500 CEOs, and least three mistresses of other Fortune 500 CEOs, as well as the odd tourist couple and discreet celeb watchers, enjoying an unusually rich harvest of faces.

    Joan and Phil were discussing -- the market recovery? Paramount's new vice president of production? The lousy scripts that were being sent her after the failure of her comeback picture Sally Tells All? Exâ??hubby Tom's strange new obsession with the kiddie shoot-'emups of his past? It doesn't matter. What matters is only that Joan was twice royalty: her father, Jack, had been one of the major stars bridging the pre- and postwar era and she had gotten his piercing eyes and bed-knob cheekbones. She was pure Hollywood blueblood, second generation. But as well, her second husband had been a prominent antiwar leader in the raging if far-off sixties, and her picture, aboard the gunner's chair on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft battery, had made her instantly beloved and loathed by equal portions of her generation. That made her political royalty, a part of the hallowed crusade to end a futile war; or it made her a commie bitch traitor, but still royalty. The rest was detail, albeit interesting. She had won an Oscar. She had been married to the billionaire mogul T. T. Constable, in one of the most documented relationships in history. She had made one of her several fortunes as an exercise guru and still worked out three hours a day and was as fit as any thirty-five-year-old. All who saw her that day felt her charisma, her history, her beauty, her royal presence, including the tourists, the other stars, the wives and mistresses, and her executioner.

    He spared her and America the disturbing phenomenon of a head shot. Instead, he fired from about 340 yards out and sent a 168-grain Sierra hollow point boat tail MatchKing on a slight downward angle at 2,300 feet per second to pierce her between her fourth and fifth ribs on the left-hand side, just outside the armpit; the missile flew unerringly...

About the Author-
  • Stephen Hunter has written seventeen 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.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 5, 2009
    Bestseller Hunter keeps Bob Lee Swagger, his home-spun, hard-charging hero, doing what Swagger does best in his sixth novel to feature the former Marine sniper: thwarting the authorities, staying loyal to a disappearing code of honor and hunting down evildoers who deserve everything they get. When a sniper shoots dead Joan Flanders (think Jane Fonda) and three other victims associated with the 1960s peace movement, the FBI decides the killer is “the most famous sniper in America,” Carl Hitchcock, who’s gone nuts and decided to up his total number of kills. Swagger soon realizes that Hitchcock, a fellow ex-Marine and Vietnam vet, is innocent, while the real killer, who’s using cutting-edge, electronic sniper gear, is still at large. After two inferior Bob Lee Swagger books, The 47th Samurai
    (2007) and Night of Thunder
    (2008), Hunter is back at the top of his game. He’s the best on the subject of guns and what damage bullets can do to human flesh.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2009
    In his guns-a-poppin' latest, Hunter pits his series hero (Night of Thunder, 2007, etc.) against a nest of sharp-shooting vipers.

    For a while, Carl Hitchcock was viewed as the ultimate warrior: a super marine, a sniper extraordinaire, none more famous. Credited with 93 kills in Vietnam, he traveled the gun-show circuit, basked in gunslinger glory, sold autographs, raked in testimonial money and was an authentic NRA rock star. But then Hitchcock cracked, went rogue, took to taking down certain of those who, back in the day, had been in the vanguard of the anti-Vietnam war movement; inevitably, the media tagged him the"Peacenik Sniper." Eventually, after relentless pursuit by the FBI, Hitchcock saw no way out but to shoot himself. Or so the narrative went. Persuasive as it was to virtually all, it left Bob Lee Swagger unsettled. In his view, a renegade Carl Hitchcock was a contradiction in terms. The behavior ascribed to him was a betrayal of the code of warrior honor. In short, it was not"the sniper way." It smacked of conspiracy, dark and dirty. Asked by FBI good guy Nick Memphis to help with the investigation, Bob Lee soon proves himself right while proving to others that no dark-and-dirty conspiracy, no matter how powerfully mounted, is safe so long as there are knightly snipers to keep the faith. Ah, but there are wicked snipers, too, just as sharp-eyed, trigger fingers every bit as quick. Really? Well, dust off the OK Corral.

    Even the somewhat squeamish (11 shivery pages amount to a tutorial in how to endure water-boarding), and even certifiable gun-dummies, may once again find chivalric, heroic Bob Lee just about irresistible.

    (COPYRIGHT (2009) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2009
    Someone is killing the aging antiwar radicals of the 1970s and using incredible sniping skills to do it. With bodies piling up, the FBI calls on the skills and knowledge of Bob Lee Swagger (last seen in "Night of Thunder"), who quickly determines that an American war hero has been framed and then murdered. The chase is on to find out who's responsible and why. As with all of Hunter's Swagger novels, there is much more than meets the eye, with cover-ups and nasty villains galore. Swagger is a loner, a paladin, and a violent and politically incorrect corrector of injustice, a cousin to Lee Child's Jack Reacher. VERDICT 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, Warren, MI

    Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Bob Lee Swagger Series, Book 6
Stephen Hunter
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