POINT OF IMPACT by Stephen Hunter

POINT OF IMPACT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Hunter returns to the sniper theme that made The Master Sniper (1980) a mesmerizing suspense debut, though his later novels (The Spanish Gambit, etc.) have disappointed. This is his best since then. Can one forgive Hunter his dullish leading character and praise him for a fearless, warts-and-all rounded portrait of a master sniper from Arkansas, and even perhaps call Bob Lee Swagger a riveting hero bearing an unbearable burden? Swagger is a genius of the rifle with an encyclopedic background on manufacture and handcrafted ammo, possesses superhuman skill at weighing every conceivable possibility in yardage, windage, dampness, temperature, etc., and has the patience of a brass monkey for holding a position (sometimes for weeks) until his prey appears in the scope. His father won the Congressional Medal of Honor on Iwo Jima, and Bob should have won it as a Marine sniper in Vietnam, where he killed 87 men (confirmed, though actually many more) but was wounded by an even more skillful Russian sniper flown in especially to nail Bob. Now a stonyfaced recluse living in Arkansas' Ouchita Mountains, Bob is lured out of the hills by a phony outfit called RamDyne that wants him to stop that very same Russian from assassinating the President. Truth is, however, that Bob is being set up as the President's alleged lone assassin, an Oswald-like patsy in an incident scheduled for Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans. When the real assassin fires and hits a prelate instead, Bob is shot by his phony team, escapes and finds himself wounded and on the lam, with his face on the covers of Time and Newsweek as the President's intended killer. Somehow he must track down the team that hired him.... A whiz-bang--especially if you're ballistic on ballistics. (First printing of 50,000)

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 1993
ISBN: 0-553-07139-4
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1992




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