I, SNIPER by Stephen Hunter


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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.

Pub Date: Dec. 29th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4165-6515-4
Page count: 432pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2009


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