TIME TO HUNT by Stephen Hunter


Email this review


Bob Lee Swagger, master sniper, returns (Black Light, 1996; Point of Impact, 1993), which means testosterone at the boil, gore galore, and filled-up body bags row on row. A super-sniper (not the illustrious Swagger but his nemesis Solaratov) shakes off the Arizona morning chill, hunkers over (for those who care) a “Remington 700, with H-S Precision fiberglass stock and Leupold 10X scope,” and seconds later a “man’s chest explodes” (snipers in this novel miss maybe once a decade). Flash back, then, to 1965. The war in Vietnam is winding down and, tragically, a young marine, Swagger’s partner, is blown away the day before he would have finished his tour. Are the two super-sniper incidents connected? Though for years Swagger has believed that the bullet that killed his friend was meant for him, events in the present prove him wrong. Unwillingly, then, he has to face the terrible fact that the death of his friend in 1965 was just the first act in a violent melodrama that now threatens his wife who was once married to his long-dead comrade. The answer behind the decades-old conspiracy is as convoluted as it is nefarious, involving chicanery in the corridors of power. Swagger, however, has little time to fritter away on inductive reasoning, since it’s time to hunt for that enemy sniper and take him out before harm can come to the innocent and helpless. “You’re a sacred killer,” an admirer tells Swagger. “Every society needs one.” Whether that’s true or not, the stage is set for a grim denouement, and Swagger drops from a helicopter--demigod ex machina--to frustrate evil. Hunter’s prose doesn’t get much above pedestrian, and the dialogue is particularly weak. But Swagger in battle--brandishing his wondrous rifle, Excalibur with a trigger--will hold most and enthrall some. (Author tour)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-385-48043-1
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1998


FictionG-MAN  by Stephen Hunter
by Stephen Hunter
FictionI, RIPPER by Stephen Hunter
by Stephen Hunter
FictionSNIPER'S HONOR by Stephen Hunter
by Stephen Hunter


IndieAN ACT OF WAR by Michael K. McMahan
by Michael K. McMahan