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The 47th Samurai (Bob Lee Swagger #4)

by Stephen Hunter

Bob Lee Swagger and Philip Yano are bound together by a single moment at Iwo Jima, 1945, when their fathers, two brave fighters on opposite sides, met in the bloody and chaotic battle for the island. Only Earl Swagger survived. More than sixty years later, Yano comes to America to honor the legacy of his heroic father by recovering the sword he used in the battle. His search has led him to Crazy Horse, Idaho, where Bob Lee, ex-marine and Vietnam veteran, has settled into a restless retirement and immediately pledges himself to Yano's quest. Bob Lee finds the sword and delivers it to Yano in Tokyo. On inspection, they discover that it is not a standard WWII blade, but a legendary shin-shinto katana, an artifact of the nation. It is priceless and worth killing for. Suddenly Bob is at the center of a series of terrible crimes he barely understands but vows to avenge. And to do so, he throws himself into the world of the samurai, Tokyo's dark, criminal yakuza underworld, and the unwritten rules of Japanese culture. Swagger's allies, hard-as-nails, American-born Susan Okada and the brave, cocaine-dealing tabloid journalist Nick Yamamoto, help him move through this strange, glittering, and ominous world from the shady bosses of the seamy Kabukicho district to officials in the highest echelons of the Japanese government, but in the end, he is on his own and will succeed only if he can learn that to survive samurai, you must become samurai. As the plot races and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that a ruthless conspiracy is in place, and the only thing that can be taken for granted is that money, power, and sex can drive men of all nationalities to gruesome extremes. If Swagger hopes to stop them, he must be willing not only to die but also to kill.

American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill President Truman and the Shoot-out That Stopped It

by Stephen Hunter John Bainbridge Jr.

American Gunfight is the fast-paced, definitive, and breathtakingly suspenseful account of an extraordinary historical event -- the attempted assassination of President Harry Truman in 1950 by two Puerto Rican Nationalists and the bloody shoot-out in the streets of Washington, D.C., that saved the president's life. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Hunter, the widely admired and bestselling novelist and author of such books as Havana, Hot Springs, and Dirty White Boys, and John Bainbridge, Jr., an experienced journalist and lawyer, American Gunfight is at once a groundbreaking work of meticulous historical research and the vivid and dramatically told story of an act of terrorism that almost succeeded. They have pieced together, at last, the story of the conspiracy that nearly doomed the president and how a few good men -- ordinary guys who were willing to risk their lives in the line of duty -- stopped it. It is a book about courage -- on both sides -- and about what politics and devotion to a cause can lead men to do, and about what actually happens, second by second, when a gunfight explodes. It begins on November 1, 1950, an unseasonably hot afternoon in the sleepy capital. At 2:00 P.M. in his temporary residence at Blair House, the president of the United States takes a nap. At 2:20 P.M., two men approach Blair House from different directions. Oscar Collazo, a respected metal polisher and family man, and Griselio Torresola, an unemployed salesman, don't look dangerous, not in their new suits and hats, not in their calm, purposeful demeanor, not in their slow, unexcited approach. What the three White House policemen and one Secret Service agent cannot guess is that under each man's coat is a 9mm German automatic pistol and in each head, a dream of assassin's glory. At point-blank range, Collazo and then Torresola draw and fire and move toward the president of the United States. Hunter and Bainbridge tell the story of that November day with narrative power and careful attention to detail. They are the first to report on the inner workings of this conspiracy; they examine the forces that led the perpetrators to conceive the plot. The authors also tell the story of the men themselves, from their youth and the worlds in which they grew up to the women they loved and who loved them to the moment the gunfire erupted. Their telling commemorates heroism -- the quiet commitment to duty that in some moments of crisis sees some people through an ordeal, even at the expense of their lives.

Black Light (Bob Lee Swagger #2)

by Stephen Hunter

Only one thing stands between a son and his father's killer: forty years of lies. . On a remote Arizona ranch, a man who has known loss, fear, and war weeps for the first time since he was a child. His tears are for the father taken from him four decades before in a deadly shoot-out. And his grief will lead him back to the place where he was born, where his father died, and where a brutal conspiracy is about to explode. For Bob Lee Swagger, the world changed on that hot day in Blue Eye, Arkansas, when two local boys rode armed and wild in a '55 Fairlane convertible. Swagger's father, Earl, a state trooper, was investigating the brutal murder of a young woman that day. By midnight Earl Swagger lay dead in a deserted cornfield. Now Bob Lee wants answers. He wants to know the truth behind the shoot -out that took his father's life, a mystery buried in forty years of lies. Because for Bob Lee Swagger, the killing didn't end that day in Blue Eye, Arkansas. The killing had just begun. . . Weaving together characters from his national bestsellers "Point of Impact and "Dirty White Boys, Stephen Hunter's gripping thriller builds to an exhilarating climax--and an explosion of gunfire that blasts open the secrets of two generations.

A Bob Lee Swagger eBook Boxed Set

by Stephen Hunter

Sniper 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. Night of Thunder Woe unto he who crosses Bob Lee Swagger, especially when his daughter's life is at stake. Forced off the road and into a crash that leaves her in a coma, clinging to life, reporter Nikki Swagger had begun to peel back the onion of a Southernfried conspiracy bubbling with all the angst, resentment, and dysfunction that Dixie gangsters can muster. An ancient, violent crime clan, a possibly corrupt law enforcement structure, gunmen of all stripes and shapes, and deranged evangelicals rear their ugly heads and will live to rue the day they targeted the wrong man's daughter. It's what you call your big-time bad career move. All of it is set against the backdrop of excitement and insanity that only a weeklong NASCAR event can bring to the backwoods of a town as seemingly sleepy as Bristol, Tennessee. 47th Samurai Bob Lee Swagger and Philip Yano are bound together by a single moment at Iwo Jima, 1945, when their fathers, two brave fighters on opposite sides, met in the bloody and chaotic battle for the island. Only Earl Swagger survived. More than sixty years later, Yano comes to America to honor the legacy of his heroic father by recovering the sword he used in the battle. Bob Lee finds the sword and delivers it to Yano in Tokyo. On inspection, they discover that it is not a standard WWII blade, but a legendary shin-shinto katana, an artifact of the nation. It is priceless but worth killing for. Suddenly Bob is at the center of a series of terrible crimes he barely understands but vows to avenge...

The Day Before Midnight

by Stephen Hunter

Paramilitary terrorists who have taken over a top-secret nuclear complex kidnap Maryland welder Jack Hummel and force him to cut through a half-ton titanium block that conceals the launch button.

Dead Zero (Ray Cruz #1)

by Stephen Hunter

From New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Hunter comes a thriller that plunges deep into the world of high-tech national security, the hearts and minds of those who kill for duty, and the latest mission for veteran sniper Bob Lee Swagger-- who may have finally met the only man who can outshoot him. Who killed Whiskey 2-2? And why won't it stay dead? A marine sniper team on a mission in tribal territories on the Afghan-Pakistan border, Whiskey 2-2 is ambushed by professionals using the latest high-tech shooting gear. Badly wounded, the team's sole survivor, Gunnery Sergeant Ray Cruz, aka "the Cruise Missile," is determined to finish his job. He almost succeeds when a mystery blast terminates his enterprise, leaving a thirty-foot crater where a building used to be--and where Sergeant Cruz was meant to be hiding. Months pass. Ray's target, an Afghan warlord named Ibrahim Zarzi, sometimes called "The Beheader," becomes an American asset in the region and beyond, beloved by State, the Administration, and the Agency. He arrives in Washington for consecration as Our Man in Kabul. But so does a mysterious radio transmission, in last year's code. It's from Whiskey 2-2. MISSION WILL BE COMPLETED.CONFIDENCE IS HIGH. Is Ray Cruz back? Has he gone rogue, is he insane, or just insanely angry? Will he succeed, though his antagonists now include the CIA, the FBI, and the same crew of bad boys that nearly killed him in Zabol province? Not to mention Bob Lee Swagger and a beautiful CIA agent named Susan Okada who gives Swagger more than just a patriotic reason to take the case. Swagger, the legendary hero of seven of Hunter's novels from Point of Impact to last year's bestselling I, Sniper, is recruited by the FBI to stop the Cruise Missile from reaching his target. The problem is that the more Swagger learns about what happened in Zabol, the more he questions the U.S. government's support of Zarzi and the more he identifies with Cruz as hunter instead of prey. With its hallmark accuracy on modern killing technologies, Dead Zero features an older, more contemplative Swagger, but never lets up on the razor-sharp dialogue, vivid characterizations, extraordinary action scenes, and dazzling prose that define Hunter's landmark series. And with this installment, the stunning revelations-- both political and private--will leave readers begging for more long after the last bullet finds its way home.

Dirty White Boys

by Stephen Hunter

They busted out of McAlester State Penitentiary--three escaped convicts going to ground in a world unprepared for anything like them....Lamar Pye is prince of the Dirty White Boys. With a lion in his soul, he roars--for he is the meanest, deadliest animal on the loose....Odell is Lamar's cousin, a hulking manchild with unfeeling eyes. He lives for daddy Lamar. Surely he will die for him....Richard's survival hangs on a sketch: a crude drawing of a lion and a half-naked woman. For this Lamar has let Richard live...Armed to the teeth, Lamar and his boys have cut a path of terror across the Southwest, and pushed one good cop into a crisis of honor and conscience. Trooper Bud Pewtie should have died once at Lamar's hands. Now they're about to meet again. And this time, only one of them will walk away....From the Paperback edition.

Havana (Earl Swagger #3)

by Stephen Hunter

Havana, the sultry spring of 1953: gambling is expensive, sex is cheap, and death is free. A half-hour by air from Miami, it's the world's hottest -- and most dangerous -- city. From the plush mobster casinos in Centro to the backstreet brothels on Zanja Street, you can get anything you want, for a price. The city is the linchpin of many empires: the Mafia's, the CIA's, numerous American corporations', El Presidente's, and even the vice lords' of Old Havana. It must be protected at all costs. But now there's a threat. A young lawyer, a kid named Castro, is giving speeches. He speaks of reform, of change, of self-determination. He speaks of...of revolution even. This danger must be dealt with. So, into the steamy, sunny climate of corruption come two men, both unafraid, both skilled, both tough as ball bearings. They would be friends in a sane world, for they are so similar in their capabilities and experiences. But now they have to be enemies, because the Cold War is at its apogee: one is American, the other Russian. The American is named Earl Swagger. A Medal of Honor winner on Iwo Jima, a toughened gunman from adventures in Hot Springs and the swamps of Mississippi, Earl has been conned by two young Old Boys of the CIA to become Our Gun in Havana. The Russian, Speshnev, also a veteran of tough battles (from Spain in '36 to Berlin in '45, with a few stays in the gulag just for seasoning), has a similar assignment: he too is sent by strategic gamesters to pay attention to that same young orator. But his job is protection, not elimination. Neither man's assignment will be easy. For, like an orchid hot house, Havana's climate grows spectacular specimens: the wise old mobster king Meyer Lansky, who runs the casinos for his nervous New York sponsors; the syndicate hitman Frankie Carbine, Frankie Horsekiller of the famed Times Square massacre; the secret police officer called Ojos Bellos -- Beautiful Eyes -- for his penchant to interrogate at scalpel point; the beautiful Filipina Jean-Marie Augustine, who knows so much; and even those crew-cut, cheery young CIA fellows on the embassy's Third Floor, behind whose baby-blues and tender faces lurk all manner of deviousness. And everybody wants something. In Havana, Stephen Hunter has produced a truly epic adventure story, shot-through with violence, eroticism, and the pressures of big money and big politics, set in a legendary time and place. His hero, Earl Swagger, fights his enemies, his superiors, and his own temptations and, in the end, has to decide what is worth killing for -- and what is worth dying for. He knows only one thing for certain: that he's a pawn in somebody else's game. But a pawn with a Colt Super .38 in his shoulder holster and the skill and will to use it fast and well is a formidable man, indeed.

Hot Springs

by Stephen Hunter

THE UNDISPUTED MASTER OF THE TOUGH THRILLER, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR STEPHEN HUNTER DELIVERS A MASTERPIECE OF CRIME FICTION SET IN 1940S ARKANSAS, WHERE LAW AND CORRUPTION RICOCHET LIKE SLUGS FROM A . 45 AUTOMATIC. Earl Swagger is tough as hell. But even tough guys have their secrets. Haunted by the brutal campaigns fought in the Pacific, plagued by the memory of his abusive father, and apprehensive about his own impending parenthood, Earl is a decorated ex-Marine of absolute integrity -- and overwhelming melancholy. Now he's about to face his biggest, bloodiest challenge yet. It is the summer of 1946, organized crime's garish golden age, when American justice seems to have gone to seed for good. Nowhere is this more true than in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the reigning capital of corruption. When the district attorney vows to bring down the Mob, Earl is recruited to run the show. As casino raids erupt into nerve-shattering combat amid screaming prostitutes and fleeing johns, the body count mounts -- along with the suspense. Will shady politicians bully the D. A. into selling out Earl and his raiders? Can Earl, caught between his duty as a lawman and the emerging truth about his own father, survive another war with his body and soul intact?Packed with page-turning action, sex, sin, and crime, Hot Springs is at once a relentlessly violent and deeply touching story. It is Stephen Hunter's most ambitious novel since Dirty White Boys, the classic that prompted John Sandford to compare the author to "Elmore Leonard on steroids".

I, Sniper (Bob Lee Swagger #6)

by Stephen Hunter

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, Sniperwill 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.

The Master Sniper

by Stephen Hunter

It is the spring of 1945, and the Nazis are eliminating all the witnesses to their horrible crimes, including Jews and foreigners remaining in the prison camps. Kommandant Repp, who is known as a master sniper, decides to hone his sniping abilities by taking a little target practice at the remaining laborers in his own prison camp. But one man escapes and becomes the key to solving the mystery of the cold, calculating Kommandmant Repp and his plans for ending the war. Repp was the master sniper whose deadly talent had come to the notice of British Intelligence as the linchpin of a desperate Nazi plot to reverse the fortunes of the Third Reich at the eleventh hour. But what was the nature of the weapon that Repp was to aim--and who was to be his last target? Allied Intelligence officers Leets, from the U. S. , and Outhwaite from England are dispatched to identify and abort his lethal mission. And when they finally learn the truth, the Second World War's deadliest race against time is on. . . .

Night of Thunder (Bob Lee Swagger #5)

by Stephen Hunter

Forced off the road and into a crash that leaves her in a coma, barely clinging onto life, journalist Nikki Swagger had been investigating reports of a crystal meth superlab in sleepy Tennessee, when she found herself inadvertently peeling back the layers on a huge conspiracy. Bob Lee Swagger is worried. As a former Marine Corps sniper, he's picked up more than his fair share of enemies hell-bent on revenge and he senses that something isn't right. Unconvinced by the Sheriff's conclusion that Nikki's crash was caused by a local kid high on Meth, Bob picks up the investigation where his daughter left off. As Swagger digs deeper, a violent crime clan, gunmen of all stripes and shapes, and deranged evangelicals all rear their ugly heads, but they will live to rue the day they targeted the wrong man's daughter.

Now Playing at the Valencia: Pulitzer Prize-winning Essays on Movies

by Stephen Hunter

From Pulitzer Prize-Winning Movie Critic Stephen Hunter Comes A Brilliant, Freewheeling, And Witty Look At The Movies. Evanston, Illinois, was an idyllic 1950s paradise with stately homes, a beautiful lake, a world-class university, two premier movie houses, and one very seedy movie theater -- the Valencia. This was the site of Washington Post film critic Stephen Hunter's misspent youth. Instead of going to school, picking up girls, or tossing a football, Hunter could be found sitting in the fifteenth row, right-hand aisle seat of the Valencia, sating himself on one B-list movie after another. The Valencia had a sticky floor, smelly bathrooms, ancient popcorn, and a screen set in a hideously tacky papier-mache castle wall. It was also the only place in town to see westerns, sci-fi pictures, cops 'n' robbers flicks, slapstick comedy, and Godzilla. In Now Playing at the Valencia, the author of such bestselling novels as Havana and Pale Horse Coming has compiled his favorite movie reviews written between 1997 and 2003, bringing to the discussion the passionate feelings for cinema he discovered in the '50s, a time when genres were forming, mesmerizing stars played unforgettable characters, and enduring classics were made. While filmmaking has changed tremendously since Hunter first frequented the Valencia, the view from the fifteenth row, and the thrill of down and dirty entertainment, has remained the same.

Pale Horse Coming (Earl Swagger #2)

by Stephen Hunter

In Pale Horse Coming the unforgettable Earl Swagger returns in a searing follow-up to Hot Springs, Stephen Hunter's New York Times bestselling novel. It once again demonstrates why Hunter has been called "the only modern writer who can lay claim to being Dashiell Hammett's immediate successor. "It's 1951, and the last place in America any sane man wishes to visit is Thebes State Penal Farm (Colored) in Thebes, Mississippi. Up a dark river, surrounded by swamps and impenetrable piney woods, it's the Old South at its most brutal -- a place of violence, racial terror, and even more horrific rumors. Of the few who make the journey, black or white, even fewer return. But in that year, two men will come to Thebes. The first is Sam Vincent, the former prosecuting attorney of Polk County, Arkansas. With great misgivings, Sam accepts a job from a smooth-talking Chicago lawyer to investigate a disappearance. Sam has heard of Thebes and knows that in the Negro culture he only imperfectly understands, the place has a special resonance of horror. Sam is a careful man. Before he leaves on this dangerous trip, he confesses his fears to his former investigator Earl Swagger, a Marine hero on Iwo Jima, veteran of the mob wars in Hot Springs, and now a sergeant of the Arkansas State Police. Earl pledges that if Sam is not back by a certain time, he will come looking for him. Sam will bring his knowledge of the law, his compassion, and his sense of the rational to Thebes, but Earl will bring only his guns. What they encounter there is something beyond their wildest imaginations for evil. The dying black town is ruled by white deputies on horseback who are more like an occupying army than a police force. Each citizen of the town is in debt to the Store, the one remaining civic institution, and the only escape is over the wild currents of the dark river that drowns as many people as it liberates. But nothing in the town can prepare Earl for the prison itself where he becomes the first white inmate. It is a site of fear: Run by an aging madman with insane theories of racial purity, it is administered by a brutally efficient Stalin of a guard sergeant known as Bigboy. The convicts call him The Whip Man -- he can take a man's soul with his nine feet of braided catgut. Both Sam and Earl will be challenged to the limits of their strength by this place and will struggle not only for their own survival, but with deeper questions: What does a man do when confronted with such evil? Can it be remedied? Can it be rectified, redirected, reformed?Or must it just be destroyed? And if so, where would you find the men to destroy it?Drawing on the oldest myths, classical and modern literature, popular culture at its most vigorous, and the Golden Age gun writers of the '50s, Pale Horse Coming is a stunning story of violence and retribution, written with the same high velocity of Hunter's classic thrillers Point of Impact, Dirty White Boys, Black Light, and Time to Hunt.

Point of Impact (Bob Lee Swagger #1)

by Stephen Hunter

First book in the Bob Lee Swagger series.

The Second Saladin

by Stephen Hunter

In the windswept sands of the middle east, Paul Chardy fought side by side with Ulu Beg: one, a charismatic, high-strung CIA covert warrior, the other a ferocious freedom fighter. Then Chardy fell into the hands of the enemy, and Beg was betrayed. Now the two men are about to meet again. Beg has come over the Mexican border under a hail of bullets -- determined to assassinate a leading American political figure and avenge his peoples betrayal. The CIA wants Chardy to stop the hit. Chardy wants to save Beg's life. Between the two men is a tragic past, a failed mission, and a woman who knew them in war -- and who knows their secrets now. Around both men is a conspiracy of lies and violence that reaches back to the cold war. But as Beg move4s in for his kill and as Chardy breaks loose from his handlers, a tragic truth begins to emerge: somewhere, someone wants both men to die.

Soft Target (Ray Cruz #2)

by Stephen Hunter

Black Friday America's largest shopping mall Suburban Minneapolis 3:00 P.M. Ten thousand people jam the aisles, the corridors, the elevators, and the escalators of America, the Mall--a giant Rubik's Cube of a structure with its own amusement park located in the spacious center atrium. Of those people, nine thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight have come to shop. The other twelve have come to kill. Stephen Hunter's hyper-drive, eighth-gear new thriller, Soft Target, chronicles the day when the unthinkable happens: twelve gunmen open fire in the mall corridors, driving the pack before them. Those on the upper floors take cover or get out any way they can; but within a few minutes the gunmen have herded more than a thousand hostages into the amusement park. Ray Cruz, one of the heroes of Hunter's last bestseller, Dead Zero, is in the mall with his fiancée and her family. The retired Marine sniper thought he was done with stalking and killing--but among the trapped thousands, he's the only one with a plan and the guts to confront the self-proclaimed "Brigade Mumbai." Now all he needs is a gun. FBI Sniper Dave McElroy has a gun. But positioned on the roof of the vast building, looking down through one of its thickly paned Great Lakes-shaped skylights, and without explosives or fuses--or the go-ahead from his superiors--he is effectively cut off from his targets and forced into the role of witness to the horror unfolding below. Set during the four hours of the terrifying event, the story follows both hostages and gunmen, detailing the complex strategic police response, the full-press media saturation coverage, even the politics of SWAT as both the Minnesota State Police and the FBI struggle to control, confront, and ultimately defuse the crisis. Having learned the lessons of Columbine, the feds believe that immediate action is the only solution. But Douglas Obobo, the charismatic and ambitious commandant of the state police, orders cooperation, tolerance, communication, and empathy for the gunmen. He feels that with his superior negotiating skills, he can make contact with the shooters and gently nudge them into surrender. But what if their goal all along has been unparalleled massacre--and they're only waiting for prime time? With unrelenting suspense and vivid scenes of violence and chaos in the center of a terror-crazed afternoon in Middle America, thriller master Stephen Hunter takes us into the belly of the softest of soft targets.

Tapestry of Spies: Formerly Titled the Spanish Gambit

by Stephen Hunter

Stephen Hunter has chosen the backdrop of the chaotic and cruel Spanish Civil War to weave a classic tale of espionage and counterespionage. Julian Raines was one of the first Englishmen to volunteer for the international brigade in Spain. The British Secret Service suspect that the flamboyant Raines was recruited for the KGB by the Bolsheviks during his student days at Oxford and send Robert Florry, a struggling young writer to Spain after Raines with orders to eliminate him. Florry was an old school chum to Raines and had every reason to hate him. The British are not alone on Raines' trail. The ruthless Communist leader in Barcelona believes that the identity of the double agent conceals a powerful and profitable secret. It is a novel that constantly surprises.From the Paperback edition.

The Third Bullet (Bob Lee Swagger #8)

by Stephen Hunter

Bob Lee Swagger is back in a thriller fifty years in the making . . . It's not even a clue. It's a whisper, a trace, a ghost echo, drifting down through the decades via chance connections so fragile that they would disintegrate in the puff of a breath. But it's enough to get legendary former Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger interested in the events of November 22, 1963, and the third bullet that so decisively ended the life of John F. Kennedy and set the stage for one of the most enduring controversies of our time. Swagger begins his slow night stalk through a much-traveled landscape. But he's asking questions that few have asked before: Why did the third bullet explode? Why did Lee Harvey Oswald, about to become the most hunted man on earth, risk it all by returning to his rooming house to secure a pistol he easily could have brought with him? How could a conspiracy that went unpenetrated for fifty years have been thrown together in the two and a half days between the announcement of the president's route and the assassination itself? As Bob investigates, another voice enters the narrative: knowing, ironic, almost familiar, that of a gifted, Yale-educated veteran of the CIA Plans Division. Hugh Meachum has secrets and the means and the will to keep them buried. When weighed against his own legacy, Swagger's life is an insignificant expense--but to blunt the threat, he'll first have to ambush the sniper. As each man hunts the other across today's globe and through the thickets of history, The Third Bullet builds to an explosive climax that will finally prove what Bob Lee Swagger has always known: it's never too late for justice.

Time to Hunt (Bob Lee Swagger #3)

by Stephen Hunter

He is the most dangerous man alive. He only wants to live in peace with his family, and forget the war that nearly killed him. . . It's not going to happen. Stephen Hunter's epic national bestsellers, Point of Impact and Black Light, introduced millions of readers to Bob Lee Swagger, called "Bob the Nailer," a heroic but flawed Vietnam War veteran forced twice to use his skills as a master sniper to defend his life and his honor. Now, in his grandest, most intensely thrilling adventure yet, Bob the Nailer must face his deadliest foe from Vietnam--and his own demons--to save his wife and daughter. During the latter days of the Vietnam War, deep in-country, a young idealistic Marine named Donny Fenn was cut down by a sniper's bullet as he set out on patrol with Swagger, who himself received a grievous wound. Years later Swagger married Donny's widow, Julie, and together they raise their daughter, Nikki, on a ranch in the isolated Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. Although he struggles with the painful legacy of Vietnam, Swagger's greatest wish--to leave his violent past behind and live quietly with his family--seems to have come true. Then one idyllic day, a man, a woman, and a girl set out from the ranch on horseback. High on a ridge above a mountain pass, a thousand yards distant, a calm, cold-eyed shooter, one of the world's greatest marksmen, peers through a telescopic sight at the three approaching figures. Out of his tortured past, a mortal enemy has once again found Bob the Nailer. Time to Hunt proves anew why so many consider Stephen Hunter to be our best living thriller writer. With a plot that sweeps from the killing fields of Vietnam to the corridors of power in Washington to the shadowy plots of the new world order, Hunter delivers all the complex, stay-up-all-night action his fans demand in a masterful tale of family heartbreak and international intrigue--and shows why, for Bob Lee Swagger, it's once again time to hunt. From the Hardcover edition.

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