Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"He made no policies, he commanded no battalions...but worst of all, he was a sniper." Stepehen Hunter

Four people are assassinated by a long range sniper. Each of the four had ties to the '60's radical movement.
Carefully crafted evidence points to former Marine war hero Carl Hitchcock who is eventually accused of the crime by the FBI. However, Hitchcock commits suicide prior to capture.
Special Agent Nick Memphis has a feeling about the case and wants to be sure that Hitchcock was the killer. Nick asks is friend, retired Marine sniper, Bob Lee Swagger to look into the evidence.
Swagger finds the evidence a little too perfect and is led to believe that Hitchcock was set up. He goes to a meeting with Nick and other authorities and demonstrates that the weapon they found could not have been the murder weapon. Swagger tells the officials that to find the real killer and unravel the set-up another sniper should be used and he volunteers.
With each segment, I picture Clint Eastwood and his gravely voice uttering Swagger's words.
Swagger is on the trail to clear Hitchcock but as he searches and the FBI doesn't close the case, political pressure mounts and suddenly, Nick Memphis is accused of irregularities.
Stephen Hunter has given the reader an action packed story. He provides abundant detail about weapons that to ordinary civilians more than backs up the case.
Swagger is a fun character and reading him in another adventure is like finding an old John Wayne movie and seeing it for the first time.
Very enjoyable.

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