A Bob Lee Swagger Novel
Large Print Edition
By Stephen Hunter
Center Point Publishing, (2010), 614 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - April 30, 2010
This is a new Bob Lee Swagger novel. One can call the Swagger stories hero tales, somewhat like Superman, or Batman, or Spiderman stories, although Swagger sometimes seeks revenge. Swagger is now near seventy years old, some people call him an old man, but people a third his age cannot stand up to him in strength and determination. When he sees that someone is hurt, he rushes to help and he holds on to the case like a fierce dog, and no man, no government, is going to get him to release his hold.
A famous female movie star well known for her help to North Vietnam, a takeoff on Jane Fonda, two 1960's terrorists, and a comedian, all far left anti-government and anti-military persons are shot with remarkable precision by a sniper marksman from a considerable distance. There is much evidence that points to a retired marine sniper, Carl Hitchcock, as the shooter. Hitchcock was considered to be the sniper with the most kills in Vietnam, but it was recently discovered that another sniper beat his record. The evidence shows that Hitchcock wanted to increase his kill score by killing the four people who opposed the Vietnam War. He saw them as an extension of Vietnam kills. He is found dead, an apparent suicide.
The FBI is satisfied with the evidence but, just to make sure, Special Agent in Charge of Task Force Sniper, Nick Memphis, calls in Bob Lee Swagger, who is an expert on snipers, having been a decorated one himself, to check the evidence. Swagger finds that the sights on the old rifle that Hitchcock allegedly used could not have achieved such accuracy. The shooter must have used Hitchcock's rifle with modern sights and then put Hitchcock's own sights back on his rifle.
Swagger starts a quest to clear Hitchcock's name. The quest leads him to multi-billionaire T. T. Constable, the ex-husband of the murdered movie star, a takeoff on Ted Turner, Jane Fonda's ex-husband. T. T. uses his considerable money to stop Swagger, to defame Nick Memphis, and to have people murdered. As a result, the FBI tries unsuccessfully to stop Swagger who becomes involved in exiting situations, and the story moves quickly and interestingly with tension-filled suspense.
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of fifteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Rabbi Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes daily samples of the Targum books on www.ouradio.org.