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Kill Zone: A Sniper Novel (Kyle Swanson Sniper Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Jack Coughlin , Donald A. Davis
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $6.83
You Save: $1.16 (15%)
Sold by: Macmillan

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Book Description

An American general is captured in the Middle East by terrorists who threaten to behead him within days. One strange fact: moments before he is rendered unconscious during the attack, the general notices that his captors speak American English. What’s going on?   
 
Gunnery Sgt. Kyle Swanson, a top Marine sniper, is vacationing on a yacht in the Mediterranean when he receives orders to mount a top secret mission to rescue the general. But as the Marines prepare to land in the Syrian desert, they fall victim to a terrible accident. Swanson, the only survivor, then discovers they were also flying into an ambush. How did the enemy have details of a mission known only to a few top American government officials?   
 
Swanson takes off across the desert alone to find the captured general and realizes he is fighting a particularly ruthless and dangerous enemy: American mercenaries working for a very-high-level group of U.S. officials with ties to the White House itself, part of a clandestine conspiracy whose hidden goal is nothing less than total control of the American military. Their sworn enemy is the captured general whose fate now rests in Swanson’s hands.   
 
Filled with the kind of action that author Jack Coughlin lived during his career as a Marine sniper, Kill Zone marks the debut of an extraordinary new series.



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Coughlin wrote with Davis on Shooter, a memoir of Coughlin's career as a Marine Corps sniper. In the team's debut novel, the two pit Gunnery Sgt. Kyle Swanson, the corps's best sniper, against a secret alliance of government and business bigwigs. A triumvirate of National Security Adviser Gerald Buchanan, Senate Armed Services Committee chair Ruth Reed and megarich businessman Gordon Gates IV are using Gates Global (the world's preeminent private security company) to implement a plan to take over the military, rewrite the Constitution and usher in the creation of a New America. In Saudi Arabia, Marine Brig. Gen. Bradley Middleton is kidnapped by two mercenaries working for Gates Global. After Swanson is chosen to be part of a rescue team, helicopters carrying the rescuers crash on landing, and Swanson is left with only his exceptional combat skills and his high-tech rifle, Excalibur (a sniper's wet dream). The action reaches such a furious pitch that readers will hardly notice an overly romantic subplot or the clumsy machinations of the evil trio. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Here's the fiction debut of Coughlin, the Marine sniper whose memoir, Shooter (2005), took readers inside the mind of a military assassin. Kill Zone does the same thing in fiction. The hero is Kyle Swanson, a Marine sniper who is assigned to rescue an American general held hostage in the Middle East. Swanson soon realizes this is no ordinary situation: the people who abducted the general appear to be Americans, mercenaries who, incredible as it sounds, may be part of a White House plot to topple the American military. Fans of Stephen Hunter's novels about sniper Bob Lee Swagger will see some similarities in theme and tone, but make no mistake: this is not a retread or imitation. Coughlin, ably assisted by coauthor Davis, tells a tight, suspenseful story, and Kyle's philosophical arc, from cool, detached professional to disillusioned, embittered loner, is well developed, with a substantial emotional payoff at the end. Here's hoping this is the first of many Swanson novels. Pitt, David

Product Details

  • File Size: 1303 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312360185
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1 Reprint edition (November 13, 2007)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000V7709Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,600 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 71 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Strange book December 23, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book; it had been purchased for me as a gift. If the author was intending the book to be a James Bond-type affair, with technology and gadgets that are completely implausible, then I understand. However, it seemed that it was written with the tone that it COULD happen, ala Tom Clancy. In that regard, it was uneasily poor.

The first thing I had difficulty with was the blatant inter-service rivalries being espoused. The only heroes in this book were Marines, and everyone else was Army or Navy. Alright, I get it.

Second, the author writes as if he has an authoritative knowledge on Special Operations, yet just about everything written about the organization, deployment, and training of Special Operations soldiers is either exaggerated or wrong. Most transparent is his use of the term "Special Forces". Everyone under the SOCOM or JSOC umbrella knows that Special Forces refers ONLY to the US Army Special Forces. Everything else is "Special Operations". Period.

A super rifle named Excalibur, which is a computer-heavy, whisper-quiet, suppressed .50 caliber? The idea that a .50 BMG bullet could be suppressed to "whisper-quiet" defies the laws of physics, and a Scout Sniper should know that. Let's not forget about the SCRAMJET ride, set up somehow by a Marine Master Sergeant through the "Sergeant's Network". Even if such a plane existed, the idea that an enlistedman could pull in a few favors to secure his CO a ride strains believability to the point of breaking.

When I read military novels, the one thing I assume will be correct are all the little military details that reveal to the reader that the author has done his homework. The 82nd Airborne does not conduct static line jumps from 5000 feet.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Aside from military issues mentioned in other reviews (F14 wings may swing but don't fold, the extractor of a rifle bolt would withdraw the cartridge rather than leave it seated in the chamber to be "checked") this book had more editing errors than most commercial fiction I've read. To list a few, a product made in Britain or Europe (such as the "Excalibur" sniper system) would be calibrated in meters, not yards. It mentions the fact that on Carrier On-Board Delivery aircraft the seats face the rear but then claims the passengers are thrown against their seatbelts when the tailhook catches the trap wire - how could that happen if they face rearward? The sniper uses a rangefinder function to see that one of his targets is over 500 yards away, but then only has to crawl "1½ football fields" to reach the body after shooting him. So while many of us are bothered by ideas such as a completely suppressed .50BMG rifle, one who's optics are "gyro-stabilized" rather than firmly mounted to the action, F16s landing on carriers, Senior NCO's arranging flights for field-grade officers aboard experimental NASA aircraft, GPS "trackers" - indeed, the whole idea of having a GPS receiver built into a sniper rifle (why?), there are plenty of gaffs to interrupt the reading pleasure of just about anyone.

For anyone who can tune out all those distracters and ignore the rip-off of Stephen Hunter's "Swagger" novels, this book could be a pleasant read. And I'll admit I'm going to read the next book in this series (checked out from my local library) just to see if the editing has improved any.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense, action, and satisfaction January 12, 2008
Format:Hardcover
A highly successful military/political thriller set in today's world, Kill Zone is hard to put down---in fact, I read it in a day: couldn't stop reading. Just the right amount of military background, political intrigue, action, and characterization. Well worth reading. It also shows some strong feelings that I suspect are common in the military regarding the increasing use of unregulated and legally immune mercenaries.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the worst military book I have read... February 2, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Matthew Reilly's 'Ice Station' was that. But this one is up there in the top three or so. Somebody read Stephen Hunter, Vince Flynn and Dick Marcinko then ripped all of them off as often (and badly) as possible.

Okay...so we have the evil but somehow almost supremely powerful politicians with no respect for anything but their own blind ambition. Check. Then we have the almost superhuman Marine sniper who could probably throw the bullets more accurately than a mere mortal could shoot. Check. The alluring and intelligent female officer who has somehow fallen in love with the previously mentioned SuperMarine. Check. And last, but certainly not least, the slathering, rabid monster military contractors (think Blackwater here) who are masters of the many crafts of war, but not of their own particular appetites. Okay! No...wait...I am one of those contractors and think I will take issue with the characterization.

The plot, as predictable as any, is also way too farfetched for my tastes. Even the epilogue is so trite as to make me groan audibly. And there is, apparently, a sequel! And I will buy a copy...really I will...if only someone will promise NOT to turn 'Kill Zone' into a movie starring John Cena.

I won't argue the "top-rated sniper" part of Mr. Coghlin's resume, but I would suggest he (1) stick to what he does well, and (2) fire his ghostwriter who, it seems, doesn't know much about the military.

But that is just my opinion; I could be wrong.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it
Published 3 days ago by Robert Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic book... Great read! ! !
Published 1 month ago by Mike paymar
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding novel!
Very exciting novel keeping me reading to find out what will happen next!
Published 1 month ago by David Weems
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read.
A very good book. At least 2 story lines going at all times. And thet all tie up nicely in the end.
Will read more by Coughlin.
Published 1 month ago by gene123
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this
I enjoyed this book
Published 1 month ago by Charles croft
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole ...
Keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. It's hard to put down and do other things.
Published 2 months ago by Bob
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit choppy, but you can't miss a swagger novel
I've read all the swagger novels and hope he keeps coming up with new ways to squeeze out more. Stephen Hunter can really tell a story, Characters are superb, His writing is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by miamisteve
4.0 out of 5 stars jupina
This is a well-written action novel. It is the first book I've read from this author and I'm already halfway through his second one. It is fast-paced and Kyle Swanson is great. Read more
Published 3 months ago by jupina
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those military stories worth reading
I have a great respect for the Army and military so any fiction written by an Army man - like Kill Zone by Jack Coughlin - deserves high praises in my view. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Liza
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down
these are exciting books though can be a little graphic for some; it is a sniper book though. Great read
Published 3 months ago by Farmer guy
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