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*Starred Review* Time is taking its toll on Bob Lee Swagger: He was an old man in a dry month . . . hard, stoic, isolated, unmelted. The former sniper has been out of the game a long time, and, sadly, nothing has ever replaced what he’s appalled to call the killing fever. Then his friend Kathy Reilly, Moscow correspondent for the Washington Post, sends Bob an e-mail asking for his help in researching a story about legendary WWII Russian sniper Ludmilla Milli Petrova, whose name mysteriously disappeared from the historical record around 1945. Why was she expunged from both German and Russian records? Will Swagger help Reilly track the story? Of course he will, and so begins a remarkably textured novel that jumps between the war and the present, slowly unraveling Milli’s past while Swagger and Reilly discover that, even 70 years after the fact, there are still people who don’t want the story told. Hunter does a wonderful job of moving between and ultimately connecting his multiple story lines, and he peoples the stage with at least a dozen memorable characters, from Milli and her cohorts through the Nazis who hunt them, and, of course, to Swagger himself, an ever-more-complex character as he ages. Perhaps most memorable of all, though, is Hunter’s vivid re-creation of the carnage on the Eastern Front, where, as Milli notes, the Russians’ only advantage over the Germans was numbers: If they kill us five to one, we bring six to one . . . we shall prevail because, all things being equal, we can outbleed them. --Bill Ott
“Absorbing . . . You don’t have to be a fan of military action fiction to enjoy this.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Hunter knows his hero like a brother: righteous character firmly set, crafty intelligence thoroughly hidden, stone-cold willing to take the shot if a bad actor must die. . . . Swagger displays mighty tradecraft [and] Hunter loads up a whole magazine of action, double-dealing and gun porn.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“A remarkably textured novel. . . . Hunter does a wonderful job of jumping between and connecting his multiple story lines, and he peoples the stage with at least a dozen memorable characters, from Mili and her cohorts through the Nazis that hunt them, and, of course, to Swagger himself, an ever-more-complex character as he ages. Perhaps most memorable of all, though, is Hunter’s vivid re-creation of the carnage on the Eastern Front, where, as Mili notes, the Russians’ only advantage over the Germans was numbers: ‘If they kill us five to one, we bring six to one . . . we shall prevail because, all things being equal, we can outbleed them.’” (Booklist)
“Given the return of the Russians to bad-guy status, this book couldn’t be more timely. But any Swagger tale is a treat, especially one as layered and nuanced as this one. Hunter remains the absolute master of the action thriller and this is a terrific tale from a wondrous storyteller.” (Providence Sunday Journal)
“My favorite thriller author […] fun to read.” (The Herald-Dispatch)
Not one of Hunter 's best efforts. Entertaining, especially from a history perspective, but the story departs a bit too far from credibility for my best interest and attention. Read morePublished 11 hours ago by H. Marvin Haught Jr.
Interesting twist to the usual Bob Lee Swagger adventure. Trying to solve a 70 year old puzzle while being targeted by assailants unknown was an interesting read. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Dwight
I've been reading the Bob Lee Swagger books for many years and this one Is my favorite. Totally different concept.Published 18 days ago by Patricia Conolly
Very good, as usual. Not my favorite of Hunters but good. I like his earlier works better.
I have been a faithful follower of Bob L. Swagger. A good read but hard to believe some of the events. Read morePublished 27 days ago by JJP
Stephen Hunter is a hell of a writer and there is no character in modern fiction that is more entertaining than Bob Lee Swagger. Read morePublished 27 days ago by avidreader