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Sniper's Honor: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel Hardcover – May 20, 2014


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Product Details

  • Series: Bob Lee Swagger
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (May 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451640218
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451640212
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (444 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*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

Review

“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)

More About the Author

Stephen Hunter won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism as well as the 1998 American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for Distinguished Writing in Criticism for his work as film critic at The Washington Post. He is the author of several bestselling novels, including Time to Hunt, Black Light, Point of Impact, and the New York Times bestsellers Havana, Pale Horse Coming, and Hot Springs. He lives in Baltimore.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By dch822 on May 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A quick note: I'm writing this review from the perspective of a Stephen Hunter fan and someone who has read all the books in the Bob Lee Swagger series.

For readers already familiar with Bob Lee Swagger's violent gun world I'd rate this book on par with I, SNIPER or THE THIRD BULLET, far better than NIGHT OF THUNDER or THE 47th SAMURAI, but not as good as the old classics POINT OF IMPACT or TIME TO HUNT.

In other words, among Hunter's recent books it's a very good read. If you've never read a Bob Lee Swagger book that's okay - there's no need for having done so in order to enjoy this book.

About the plot: Swagger is bored and grumpy, as usual, prompting his wife to suggest he needs to "find a new war" to fight. And of course he does just that after receiving an email from Kathy Reilly, an American reporter in Russia who teamed up with Swagger in an earlier adventure in Russia. Reilly is writing a story about a Russian female sniper whose legendary war record against the Germans has mysteriously been erased from seemingly all official accounting of World War II.

Swagger flies to Russia and begins assisting Reilly in her research, and soon enough everything "goes to guns" as he is fond of saying ... but that's okay, because we all know Swagger lives for these moments.

So here's what I really liked about this book:

MILI PETROVA - she's the sniper, and her character is written beautifully. The book weaves the story of her final wartime mission in 1944 with Swagger's dogged present-day pursuit to find out what happened to her. I kept turning the pages because I was immersed in her story and wanted to find out what happened to her.

THE TEACHER, PEASANT and VON DREHLE - one Russian, one Ukrainian and one German ...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Berger VINE VOICE on May 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There’s a lot I like about this book. The sniper war on the Eastern Front is a great place to insert Swagger – Hunter’s sniper series would be incomplete without it. The woman-sniper angle is also irresistible as a subject. I liked the main character, a gorgeous woman sniper sent to a Ukraine partisan group to take out an SS leader. I liked the evil technocratic SS leader Groedl and his Muslim deputy Salid, a Jew-hating cousin of the Grand Mufti, a movie-star handsome Palestinian Arab who is expert in fine wine even though he doesn’t drink. I liked the noble German paratroop leader Von Drehle and his sergeant and sidekick Wili, veterans of countless actions, deliverers of the best buddy-film banter, and now detailed to blow a key pass slowing the Russian advance.

I liked the surprise insertion of one of Hunter’s best characters, who crosses paths with Earl Swagger in “Havana”. I liked the allusion to “The Dirty Dozen” in the final action sequence, where Swagger gets to emulate Jim Brown notable grenade-dropping run, and to the opening line from “Gravity’s Rainbow”: “A screaming comes across the sky” – this time not about German V2 rockets, but Russian Katyushas.

The plot was clever, if unlikely, as most Swagger novels are, both sniper Mili Petrova being sent to the Carpathian mountains, the plot behind the mission, and the tie to a current-day terror plot sniffed out by a Mossad analyst who’s the Swagger of numbers crunchers, as it were.

The setting lets Hunter explore lots of different aspects of World War II, particularly on the not-written-enough-about-in-English Eastern Front. There’s the whole Soviet woman sniper thing and World War II era sniping in general.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bruce from LA on May 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
While only partly through the book it's a slog as much as a joy to read so far. In some ways it reminds me of how Tom Clancy seemed to devolve from a master story teller who could inject a good dose of history and technology to a pedantic political historian and theorist with the action story becoming just a subplot.

I don't want to learn obscure history in detail from reading a Stephen Hunter book. For one thing it is too hard to separate fact from fiction in a novel so why make the effort and for another there are much better sources for factual historical accounts for those who are interested. I am not. I just want a good story that moves along without slogging thru a lot of old German and Russian lore and names and details from 70 years ago.

It's still a good book, but in my opinion it is not one of his best.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brian S. Shaffer on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Generally speaking, the book is well written like the previous version. However, what has changed is now Bob Lee Swagger is a now a master historian, able to figure out things from 70 years in the past, many of which were deduced correctly not from research or interview, but from sheer reasoning...even down to finding a cache of hidden weapons in a remote location used for an amazing escape.

This isn't your normal Bob Lee Swagger book. Most of the action has nothing to do with Bob Lee Swagger.

Got to love it when an author learns a new word, especially one not used commonly by most people in normal language. Hunter's word for this book was 'banal.' Many things were described as being banal by the various characters in the book despite not all being very well educated.

It is a good read, but the change in Swagger to master historian with virtual psychic abilities seemed out of character even if his personality remained stable. The underlying substory seemed like an afterthought.
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