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Point of Impact (Bob Lee Swagger) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1993

4.7 out of 5 stars 745 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bob Lee Swagger, jungle-smart hillbilly and premier shootist, explodes as a thinking man's Rambo when Hunter's ( The Day Before Midnight ) canny plot overcomes the barrage of high-tech ballistics data in this otherwise satisfying thriller. Swagger's sniper kills were legendary in Vietnam until an enemy bullet sent him into seclusion at his home in the Arkansas mountains. Retired Col. Schreck lures him back into "the World" on the pretense that he will be testing new bullets, but instead presses him into his special "Agency" unit. Swagger's job is to predict which site on the president's upcoming speaking tour a professional sniper would choose for an assassination attempt--so Schreck's unit can prevent it. Swagger calls the hit just right but is shot and framed in the assassination by Schreck's men. Only FBI agent and sniper ace Nick Memphis believes that Swagger is innocent. Memphis and Swagger trace the real assassin through the shootist network, making clever use of gun-lore magazines. They take on FBI bureaucrats, Schreck's nasties, Salvadoran death squads and local law agencies to get to the final showdown. While the novel's firearms details may be daunting to non-NRA members, the characters, plot and courtroom finale will leave readers wrung out.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Two men, one determined to maintain his reclusive life in the Arkansas mountains, the other fiercely dedicated to remaining part of the FBI, are drawn together in an effort to clear their names and stay alive during an intricate cover-up of an unauthorized mercenary maneuver in a Latin American country. Bob Lee Swagger, or Bob the Nailer as he was known in Vietnam, is a sniper par excellence. Because of a war injury, he devotes his time to maintaining his marksmanship and avoiding the outside world. These skills and his loner status make him an ideal target for a pseudogovernmental group planning an assassination as part of the cover-up. Nick Memphis, pursuing an investigation from which he has been warned by his FBI superiors, stumbles onto facts about Swagger that force him to go undercover with him. Tautly written by the author of The Day Before Midnight (Bantam, 1989), the plot makes a number of turns before swooping to a conclusion where patriotism and personal integrity triumph. Recommended for popular fiction collections.
- V. Louise Saylor, Eastern Washington Univ. Lib., Cheney
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Bob Lee Swagger (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (December 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553563513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553563511
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (745 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Russell Diederich VINE VOICE on January 2, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Point of Impact" is the best book that I've read in quite a while. I purchased Stephen Hunter's book on a whim, and hope that it would be entertaining. It was more than just entertaining, it was good. The book is about an ex-Marine sniper, named Bob Lee Swagger, who spent three tours in Viet Nam. For the last twenty years, he's been holed up in the Ouachitians mountains living with his dog Mike and his rifles. The soft-spoken marksman is approached to help out a government branch in tracking down an assassin. Nick Memphis, a down on his luck FBI agent, is investigating a gruesome murder of an informant that was trying to reach him. As the informant dies, he writes the words, ROM DO on the floor with his own blood. The two stories quickly become entwined in a turbulent plot full of double cross, ballistic charts, and 1,400 yard shots.
Hunter does a great job of telling just enough of the story to let you think you know where he is going. Then he turns the story on you leaving you surprised. He does this throughout the book. Only once was I able to guess where he was going. All the times that I thought I had him, Hunter was laughing at me from in front of his typewriter. He does it from the very beginning as we open up on Swagger in a deer blind waiting for Ole Tim, the largest buck in the forest. Swagger's character grows on you, even though he appears tough and rough around the edges.
Hunter is a master of the false-direction. He sets everything up so perfectly that once he changes the tables on you, you can see how he set you up. It all makes sense. It's the literary version of magic. Some authors are good at it, for others you can see the wires. Hunter is very good at it. If you like action/adventure, good writing, and an author that's good a deception, check this one out. I'll definitely read more of Hunter.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Wow, this book is amazing! Well written and technically pretty good. Bob "the Nailer" is not one of those annoyingly perfect good guys that don't really exist. He has his share of problems, which are explained in the book but not dwelled on for long.
There are some pretty good reviews here that sum up the story pretty well, so I'm going to skip that. I will say that I normally read only sci-fi/fantasy and had long ago grown weary of these type of books. But the way Hunter combines the convoluted plot twists that Ludlum loves so much with the attention to detail that Clancy is so known for and then adds his own ability to tell a story in an interesting way really hooked me.
You just may find yourself shopping for a Winchester mdl 70 or a Remington 700 (in .308, of course) before the end of this one!
"One shot, one kill"
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Bob Lee Swagger is not a man to mess around with. He was a military sniper, with the second highest number of kills in Vietnam. Then he came home to a country that shunned sniping, and he went into seclusion in the Arkansas mountains.
Now he's been called out. A shady government conspiracy wants to use him in an assassination--as the fallguy. And when Swagger does indeed fall for it, lured into a trap, he promises his tormentors will pay...with their blood...
Helping him is FBI agent Nick Memphis, who's just recieved his third strike. An odd pair, but together, they must unravel a far-reaching conspiracy...and bring vengence upon those who deserve it.
"Point of Impact" was the first Stephen Hunter novel I read. It got me hooked on his writing, though few other novels lived up to it ("Dirty White Boys" was pretty good, if I recall correctly). This novel is a thriller of the highest caliber (no pun intended). It's about a proud Southern gunman pushed to the limits...the one spot where you DON'T want him to be! This is a terrific, suspenseful book, and if you are a fan of thrillers and haven't read it yet, then you absolutely must.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am an Ex-Special Operations veteran and an avid shooter. Mr. Hunter has done his homework! I highly recommend this great book to all service members, rifle shooters, snipers, and members of the law enforcement community. The following "Bob Lee Swagger Series", books are equally exceptional.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stephen Hunter must have been a gun in a previous life. He knows shooting. I was hooked after the first couple of pages, and couldn't put this one down. I have since read the book 3 times. If you like guns in any small way, or just plain like a good thriller, it doesn't get any better than this. Hunter builds the main character in a way that you can see every hard line of his face, the way he walks, and the sound of his voice. If I were casting a movie of this book, I'd put Ed Harris in the role. The story is full of interesting and unpredictable plot twists, gun lore, action and revenge. It won't let you down. Hunter's sequels to this book don't hold up as well; Dirty White Boys is a bit too harsh, and Black Light moves too slowly. But Point of Impact is a stroke of genius.
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By A Customer on August 15, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was my intro to the world of Stephen Hunter, and made me an instant fan. I purchased "Point of Impact" and read it in 2 days while on vacation. Couldn't wait to get the other three novels in the Bob Lee Swagger "universe". Hunter's characters read like real people. His heroes suffer from alcoholism, adultry, and other real life problems that only the "bad guys" in writers like Tom Clancy's works have to deal with. They all have a sense of "duty" that doesn't necessarily run through their whole lives. They usually are dedicated to their their jobs, but have problems fulfilling their duties at home, though they love their families dearly. This is very realistic in my experience. I recommend this novel and its companions to anyone who likes a good read.
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