I am a big fan of author Stephen Hunter and his sniper/hero Bob Lee Swagger. I have now read the first four books in the Bob Lee series plus the World War II stand-alone, Master Sniper. They are all page turners for sure. I started reading these books with book four– The 47th Samurai — because of my interest in that Japanese legend. Then I read book one, Point of Impact, and book two, Black Light. I just finished the third book in the series, Time to Hunt, which gives a lot of the back story of Bob Lee Swagger, Julie (who was married to Donny Fenn then Bob Lee), and Donny Fenn, Bob Lee’s spotter in Vietnam in 1971-72.
During the course of the story of Time to Hunt, which is like reading two separate books in one volume, the reader gets to meet Donny and Julie against the background of the peace movement in 1971 in Washington, D.C. Several other characters are introduced who show up 20 plus years later in the second part of the story. Hunter’s descriptions of the peace movement of 40 years ago are right on; it feels like he was there himself. The story follows Donny as he is re-assigned to Vietnam where he meets and befriends master sniper Bob Lee Swagger. Hunter describes the role of the Marine snipers in Vietnam in great detail. Not for squeamish!
After describing Donny’s and Bob Lee’s adventures in Vietnam, the story moves forward twenty or so years to rural and mountainous East Central Idaho where Bob Lee and his family have been forced to move (from Arizona) because of the fallout from his activities in the first books of the series. This is where characters from the 1970s resurface. Bob Lee is drawn into a major international conspiracy that could have a very adverse effect on life in the United States. The “hunting” scenes in Idaho are very well done. Bob Lee’s relationship with his family reach a breaking point while he tries to resolve PTSD issues and more.
While this is a work of fiction, there are some real incidents incorporated into the story. There was a movie a few years ago called “Shooter” and a recently completed first TV season of the same name. Neither followed the books exactly but were close enough to make them good viewing. If you love these kinds of stories then I highly recommend the books to you. If you think you might like them, then by all means, read them. You will not be disappointed.
GO! BUY! READ!
–Jim Harris, retired book sales rep
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