I love to find new stuff to read and this Bob Lee Swagger novel rocked. This was my first read on a Stephen Hunter novel and I liked everything about it. Today I want to include two things in this post about the novel, the synopsis and also some text from the novel to give you a little flav of Bob Lee if this is the first read for you on this character. Here we go, a little of what is between the covers first:

“Bob Lee Swagger tracks down an AWOL Marine sniper who resurfaces to complete his last mission.”

Now here is some text from page238:

“’Why are you here?’ the young women said.

‘Well, you and I have something in common that cuts much deeper than gender or any of that stuff. And that is that we killed for the king. We were the royal assassins. We loved it, we enjoyed how special is made us, we liked the way the room quieted when we walked in. But there came a time when we looked at it, and thought, why? Why did that have to happen? Did it do any good?’

She shook her head, not in denial but in recognition.

‘What were you?’

‘Gunnery Sergeant, USMC.Sniper.Vietnam, seventy-three to seventy- five, until it was hit bad. Ninety-three kills on the record. Like you I put a crosshair on something and sent a package into it and watched it die. Like you I said it was for the good of the country, or at least each man I killed wouldn’t kill an American kid, and like you, at the end, I thought to myself, well, what the hell? Who am I? Why was I so good at it, and if it was so right, how come I see faces every night? You ride an exercise bike, I crawled up the mountains of Arkansas and stayed drunk for twenty years before I finally came back to the world.’”

Dead Zero has many sides to it. There is the humanity of it, the technical aspect of it (there is some serious detail on weaponry and spying), but most of all I enjoyed the feel, the grit, the self- deprecation of Bob Lee Swagger himself. To some of the characters in the novel he is a god, a legend, an enigma. Bob Lee uses all that to his advantage time and time again. Although this was my first read on the character, I didn’t feel left out of anything from the past, if anything Stephen Hunter whet my appetite to go back and read as much of his work as I can. My Goodreads –to read- list is about to grow again.

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Comment by Giovanni Gelati on January 26, 2011 at 5:54am
Thanks for the heads up, I plan to keep going with the author. Good to hear from you.
Comment by sean on January 25, 2011 at 11:56am


Stephen Hunter is quite the writer.  IMHO one of the most deserving of those on the market of a larger audience.  The Bob Lee Swagger series is excellent - check out Point of Impact - arguably his best - again in my opinion.  Hunter has also done a series based upon Bob Lee Swagger's father who is also quite a read. 

If you have just started, dive in and keep going.  You won't be disappointed.


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