Reviews for The Third Bullet
by Stephen Hunter
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Bob Lee Swagger (Dead Zero) was 17 when John F. Kennedy was assassinated, but now he has the opportunity to find out what really happened that terrible day in Dallas. Though he's become a cranky old man, he remains a cunning, lethal adversary. When a woman claims that her husband was killed because he was writing a book about JFK, Swagger doesn't believe her. But when someone tries to kill Swagger using the same MO, the chase is on. -Swagger investigates and realizes there might have been a second shooter, but who was he and why did he do it? VERDICT A fresh take on JFK's assassination makes for the ultimate thriller, and Hunter writes with great skill. Although maybe a little too meticulous and technical for many, it is still highly recommended for JFK fans, conspiracy theorists, and anybody who likes good writing and a engaging thriller. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/12; 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination.-Ed.]-Robert Conroy, Warren, MI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* For nearly 50 years, the world has been obsessing over the assassination of JFK, from grassy knolls to magic bullets. Finally, though, there's somebody on the case who likes to act more than talk: Bob Lee Swagger, former Vietnam sniper and the man you want on your side when it comes down to straight killing time. When the wife of a murdered thriller writer (with a bio very like Hunter's own) asks Bob Lee to find her husband's killer and mentions that the writer was working on a book about the assassination (a book very like this one) it's no surprise that Swagger, who has no interest in who killed JFK, says no thanks. But then the widow tells him that an overcoat that her husband found in a building across the way from the Texas Book Depository had a peculiar stain on the back, as if a bicycle had run over it, and suddenly Bob Lee is very interested indeed. It takes nearly 500 pages before Hunter explains what it all means with the narrative jumping between 1963 and the present and while assassination fanatics will likely find all kinds of problems with the scenario he constructs (naturally, it hinges on ballistics, Bob Lee's area of expertise), the rest of us will have no problem willingly suspending disbelief. Best of all, though, the novel isn't just about what happened in Dallas 50 years ago; connected to the unraveling of the JFK story is a contemporary manhunt that takes Bob Lee first to Russia and then to the Connecticut countryside, where, finally, it's straight killing time yet again. Who knows (or cares, really) if Hunter's hypothesis is accurate, but, like Stephen King in 11/22/63 (2011), he has used the assassination to forge a terrific thriller. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Bob Lee Swagger wipes the floor with all the usual suspects connected to the death of JFK now there's a premise for the ages! Hunter does his subject proud, and the marketing campaign to support the launch will do the book just as proud.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist
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In bestseller Hunter's solid eighth thriller featuring master sniper Bob Lee Swagger (after 2010's Dead Zero), Swagger is living an isolated existence in a small Idaho town, where a widow seeking justice for her husband seeks him out. Novelist James Aptapton was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Baltimore, but his journalist wife, Jean Marquez, suspects the killing was intentional. For motive, she points to recent research Aptapton conducted in Dallas, where he was following up on reports that a coat stained with gun-cleaning fluid was found hidden in the Dal-Tex Building next door to the infamous Texas Book Depository. On November 22, 1963, that building could have housed a sniper other than Oswald. After accepting Marquez's request for help, Swagger plunges into the byzantine world of conspiracy theory. Hunter develops some new angles on the JFK assassination, and as usual keeps the details about ballistics and weaponry accessible. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.