'Hunter is in the front rank of thriller novelists'
Stephen Hunter is the author of eleven novels, including Hot Springs, Pale Horse Coming, Black Light, Time to Hunt and Dirty White Boys. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
With a flourish of authorial prestidigitation, through this action-packed tale of revenge Hunter transforms the seemingly unrelated Point of Impact and Dirty White Boys, his most recent-and most critically acclaimed-novels, into parts one and two of a trilogy. In the process, Hunter confirms his status as one of the most skilled hands in the thriller business. Former Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger has put his past behind him until he meets Russell Pewtie, who wants to write a book about Bob Lee's father, Earl, a state trooper who died in a shoot-out in Blue Eye, Ark., in 1955. The link between Pewtie and Bob Lee, which ties the three novels together, is that Lamar Pye, the escaped con who almost killed Pewtie's father in Dirty White Boys, turns out to be the son of one of the men who killed Earl. Behind that death, it's revealed here, lies a 40-year-old conspiracy that is somehow tied to the brutal murder of a young black girl that Earl was investigating on the day he died. The plot is fast-paced, well-constructed and builds to a pulse-pounding night ambush that echoes the finale of Point of Impact but that stands on its own as a classic one-on-one confrontation. Other echoes of the earlier novels sound as well, giving this one the feel of a recapitulation, or a farewell. But then Hunter has set a high standard for himself-and while this novel doesn't match the escalating craziness of Dirty White Boys or the stone-cold efficiency of Point of Impact, it should seal his reputation as an author who not only can write bestselling thrillers, but write them exceedingly well. Literary Guild main selection; major ad/promo; author tour. (June)
On the last day of his life, in July 1955, Arkansas State Trooper Earl Swagger discovered the strangled body of a dead black girl just before being gunned down by Jimmy Pye, a felon released earlier that day from prison. Forty years after these events, youthful journalist Russ Pewtie makes contact with Earl's son, a "professional shooter" named Bob Lee Swagger, in order to gather information on a book about Earl. Bob Lee returns home to rural Arkansas accompanied by Russ and encounters powerful and violent forces working against their investigation of the past, especially of the events on Earl's last day. Some characters in this work have been encountered in Hunter's two earlier novels, Point of Impact (Audio Reviews, LJ 5/15/93) and Dirty White Boys (LJ 11/15/94). Award-winning actor Beau Bridges uncannily conveys the intensity of the characters and fast-paced action while vocally portraying the essence of each cast member. Highly recommended for collections of thrillers.‘Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, Ia.
American hardboiled at its very best, full of taciturn and stoical
characters and plotting in explosive overdrive * Times *
Up there with the likes of James Lee Burke and Michael Connelly at the forefront of hard-boiled American crime fiction * Glasgow Herald *