Stephen Hunter is the author of 20 novels and the retired chief film critic for the Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism. His novels include The Third Bullet; Sniper's Honor; I, Sniper; I, Ripper; and Point of Impact, which was adapted for film and TV as Shooter. Hunter lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
Often brilliant, and permeated by violence, Hunter's sixth thriller (after Point of Impact) details an escaped mad-dog killer's flight across the Southwest and a tortured state trooper's pursuit of him. Sadistic Lamar Pye is forced to break out of Oklahoma's McAlester State Penitentiary after he brutally murders a black inmate who tries to rape him. Pye takes with him his cousin, Odell, a retarded giant who obeys Pye's orders without question, and wimpy Richard Peed, an artist whose work has caught Pye's fancy. Pitted against this vicious trio and the slightly crazed woman who takes up with them is Sgt. Bud Pewtie of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, who suspects that his obsessive, troubled affair with the wife of his slain partner might have distracted him from an opportunity to end Pye's murderous spree early on. Pewtie mixes it up with the outlaws time and again until a final bloody face-off that threatens to tear his personal life apart. Throughout, Hunter cleverly humanizes Pye and his band in small ways that effectively counterpoint the horror of their actions, but these touches don't lessen the considerable tension he generates as his story clips through its twists and turns. Powerful and gripping, this could be Hunter's most popular novel yet. Movie rights to 20th Century Fox; Literary Guild selection. (Nov.)
After killing a black inmate, the brutal Lamar Pye breaks out of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary along with his retarded cousin, Odell, and a hapless artist-turned-felon named Richard. They embark on a desperate run across Oklahoma and Texas, pursued by state troopers. The escapees hide out with a convict groupie who has lived alone since murdering her parents as an adolescent. In a parody of domesticity, Lamar embraces these losers as the family he never knew. Unlettered Lamar is a natural leader, more intelligent by far than his pursuers, but his gang screws up every time at a terrible cost in bloodshed. Hunter's (Point of Impact, LJ 2/1/93) portrayal of Lamar is unromantic but sympathetic. Lamar is a loser who never had a chance; he uses his short period of freedom to get his own back and to indulge in the mindless violence that is the only thing that truly satisfies and delights him. This seriocomic chase thriller packs a punch. For most popular collections.-David Keymer, California State Univ., Stanislaus
They weren't just born to kill.
They were born to rock your world....
"An exhilarating crime novel...there is no place to run for cover from this author's prose."
--The New York Times Book Review
"A story that grabs you almost by the throat...and never slackens its hold."
--The Denver Post