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The Third Bullet: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel (Bob Lee Swagger Novels)

The Third Bullet: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel (Bob Lee Swagger Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Hunter
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Bob Lee Swagger is back in a thriller fifty years in the making . . .

It’s not even a clue. It’s a whisper, a trace, a ghost echo, drifting down through the decades via chance connections so fragile that they would disintegrate in the puff of a breath. But it’s enough to get legendary former Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger interested in the events of November 22, 1963, and the third bullet that so decisively ended the life of John F. Kennedy and set the stage for one of the most enduring controversies of our time.

Swagger begins his slow night stalk through a much-traveled landscape. But he’s asking questions that few have asked before: Why did the third bullet explode? Why did Lee Harvey Oswald, about to become the most hunted man on earth, risk it all by returning to his rooming house to secure a pistol he easily could have brought with him? How could a conspiracy that went unpenetrated for fifty years have been thrown together in the two and a half days between the announcement of the president’s route and the assassination itself?

As Bob investigates, another voice enters the narrative: knowing, ironic, almost familiar, that of a gifted, Yale-educated veteran of the CIA Plans Division. Hugh Meachum has secrets and the means and the will to keep them buried. When weighed against his own legacy, Swagger’s life is an insignificant expense—but to blunt the threat, he’ll first have to ambush the sniper.

As each man hunts the other across today’s globe and through the thickets of history, The Third Bullet builds to an explosive climax that will finally prove what Bob Lee Swagger has always known: it’s never too late for justice.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3987 KB
  • Print Length: 498 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00BNEWM26
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (15 Jan 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,716 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The author is getting tired? 12 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's easy to buy Stephen Hunter's novels: he really knows how to write gripping action set pieces, presents strong characters, and usually manages well the difficult trick of getting us to suspend disbelief even as his heroes achieve extraordinary things. He knows his subject (the stories revolve around guns, and unlike most novelists he's obviously used them a lot and well) and rarely goofs the details, plus he has a loving and acute eye for history and sense of place. His books are rich and absorbing. I'd personally rate work like Hot Springs and Dirty White Boys as superb examples of the thriller/adventure writing art.

The Third Bullet starts with an interesting premise (the JFK assassination) that is very appropriate to the well-established Bob Lee Swagger character, and you know that Hunter will bring an imaginative, well-informed, thoughtful and perceptive eye to the affair. Which he does. The book is ingenious, and it's worth a read.

Yet unlike most of Hunter's previous work, I won't be re-reading this. There are a couple of reasons. First, the plot is simply too similar to that of a previous novel -- I won't say more for fear of spoilers, but let's say that what should be rewarding surprises are instead disappointing let-downs. Second, the action sequences are written as if Hunteris aware of this repetition) and cannot really be troubled to bring himself to compose the action with his trademark gifts of immersion, immediacy, visceral detail and rich atmosphere. Instead, he seems to be saying "Ho hum, you know what's gonna happen anyway, I'll just sketch it out".

Now Hunter is still damn good, and possibly this book will be more satisfying to a new reader than it has been to this old one, and the premise and resolution are still smart enough to deserve three stars.

But I think it may be time for Bob Lee to retire to his porch with a bottle of (non-alcoholic) Coke, and watch the sun go down over his horses.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bob Lee Swagger 7 Sep 2014
By john
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thought this book was excellent. The technical detail on ballistics is the best I have ever read. The story, although fiction,
is the best version I have read or seen since Oliver Stone's 'JFK', 22 years ago. The trade craft and narration of
one character who cleverly manipulates the plot, left me spellbound.
This is a work of 'faction' insofar as it weaves an intricate plot around actual historical event's, using real people of the time,
interplaying with fictional characters. It is the kind of storytelling that the great Frederick Forsyth excels at.
Being a big movie and techno thriller fan I tend to visualise books for their movie potential. This has it in spades.
Mark Wahlberg played Bob Lee Swagger several years ago in a movie version of 'Point Of Impact', called 'Shooter'. However,
given his age, description and character in this book, I think it's a role that Sam Elliott was born to play.
Looking forward to the next yarn. Keep em coming Stephen
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Hunter's best 18 July 2013
By Mr. Warren M. Fisher VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Hunter's finest novel in some time harks back thematically and dramatically to his early classic, 'Point of Impact', and ranks among the finest Kennedy assassination novels, such as DeLillo's 'Libra'. Not as action-packed as some Hunter tomes, but redolent with tension and the emotionally-laden pathos not seen since 'Black Light'.

Hunter is and remains the genius savant of intelligent action-thrillers - and a great writer to-boot.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After a couple of less-than-satisfying stories from Stephen Hunter, this intelligent re-telling of the JFK myth confirmed Stephen Hunter's outright ability to weave a gripping thriller. The Third Bullet re-establishes Bob Lee Swagger as a credible protagonist, the superior sniper, and a man of honour who is driven to risk his own safety once his higher motivation has been engaged.
It takes real skill to 're-imagine' such a famous event in a new light, yet Hunter manages to blend factual events into his fictional world so you can't possibly see the joins. He also brings a unique flavour to the Swagger novels, the smell of machine oil, the rasp and clunk of heavy weaponry, the subtlety of the long-distance shooter. Few writers can bring technical descriptions to chilling life with such authority - and succeed in making them an integral part of the plot.
Don't expect all-out fast-paced action-adventure. This is a psychological investigation; a battle of the mind between men who can't see each other, can't even be certain that their opponent even exists.
As such, it's a brilliant interpretation of the life of a sniper.
Great to see SH back on form...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 14 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
very slow paced for a bob lee book
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 12 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Bob lee Swagger triumphs again
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing 7 Feb 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Stephen Hunter's The Third , is a well-written book with a depth that I enjoyed. He wrote it in an engaging manner. The prose is excellent and he presented an interesting angle to JFK's assassination. The book is full of intrigues and made the plot exciting, taking the reader across the world in a manner few writers can do. It is not a style we see often. In short, The Third Bullet, and Triple Agent Double Cross, presented the character of a killer in an amazing way that we hardly see around. The insight is fascinating.
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3.0 out of 5 stars New Ideas, 17 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not up to Hunters usual standard. Seemed to run out of ideas as to how to finish the story, and rushed it.
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