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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Maximum impact from this absolute classic. Striking the perfect balance between hardcore action and reflective intelligence, no thriller writer can match Hunter, and this is the perfect introduction to his peerless novels.
Visceral, heartfelt and faultlessly written, few thrillers can match this, and no-one can touch Hunter - the man is a stone cold genius.
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on 17 July 2006
I bought this when I found it in a list of 100 classic thrillers. It certainly did not disappoint! Gripping story and central character. I stayed up all night to finish it.
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on 31 August 2015
This is the first of Hunter's Bob Lee Swagger books, and the first of a proper trilogy (followed by Black Light and Time to Hunt) about Bob the Nailer, his war hero dad, and what happened in Vietnam. There are quite a few other Swagger books, but the plots get steadily more tenuous, even if they are (mostly) an enjoyable read. Anyway...

I don't want to give it all away, but on to the broad outline of the plot: Bob Lee gets asked by some spooks to scope out a possible assassination threat to the President, is framed for the shooting (not the Pres, in the event), manages to escape, and sets out to discover the who, how, and why of the frame. On the way, he hooks up with a (sniper-trained) FBI agent and his late comrade-in-arms's girlfriend, and has numerous gun battles, before turning himself in and demonstratng his innocence to the courts.

This is a thrilling roller-coaster of action, with lots of stuff about guns (Hunter is clearly a buff). Bob Lee is a great character - a hardscrabble redneck type with a strong sense of honour - and the twists and turns of the plot are well thought out. I loved this book, and have read it several times. It is way better than the film based on it (The Shooter, with Mark Wahlberg), which loses many of the twists of the plot (to save money, probably). Read this, don't watch that.
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on 31 July 2007
A fine thriller about sniping that shows just how many pages a skilled story teller can spin his yarn out. The protagonist is memorable, more so than most thriller heroes, and the action is brilliantly paced. The plot twist half way through is wholly unexpected and kicks the story into overdrive. What I really like about Hunter is the way he can make a sniper duel go on for ages without it ever becoming a chore to read. The tension is terrific.
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on 27 November 2010
I'm not the kind of guy that normally reads books but I just couldn't put this thing down!

Having already seen the film adaptation of this book, I kind of knew how the plotline would go, people have always told me that films are never as good as the books they're based on, I didn't believe them until I read this! There is so much more included in the novel than the film and it seems to me the film missed out the best bits! A great book for any guy really and well worth the money.
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on 26 August 2010
Hunter's Point of Impact is a flawlessly constructed thriller, filled with tension, cast with variety, and packed with a convincing amount of esoteric detail on rifle shooting. Bob Lee Swagger, a veteran sharpshooter with a Vietnam past, is seen to have fired on the American President at a New Orleans speech. Having escaped, hunted by the FBI and the nation's police forces, he must fight the shadowy paramilitary group that set him up. The pace never flags, the net of sub-plots prevents monotony from ever setting in, and it all reaches a truly astonishing finale. The hero's name is interestingly chosen: the imperturbable, unbreakable Swagger is both his name's very embodiment and its antithesis. The characterisation is otherwise black-and-white, but without clichés. And the book reads as a kind of survivalist gospel. Sociology students: take note.

P.S. Don't read the two-page Swagger Family History inserted by the publisher at the beginning. It is full of spoilers.
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on 6 February 2013
We bought this book as a gift for my dad. He doesn't read much fiction but said he thought he might be interested in books by Stephen Hunter as he enjoyed the film Shooter. He enjoyed reading this book and Black Light.
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on 23 August 2007
I was looking forward to reading Point of Impact only to find that before you even read the first page of the novel, you will find that the publishers - Arrow Books - have inserted a 'Swagger Family History' at the very beginning, where, in a page and a half they give away the plot and the ending of all the Stephen Hunter novels. Stupid beyond belief or what? Talk about spoiling the enjoyment!
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on 5 April 2011
Yet another cracker from Stephen Hunter! Not many writers measure up to Hunter and his creation Bob Swagger, and in this story the plot twists and turns so many ways, and so much information is thrown at the reader that I found it difficult to put the book down. Swagger versus ace Soviet marksman who shot him in Vietnam? Great twists follow chapter after chapter. Finished this one and picked up another Hunter book straight away! More addictive than MSG!
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on 25 April 2008
A very accomplished sniper and war veteran (Bob) is set-up to take a fall by helping out on a big assignment "one last time". Bob is then hunted himself and eventually gets help from Nick, a somewhat disgraced agent, who smells a rat. Bad boys on the fringe of government are behind the set-up.

I found the book to be slow to start and swamped with technical jargon which, to be fair, may be instructive to people interested in guns and/or weaponry.

Thereafter, however, it is all go-go-go as Bob, and then Nick, try to save themselves and expose the truth. We have a great deal of twists and turns along the way and Bob pretty much remains indestructible. The book is thus well-paced and full of intrigue.

Some will find Bob to be a little too superhuman, but this is perhaps an observation which can be made of many protagonists in crime novels.

On balance, I think the structuring of the book saves the day because you can't help but side with Bob and his efforts to right the wrongs. 9/10
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