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Black Light

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Stephen Hunter

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Author: Stephen Hunter
Publisher: Island Books
1 review about Black Light

Hunter and Swagger - A Winning Combination

  • May 11, 2009
  • by
Going back through some of my recent reads, I remembered that I was really happy with Stephen Hunter and his character, Bob Lee Swagger. Time to revisit both with Black Light.

The novel begins with Earl Swagger, Bob Lee's father, in 1955. Earl is a Medal of Honor recipient for his efforts in the Pacific during World War II. 1955 finds Earl on patrol as an Arkansas State Trooper. On one particular day, he finds a murdered child and later, he is gunned down in a battle with a two criminals. The Swagger family never recovered, and Bob Lee enlisted in the Marines nine years later where he went on to become one of the country's best snipers. Because of his skill as a sniper, Bob Lee gained quite a bit of notoriety. A writer, Russ, comes calling on Bob Lee and the story is set in motion. Russ doesn't want to do a book on Bob Lee, he wants to focus on Earl. To get some backstory, Russ and Bob Lee head back to Arkansas. But there are some very powerful people that don't want the story written and will stop at nothing to see that it isn't. But Bob Lee isn't a person you want to be fighting against.

Bob Lee is a tough character. He lived the early part of his life alone with his rifle. When some traps are being set, he has a knack for seeing beyond the obvious and is able to choreograph the outcome. It was a lot of fun to see how he is able to get out of some very tight spots, and Hunter delivers the prose. The story moves between 1955 and the present with skill. Learning about the early Bob Lee and his father makes this a very interesting story. Hunter adds some little items throughout the novel, which will take on significance later in the story. That was a very cool touch. Further, there are plenty of plot twists to keep your attention.

This is another Bob Lee Swagger novel that I found hard to put down. The action, the characters, and the plot really makes this a fun read. However, some of the language may alienate readers - remember, a portion of the novel takes place in 1955, before the Civil Rights movement. The attitudes of the characters were in line with the times, which may justify it.

Another excellent novel from Stephen Hunter.

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