How far will someone go to get justice of a son? Bob Lee Swagger is smart, retired and yet at his age can still handle a gun and taken down a sniper. Janel McDowell appears out of nowhere while he is sitting in his rocking chair and not expecting anyone to visit. She explains that her son, Tom was shot by a sniper in Bagdad and his death has gone unsolved. She has learned the identity of the sniper, Juba the Sniper who as you get to know him throughout the novel, is deadly, dangerous and has killed hundreds of Americans with the precision of a surgeon performing an open-heart operation to perfection. Appealing to Swagger and piquing his interest she manages to convince him to agree to hunt this man down. But when you learn his backstory and see him in action Swagger might think twice but does not. She managed to infiltrate and become part of the CIA and she was beaten and seriously hurt. But nothing will stop her from being part of this investigation as Swagger meets with several law enforcement men the hunt begins. The Cracker Barrel is where his team will meat and while they are planning to take him down and he is explaining what he knows and what they need to hopefully accomplish, Juba is dreaming of killing more Marines.
Each step of the way the teams in place synchronize their movements as Swagger and Mr. Gold from the Mossad create what the hope is a plan to take this man down. But within the story we get to learn Juba’s thoughts, hear his words and understand that his allegiance is to Allah and none other. Anyone that deems to want to get in his good graces, helps him with carrying out his kills, winds up exactly the intended victim does. Loyalties are gone, no one matters to him and the result is that he decides who to kill with only his reasons in place. Juba is hungry for the kill and when he learns about Swagger and understands his quest it becomes a race to the finish line but who will cross it without any bloodshed? The lessons learned within this novel teaches every reader just how the snipers get in position, the types of point shells used, the necessity to prepare and the precision that is needed in order to be successful. The author shares his knowledge of many types of weapons and throughout the novel each side prepares, each side has his own strategy but will Counter Intelligence, the FBI, Mossad and all of the other agencies coordinate and work as one oiled machine to take down all of the parties besides Juba?
The technology is great, and the U.S. intel unveils that Juba is on his way to America to kill a high-profile target and Swagger is supposed to be a crack shot, comes home but will he participate in the final kill.
Janet McDowell is Tommy’s mother and for some reason is part of the operation even the danger because she wants to make sure that Juba does not survive but why risk her life? Swagger is a first-class sniper and his skills on the battlefield are bar none the best and with his exact measurements, the intel gotten from Chandler one of the agents who smart and a strong female character plus Nick, the Assistant Director, Mr. Gold from Mossad and a team that everyone would want in their side the only thorn is finding Juba. Janet is tenacious and strong, but she has been raped, beaten and dealt with soldiers that served with Tommy and is determined to make sure that Swagger does not fail.
Meeting Jared who helps and assists Juba you realize that this young man is caught in so many webs of lies and deceits and yet he claims to be loyal to this man and in the end, you won’t believe what you learn. Janet is bent on getting her son’s killer and even though the CIA and Pentagon denounced her efforts and felt she was a grieving other who has gone over the edge, she would not give up. As Swagger is enticed to travel to a small town in southern Syria and hopes to repay the favor by taking the right shot there is much more that happens before the final explosive confrontation. He goes to Israel, Tel Aviv and meets with the team from Mossad who have their own rules and way of executing a kill. Lessons are learned on both sides and the differences between how Americans and Israelis handle this situation is defined by the author and will explain in detail why Mossad gets it done. Juba has his kills lined up and his past is related as he is the son of a wheat farmer who cherishes the wheat and what it will do for the Muslim people.
A character on the other side is Alberto showing readers how a young boy can be roped into the life of a killer sniper. Menendez is the man who is providing Juba with all the ammunition, the places to stay and helping him to orchestrate what he wants to have one. Menendez is a strong character who thinks that he has it under control with Juba. Realizing the Juba needs to be alone in order to concentrate and things did not go as well as planned in Wichita and thinking they would just part ways. His testimonial to Juba is filled with platitudes, praise and yet there is an undercurrent that he does not see coming. Menendez has a special weapon and when Juba requests to see it what happens next takes more than the wind out of him but shocks readers too.
La Cubebra is called the Snake and is appearance will shock you as he hears the shot that takes someone out. Hating to be unprepared, a woman named Rita is at this side to help with whatever he needs but no one is safe, nothing is sacred and anyone that is in his crossfire is expendable.
From chapter 57until the end the author creates a distance account of when and where this final stage of killing will take place.
The data is in and the plans are set and Nick along with Mr. Gold, Swagger and a team of experts want to be found up the person called Renegade, hope that the man who is marked for death by Juba called Mogul survives but there is much preparation, much coordination, and Chandler is great when finding information as she learns an important address.
With the distance of 1445 in place we learn Juba speaking to Allow and we see the screens and the crowds gathering in New York. The command center is ready, the preparations are prepared like a well-planned game of checkers or chess the author allows readers to enter the minds of both Juba and Swagger before the final shot is taken. Author Stephen Hunter provides a story line that is realistic and yet leads readers to learn just how dangerous the work of a sniper really is.
When both are in place, the weapons drawn and the target unknowingly about to be taken out, which one will get that fatal shot and take out the other? The final scene is tense, electrifying and the author creates something that is filled with fire, vim and the hope of one mother to finally be able to rest and let her son rest in peace hoping that the man who killed him is gone. But the ending is for you the reader to learn as you must think long and hard as Swagger vs. Juba both strong characters both skilled but which one’s shot will hit their mark? Does anyone in all reality win at THE GAME OF SNIPERS?
Fran Lewis: just reviews