Wednesday, August 13, 2008

NIGHT OF THUNDER by Stephen Hunter

I stumbled across a new novel by Stephen Hunter that features Bob Lee Swagger. The title: Night of Thunder. It is scheduled for release September 23, 2008. Bob Lee is a Vietnam sniper who has had more trouble in this lifetime than anyone could possibly survive, but he always does survive and in an entertaining and exhilarating manner.

There have been four novels to feature Bob Lee Swagger so far—Point of Impact, Black Light, Time to Hunt, and The 47th Samurai. The first three were written in the mid-to-late 1990s and The 47th Samurai was released last autumn, and truth be told I was a little disappointed. Mr. Hunter moved Bob Lee from the back country of the United States and sent him to Japan without his rifle to fight with swords. The plot was loose, the setting weak and as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t buy into it.

I hope Night of Thunder is a return to Swagger’s good old stuff: the kind of thrillers that really do thrill with likable and believable (somewhat) characters, and larger-than-life problems that really can keep you up all night. And the rifle. I hope it is in Night of Thunder a bit more than the last one. I hope.

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