A Review of The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter

The Third BulletThe Third Bullet: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel

Stephen Hunter

Simon & Schuster; January 15, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed this thoughtful action thriller. It is one of the best books I’ve read in the last few months.

James Aptapton, a published writer, with a multibook contract, is killed by a black Camaro on a street in Baltimore. It looks like a hit and run but it was a murder for hire.

Jean Marquez, James Aptapton’s widow, visits Cascade, Idaho to talk to Bob Lee Swagger. To get him to listen to what  happened to her husband. To get him interested enough to look into the murder. Jean tells Swagger that her husband had come back from Dallas after checking on a story about an overcoat that was found in the DalTex building, which is the building across Houston Street from the Texas School Book Depository. DalTex had figured into a few Kennedy assassination theories. Aptapton needed to write a new book to fulfill his contract and thought that this might lead somewhere. As Jean was about to leave, Swagger hears something that gets him instantly involved.

So begins an exciting new look at the Kennedy assassination. Mr. Hunter weaves an intricate story that involves some of Swagger’s old buddies and an old, thought to be dead, adversary. Swagger is on a mission and won’t be denied.

This is a thought-provoking novel and a very exciting adventure. A thriller and a theory. Well worth reading. I give this book 5 stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Book Description

Release Date: January 15, 2013 | Series: Bob Lee Swagger

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

Hardcover: 496 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (January 15, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 145164020X

ISBN-13: 978-1451640205

Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

About the Author

Stephen Hunter has written eighteen novels, including I, Sniper and Point of Impact. In 2003 he won the Pulitzer Price for Distinguished Criticism for his work at  The Washington Post, where he retired as chief film critic. He has also published two collections of film criticism and a nonfiction work about the attempted assassination of Harry Truman, American Gunfight.

Product descriptions are quoted from Amazon The Third Bullet: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel

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