Bob Lee Swagger’s war was Vietnam and now the former sniper has been out of the game a long time, and, sadly, nothing has ever replaced what he’s appalled to call the killing fever.
Then his friend Kathy Reilly, Moscow correspondent for the Washington Post, sends Bob an e-mail asking for his help in researching a story about legendary WWII Russian sniper Ludmilla Milli Petrova, whose name mysteriously disappeared from the historical record around 1945. Why was she expunged from both German and Russian records? Will Swagger help Reilly track the story?
As Swagger and Reilly slowly unravel Milli’s past they discover that, even 70 years after the fact, there are still people who don’t want the story told.
Perhaps most memorable of all, though, is Hunter’s vivid re-creation of the carnage on the Eastern Front, where, as Milli notes, the Russians’ only advantage over the Germans was numbers: If they kill us five to one, we bring six to one . . . we shall prevail because, all things being equal, we can outbleed them. May be Hunter’s best ever.
8/14 Jack Quick
SNIPER’S HONOR by Stephen Hunter. Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (May 20, 2014). ISBN 978-1451640212. 432p.