Soft Target – Stephen Hunter
I have been a fan of Stephen Hunter’s work for some time, so I was particularly pleased to acquire this book of his in hard cover form on sale at Chapters! Wahoo!
Mr. Hunter writes stories that are based around the lore of the sniper. His title character is usually one of the best, most experienced, military snipers in the world. In this book, Ray Cruz, who was introduced in an earlier book, is shopping with his wife in the Mall of America, when a group of unknown terrorists enter the mall, start shooting people, and end up with hostages. Ray works alone, and in cooperation with a child care worker, and an FBI sniper to try and help out. Of course, you’re right, it sounds kind of hokey, and is it at all likely that the best sniper in the world would suddenly be locked up in a mall with a bunch of bad guys keeping a bunch of good people hostage? Of course not. But you easily get into the story, and it seems plausible!
But it’s not just about shooting, there is a great story of local political leaders trying to make political hay out of this opportunity. There is plenty of espionage, and as you get further into the book you discover that things are not what they seem, and in fact are quite a bit different than you would expect.
This is an excellent read – Mr. Hunter is a master story teller, and it kept me in suspense until the very end to see how it played out.
My one complaint is that the ultimate premise (which you will discover when you read the book) is based on a widely believed misconception – one that has been front and centre in recent months. However, still an incredibly interesting read, drop by if you’d like to borrow it!