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Soft Target: A Thriller [Paperback]

Stephen Hunter
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.00
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Book Description

May 29 2012
Black Friday America’s largest shopping mall Suburban Minneapolis 3:00 P.M.

Ten thousand people jam the aisles and the escalators of America, the Mall—a giant structure with its own amusement park located in the spacious center atrium. Of those people, nine thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight have come to shop.

The other twelve have come to kill.

Stephen Hunter’s hyper-drive, eighth-gear thriller chronicles the day when the unthinkable happens: terrorists descend upon the heartland, opening fire in mall corridors and executing innocent victims one by one. Those on the upper floors, including retired Marine sniper Ray Cruz, take cover or get out any way they can, but within minutes the gunmen have rounded up more than a thousand hostages, and the story comes down to one man with a gun.

Except Ray doesn’t have a gun.

Frequently Bought Together

Soft Target: A Thriller + Time to Hunt + Point of Impact
Price For All Three: CDN$ 33.38

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Product Description


One of the Best Books of 2012 (St. Louis Post-Dispatch )

“Stephen Hunter spent years reviewing movies for The Washington Post. That work gave him a keen sense of pacing and timing. The evidence shows up in Soft Target, which unrolls a complicated and grabby plot in just 256 tense pages. And Hunter packs in a surprise with the identity and motive of the individual behind the terrorist attack.”St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Hunter’s writing is sharp, detailed and laced with enough offhand wit to keep readers from sinking into the general gore and Islam-bashing. . . . Hunter has produced a fast, gratifying read.”The Houston Chronicle

“A solid addition to Stephen Hunter’s sniper series, made more engaging by its invocation of current events and political posturing. I join his other fans in hoping he has another one already in the works.”The Washington Times

“Stephen Hunter didn’t invent the high-action thriller. But, as he once again demonstrates in the lightning-paced Soft Target, he might as well have. . . . Soft Target is Die Hard with a brain and a plan. A lean, action-packed tale that begs to be read in a single sitting.”The Providence Journal

“Fast-paced…fearsome.”Publishers Weekly

“Combining elements of the locked-room mystery, the disaster novel, and the lock-and-load thriller, Hunter produces a remarkably gripping tale, building character (the captives, the bureaucrats, and the “terrorists” all get compelling backstories) every bit as convincingly as he drives the narrative to its High Noon–style finale.”Booklist (starred review)

“Any thriller in which Middle Eastern terrorists whack Santa on the first page is bound to be exciting. As always, Hunter has crafted a fast-paced and all-too-plausible telling of our worst nightmares coming true. Ray Cruz is a worthy successor to Swagger. Hunter’s fans, along with new readers, will enjoy the violent battle between Cruz and the bad guys.”Library Journal

“Black Friday [is] on the cusp of becoming blood-soaked Friday. . . . Among the shoppers, albeit reluctantly, is Ray Cruz, a retired marine sniper, son of the iconic marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger, whose valorous exploits Hunter has richly detailed (Dead Zero, 2010, etc.). . . . Snipers and SWAT teams gather, but only one man is in an advantageous tactical position, behind enemy lines, as it were. Only one man, but he’s Bob Lee Swagger’s son, and what a good thing it is that the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.”Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Stephen Hunter has written seventeen novels. The retired chief film critic for The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, he has also published two collections of film criticism and a nonfiction work, American Gunfight. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly short Dec 8 2011
When I saw that there was a new Stephen Hunter book coming out, I was pumped! I've read pretty much all his books and loved them.
But when I got to the book store and saw the book I was disapointed. A novel by Hunter that's only 256 pages? Wow, that's short...
As for the novel itself, it's not bad, but it's not the greatest thing he wrote. Story's kind of cliche, but at least Ray Cruz is a great new character (but I liked him more in Dead Zero), can't wait to see him back, but this time whit a better and longer story.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Hunter effort... ever Dec 3 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
In previous reviews of Hunter's work, I have opined, in no particular order: 1. Bob Lee Swagger is the greatest literary hero in american literature 2. Several but not all of the Swagger books are brilliant 3. The movie version of Swagger, Shooter, was an abomination and not even close to the character as written 3. Hunter developed some sort of psychotic antipathy to his creation (like Conan Doyle did to Holmes) and has alternately tried to kill him, hobble him, or age him into uselessness 4. The attempt to "convert" Swagger into his son, Nick Cruz (like a conversion in football) would not end well. AND HERE WE HAVE THE PROOF. Hard to believe this so-so narrative comes from one of the greatest writers ever. Cruz still has no character which is ironic since Swagger had enough character for 10 protagonists. Lots of time shifting that serves no useful purpose. Contains the obligatory incompetent official, which is hardly original. A very forgettable effort. And -- inside joke -- at one point Cruz tried to phone his biological father, Swagger, for help, and gets voicemail. Ouch
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1.0 out of 5 stars Going downhill fast Dec 1 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I really used to enjoy Hunter, but this is nothing but a right wing wet dream. Stick to the early stuff.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read April 2 2013
By tamckay
Format:Kindle Edition
Plenty of excitement, I don't know if this is the first book with a female news reporter Swagger, but I wouldn't mind seeing more.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Cruz and Commander Obobo Dec 30 2011
I read this story through the night, and enjoyed it a lot. I must say Ray Cruz is a worthy hero. And the interesting Commander Obobo is so 'familiar': he has floated upward - pretty much nonstop - from Harvard through every level of the police force, aiming to be (ta dah!) the first 'black' head of the FBI. When reality strikes, and jihadis take over a huge mall, with the aim of actually murdering a thousand people, Obobo's brain cannot compute. But... he is great looking and makes really good speeches and the media just LOVES him!
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