Heard: I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter, 2009, overdrive.com download.
The story goes something like this:
"Sniper, you're one tough sniping sniper, made of steel and sinew, a real Warrior Sniper. Gosh darn you're a tough, fast-twitch muscle, hand eye coordinating, stubborn snipery Marine sniper, Sniper"
"Shucks, I'm just a one, dumb Marine, Sniper. You and all the others got all the brains."
"Well, Sniper, you sure are tough and full of .308 168 grain Black Hills sniping hardness, ready to go until dead, full of integrity unlike all these anti-sniper left-wing weenies and D.C. Dickweeds who wouldn't know a rifle from a stick, you're Greatest Sniper Who Ever Lived And Ever Will Live Until the End of Time and Through The Age of Ray Guns."
"Aw schucks, Sniper. I just want to Sniper On with some .308 n168 grain Black Hills Sniping with my trusty sniper rifle I use for Sniping. Gillie suit."
Throw in some Hunter-style big government and big business conspiracies and some right-wing and anti-press rants for the characters. Make it super cheesy and add plenty saccharine. Hunter sure did lay it on heavy in this one. Slathered it on like a kid icing a cupcake. I don't recall him throwing if out so heavy in previous novels. Maybe something happened in 2008 or 2009 to set him off. The Third Bullet (2013) was much more mystery and thrills.
To be fair it is the characters yammering about hypocritical lefties and the awfulness of the New York Times. And some characters are lefties whining about guns, and rednecks and killers. But, it's pretty damn clear whose side Hunter is on. Heck, that's fine. Hunter has always made that clear and I've continued to enjoy the books. But, I, Sniper really veered off in political and cultural noise.
1. How many times was the word "sniper" used? Was Hunter paid by the word like a pulp writer? Except he was paid by the word "sniper"?