Thursday, July 24, 2014

Done: "The Third Bullet" by Stephen Hunter

Done: The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter, 2013, 9781451640205.

Fun stuff.  I picked up this up at work, started reading, and decided to take it home even though I already have a book stack I am working through.  Hunter makes such effortless novels. Takes a nice stroll through the history of the JFK assassination and Oswald.

Short version: Bob Lee Swagger uncovers the true conspiracy of JFK's murder.

Long version: Hunter kills off a fictional version of himself as a gun writer who found previously unknown evidence of conspiracy to kill JFK.  Fictional Hunter is murdered and wife stakes out Bob Lee Swagger to ask for his technical advice.  Swagger is immediately intrigued when the hears a connection between the JFK killing and a bob guy in the first Swagger novel, Point of Impact.

Swagger travels on his own dime to Dallas.  Works with FBI pal. Travels to Moscow.  Gets in trouble with the Russian mob and bribes way into KGB archives.  Moscow is a dead end.  Swagger turns attention back to U.S. and a supposedly dead CIA agent.  More action.  More intrigue.  More Oswald.  More history.  Bad guy's tale told from bad guy's memoir writing.  More shooting.  More gun love.  Swagger pulls the threads together and revenges Officer Tippit's murder.

Gun love.  Let me count the ways:
1. .38 Super
2. 1911
3. Gsh-18
4. .38 Special Smith and Wesson Military and Police models.
5. Harsh criticism of poorly mounted scopes on poorly made scope mounts for a scope with poor quality glass.
6.  Bullet design.
7. Ballistics design.
8. Winchester Model 70.
9. HK48 machine guns
10. Wilson 1911s.
11. Mauser C96 "Red Nine".  Never heard of that before.  A 9MM Mauser marked with a red numeral nine on the stock to show caliber.

1. I need to read Max Allan Collin's take on the assassination conspiracy theory he did with his Nate Heller character.
2. One character had a neat Terminator theory of the assassination.  Kennedy survives the attempt, because hard-core pacifist (there's a oxymoron) and destroys the U.S. nuclear arsenal.  The Soviets, or a rogue Soviet general, launch nuclear attacks that devastates the planet.  A killer is sent back in time to make sure Kennedy dies.  When Kennedy dies the shooter and all evidence of his work - Zap! - disappears.
3. Hunter uses Swagger to go over a lot of the conspiracy talk and theories.  It's an entertaining look at things through Swagger's technical and tactical eyes.

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