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Authors: Stephen Hunter

Soft Target

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“MR. HUNTER WRITES
ACTION SCENES AS WELL AS,
OR BETTER THAN, ANYONE
IN THE BUSINESS.”

THE NEW YORK SUN

 

 

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

 

Ten thousand people jam the aisles, the corridors, the elevators, and the escalators of America, the Mall—a giant Rubik’s Cube of a 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 new thriller,
Soft Target
, chronicles the day when the unthinkable happens: twelve gunmen open fire in the mall corridors, driving the pack before them. Those on the upper floors take cover or get out any way they can; but within a few minutes the gunmen have herded more than a thousand hostages into the amusement park.

Ray Cruz, one of the heroes of Hunter’s last bestseller,
Dead Zero
, is in the mall with his fiancée and her family. The retired Marine sniper thought he was done with stalking and killing—but among the trapped thousands, he’s the only one with a plan and the guts to confront the self-proclaimed “Brigade Mumbai.” Now all he needs is a gun.

FBI Sniper Dave McElroy has a gun. But positioned on the roof of the vast building, looking down through one of its thickly paned Great Lakes–shaped skylights, and without explosives or fuses—or the go-ahead from his superiors—he is effectively cut off from his targets and forced into the role of witness to the horror unfolding below.

Set during the four hours of the terrifying event, the story follows both hostages and gunmen, detailing the complex strategic police response, the full-press media saturation coverage, even the politics of SWAT as both the Minnesota State Police and the FBI struggle to control, confront, and ultimately defuse the crisis.

Having learned the lessons of Columbine, the feds believe that immediate action is the only solution. But Douglas Obobo, the charismatic and ambitious commandant of the state police, orders cooperation, tolerance, communication, and empathy for the gunmen. He feels that with his superior negotiating skills, he can make contact with the shooters and gently nudge them into surrender. But what if their goal all along has been unparalleled massacre—and they’re only waiting for prime time?

With unrelenting suspense and vivid scenes of violence and chaos in the center of a terror-crazed afternoon in Middle America, thriller master Stephen Hunter takes us into the belly of the softest of soft targets.

 

PRAISE FOR STEPHEN HUNTER’S
DEAD ZERO
THE THRILLER THAT INTRODUCED
MARINE SNIPER RAY CRUZ

 


Dead Zero
is at its best when Hunter has Cruz in the novel’s crosshairs.”


THE OREGONIAN

 

“The only book better than a new Jack Reacher novel is a new Bob Lee Swagger adventure.
Dead Zero
, with
a dynamite plot and riveting characters,
is everything any action fan could want as
[Swagger] pits his wits against a man who could be a younger version of himself.”


TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL

 

“If anyone could be more valorous, more skilled and resourceful,
more uncompromisingly upright, and
at the same time more downright deadly
than Bob Lee Swagger,
it would have to be Gunnery Sergeant Ray Cruz.”


KIRKUS REVIEWS

 

“Stephen Hunter’s Bob Lee Swagger is getting to be almost as popular as James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux or Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. . . . In
Dead Zero
. . . there’s a marine sniper out there who just won’t die.
He mirrors Swagger in his talent and intensity. His name is Ray Cruz
. . . .
Dead Zero
is packed with Hunter’s patented action sequences, great character studies and sinister villains working on their doctorate in Power.
Here’s hoping we see more of the unstoppable Ray Cruz. He’d make a fitting successor in Hunter’s army elite.”

—MADISON COUNTY HERALD.COM

 

MORE PRAISE FOR STEPHEN HUNTER

 

“Hunter is a great entertainer,
one of our finest practitioners of the classic, blood-soaked and propulsive American thriller.”


THE WASHINGTON POST

 

“Master of the modern gunfighter tale, he isn’t just
the best action writer of this generation,
but the best of any.”


THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL

 

“Few authors, of any genre,
write with as much swagger and verve
as film-critic-turned-thriller-bestseller Hunter.”


FT. WORTH STAR TELEGRAM

 
 

 

STEPHEN HUNTER
has written 17 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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SimonandSchuster.com

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JACKET DESIGN BY DAVID TER-AVANESYAN
JACKET PHOTOGRAPH OF BULLET HOLE © SHUTTERSTOCK
COPYRIGHT © 2011 SIMON & SCHUSTER

 
 

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ALSO BY STEPHEN HUNTER

 

__________

 

Dead Zero

 

I, Sniper

 

Night of Thunder

 

The 47th Samurai

 

American Gunfight
(with John Bainbridge, Jr.)

 

Now Playing at the Valencia

 

Havana

 

Pale Horse Coming

 

Hot Springs

 

Time to Hunt

 

Black Light

 

Violent Screen: A Critic’s 13 Years on the Front Lines of Movie Criticism

 

Dirty White Boys

 

Point of Impact

 

The Day Before Midnight

BOOK: Soft Target
13.82Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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