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Soft Target (Ray Cruz #2)

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3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  2,174 Ratings  ·  263 Reviews
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
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Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published (first published December 6th 2011)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Apr 12, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
This book is the "logical continuation" of the Bob Lee Swagger series of books...but it's not a Bob Lee book. Bob you see has gotten a little...long in the tooth. He was 64 years old in his last outing. Luckily for us however Bob discovered a long lost son! In this book the "saga" continues with Bob Lee's son, Ray Cruz.

The plot is one that I've been sort of dreading hearing of in real life... Terrorists decide to hit one of America's largest malls on "Black Friday".

Of course things aren't that s
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Cheryl
May 20, 2012 Cheryl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Ray Cruz was a Marine. He is trying to adjust to cilivan life. It is Christmas time. Ray and his friend, Molly are shopping. So are tons of other people on this day. People ae in a jolly mood and children are having fun sitting n Santa's lap, telling him their wish list. Suddenly, a shot is fired. Santa's brains go splattering. Soon people start to realize what has happened and panic arupts. People go screaming. More shots are fired. Terrorists come out from every direction. They gather people u
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Wesley
Dec 14, 2011 Wesley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin
Dec 27, 2011 Kevin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Man, this was a real let down. Let me first state that I am a huge Stephen Hunter fan. After reading my first Hunter book a couple of years ago I have devoured all he has written. I anxiously await when I new one comes out. I was on a waiting list to get this book from the library and was excited when it came in for me. Quickly I felt the disappointment in this story. Way too much going on, too many semi main characters, little side stories that didn't pan out worthwhile at the end and the uneve ...more
Rick Fisher
I am a huge fan of Stephen Hunter's Bob Lee Swagger novels. Bob Lee is the epitome of everyday man, of American man, of hero. This being said, he does not appear in "Soft Target". Bad news. His son Ray Cruz does though. Good news. (Also, his daughter has several cameo appearances as well.) With Ray appearing in his own novel, I wonder if Mr Hunter is prepared to retire Bob Lee. Fans, such as myself, can only hope not. I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the character of Ray, just not as well as his ...more
Nick Brett
Jan 23, 2013 Nick Brett rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed most of the author’s books to varying degrees, but this is without doubt the worst of his output.

The flaws and problems are many, in what is basically Die Hard in a shopping mall and Ray Cruz being the man in the spotlight to stop an attack. There is very little that is ‘right’ with it, so let me focus on the downside: It’s short, about 250 pages so quite expensive for a slim volume, it has an observational style of narrative that is annoying, the dialogue is utterly woeful and th
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Jeffrey
Taut short thriller.

When terrorists take over the America Mall and hold 1000 hostages, what will the police and FBI do to stop the carnage.

Ray Cruz, a former marine sniper, and his girlfriend are in the Mall shopping for gifts for Christmas when the action starts.

The police are led by a bureaucrat more interested in spin then dealing with the terrorists, who seem to have only one demand before they free the hostages.

Cruz goes on the hunt for terrorists in the Mall with the help of one of the sn
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Kristin
While this is one book in a series involving ex-military sniper Cruz, it was the first I read, drawn to the plot of terrorists taking siege of the largest mall in the USA. Of the 3 books I read with this similar plot, I'd say it falls in between Ridley Pearson's 'Hidden Charges', by far the best, and Alex Kava's 'Black Friday'.
Hunter definitely pulls readers in right away by having the shooters kill the in-mall Santa Claus on Black Friday in the book's very first line. From there, Hunter covers
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Ann Keller
Sep 17, 2012 Ann Keller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This novel grips the reader by the throat from the very first page and holds him on a mind bending razor’s edge until the final page is turned. We are asked to delve into the mind of the smart criminal, perhaps the most difficult assailant to predict and understand.

Disgruntled Andrew Nicks has been bailed out of school after school by his wealthy father. With his father’s prestige and power, young Nicks can have virtually anything he asks for - and they allow him his excesses. Despite their effo
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Alain Burrese
Aug 04, 2012 Alain Burrese rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"Soft Target" by Stephen Hunter is a fun action yarn, that if you wanted to sum up in a few words, could be called, "Die Hard" in a mall. Something that Hunter himself, I believe, also thought, especially with the little tongue-in-cheek reference to the 1988 action movie starring Bruce Willis, that along with Lethal Weapon really set standards for action movies to follow.

I'll admit, I enjoyed Hunter's previous books about Bob Lee Swagger more than this one, even though this book featured Swagger
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Mark
Apr 15, 2014 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, thriller

I suddenly wanted mind candy, I suddenly got mind candy. In this terrorism, malcontent against the world thriller, former Washington Post film critic Stephen Hunter creates a massive hostage incident at the Mall of America in Minnesota.

One day, Somali gunmen emerge in the mall, start firing and killing shoppers and herd them toward the amusement park in the center. In the meantime, Ray Cruz (hereinafter, Our Hero), former Marine sniper, happens to be in the mall, and is of course destined to be
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Paul Pessolano
Dec 09, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Soft Target” by Stephen Hunter, published by Simon & Schuster.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

In Stephen Hunter’s last book we were introduced to Ray Cruz. Ray is an ex-Marine sniper who is the son of Bob Lee Swagger. Bob Lee is also an ex-Marine sniper and has appeared in most of Hunter’s other novels.

At 3pm on Black Friday in America’s largest shopping mall, America, the Mall in suburban Minneapolis (not to be confused with The Mall of America) a potential massacre is about to take place.

Ray a
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Alan
Mar 03, 2012 Alan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nannie Bittinger
Nov 12, 2011 Nannie Bittinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Soft Target is definitely an exciting book. Set in a fictionalized Mall of America on Black Friday, the timing and location was perfect since my copy of the book which I won through Goodreads arrived in the mail on Black Friday and I live in Minnesota. Interesting characters and fast action. I'm not sure why the author chose to change the name of the mall after locating it in the Minneapolis metro area (like there is more than one???) but his description of the fictional 'America the Mall' was v ...more
Chuck
While trying to finish the Stephen Hunter books this one happened to be next. Remarkably finishing it today was appropriate because the terrorist disasters in Paris and San Bernadino, California are fresh in our minds from the past several weeks. This book written four years ago evokes such a similar event that it is unreal. Without going into detail about the plot Hunter wrote this novel almost like these events had occured prior. In any case, a typical fast moving story combining a mixed cast ...more
Monnie
Jan 09, 2012 Monnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Soft Target is the first book by Stephen Hunter I've read, and it certainly won't be the last -- definitely a fast-paced page-turner from the git-go! In part because the plot involves terrorists, I suppose, it reminded me of a cross between a Brad Thor novel (that's a good thing) without the political commentary and a "Die Hard" movie. Although it's tough for a non-computer gamer like me to believe what happens in the book could happen in the real world, Hunter makes it plausible enough to convi ...more
Todd
Dec 30, 2011 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another technothriller time killer.

Not a bad premise, jihadis taking over the Mall of America in Minnesota.. but I think Hunter really shortchanged us readers. This story could have been so much more developed and he really blew the opportunity to develop some of the more interesting martyrs themselves, as well as our protaganist.

It killed a night drinking pinot noir in front of a nice fire, so I give it an extra star for that.
Melissa Laird
I won an advanced copy of this book for goodreads. This is the first book for Stephen Hunter that I have ever read it was pretty good and I really enjoyed Ray's charecter and I even liked Lavelva's charecter but I had a hard time with all the jumping around it did.
Cathy
Feb 02, 2012 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To all who enjoy a good suspense
I could not put this book down! Scary because of the actual possibility of this happening. Pick it up, you'll get a very very good read.
Michael
Sep 19, 2013 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was like fast food: strangely inviting, goes down fast, somewhat satisfying, not particularly good for you.
wendy brown
Dec 29, 2016 wendy brown rated it it was amazing
Good read, unusual premise

There were a few scenes I could've done without as terrorists imagined what they'd do to young girls. Naturally I skipped those. About three of them. But over all a fast read with unique contemporary story line. It gets bogged down in a few places but not hard to skip that either.
Efranken
Jan 30, 2017 Efranken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
thriller based on Mall of America shootout
Alex Gherzo
Aug 04, 2013 Alex Gherzo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not one of Stephen Hunter's best, but a great, entertaining adventure nonetheless. A massive mall in middle America is taken hostage on Black Friday. As the authorities argue over how to deal with the crisis, former Marine Corps sniper Ray Cruz navigates the halls of the shopping center trying to take out the terrorists before they massacre a thousand frightened shoppers. Basically, it's the standard Die Hard scenario. It's been done many times and will be done many more. Sometimes it works real ...more
Neil
Thots so far - can't quite decide if the author is 'anti-right wing' or if he's just very good at writing about people who are. I do get tired of liberals being portrayed as 'the saviors of the world' when they tend to have their head in the sand when it comes to how 'the world really works' and how American conservatives are anathema and evil. It does get old.

So a group of Muslim terrorists have taken over the Mall of America, I mean, America, the Mall. We'll see how this turns out. Thot it was
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Nancy
Feb 14, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Truly enjoyable book. Lots of suspense, (don't like the killing), but plot is intricate, love the police commissioner being a total idiot (but keeps getting promoted -- who hasn't seen that in today's society -- it's not about worth anymore). Also, kids being so messed up and still are functioning in society and they further mess it up. At some point, all this will bite us and the world will be right. Not in my lifetime.......

Black Friday America's largest shopping mall Suburban Minneapolis 3:00
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Randy
Oct 02, 2013 Randy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

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

...more
Scott Holstad
Aug 13, 2014 Scott Holstad rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
If I wanted to read right wing politics, I'd pick up Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck, etc., but not Stephen Hunter. Yet under the guise of a "thriller," we have Hunter's view of Obama and the left and it's not pretty. Int his tale of a Somali terrorist takeover of the Mall of America in Minnesota, where they kill people at random and have about 1,000 hostages, we have the beginnings of an interesting story. Until we get to Colonel Douglas Obobo. I'm not making that last name up. He's a charismatic b ...more
Bradley
Jan 20, 2013 Bradley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"I clonked his ass with a eight iron"..."I hope they ain't mad I bust it"
I have no clue concerning the emotional landscape going on behind that sentence, actually I have no idea of how the character got in a position to do the clonking it was just very fortunate that they did.

There are rather too many moments in the book where I was left with those questions.

The heroes sidekick stretches credibility beyond breaking point. The scenario at its most basic might seem "all too real ", the rest is pur
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Randy Schultz
Dec 27, 2011 Randy Schultz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Hunters books. He writes one of the most well thought out testosterone torpedoes you could ever ask for. With Dead Zero, he put to bed a worry that had been building, that is, who will be the male protagonist going foreward? No offense to females anywhere but the Swagger clan seemed to end with two daughters who I just couldn't see filling the shoes of any of the Swaggers, but hell, I've made a habit of being wrong all my life. In this case however, Hunter gave us Swaggers long lost son, ...more
Nick Bolles
Apr 27, 2015 Nick Bolles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stephen Hunters novel, “Soft Target” is jam packed with non-stop action that is strongly written from the first page, to the end of the terror. Hunter uses many different styles. allowing for the reader to get into the book more, not allowing you to stop reading.

The strong written novel starts of on the biggest day of the year for shoppers, black Friday. First event that occurs is Saint Nick, also know as Santa, by getting shot in the head with an Ak-74. With shoppers running all over, the grou
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
Stephen Hunter is the author of fourteen novels, and a chief film critic at The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
More about Stephen Hunter...

Other Books in the Series

Ray Cruz (2 books)
  • Dead Zero (Bob Lee Swagger, #7; Ray Cruz, #1)

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