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

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  4,225 Ratings  ·  203 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Hunter comes a thriller that plunges deep into the world of high-tech national security, the hearts and minds of those who kill for duty, and the latest mission for veteran sniper Bob Lee Swagger— who may have finally met the only man who can outshoot him.

Who killed Whiskey 2-2?

And why won’t it stay

Hardcover, 406 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Simon & Schuster
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Point of Impact by Stephen HunterTime to Hunt by Stephen HunterThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythDead Zero by Stephen HunterAmerican Sniper by Chris Kyle
Best Sniper Fiction
4th out of 14 books — 7 voters
The Meat Market by James ChalkKilling Floor by Lee ChildPatient Zero by Jonathan MaberryThe Book of Occult by Simon W. ClarkPoint of Impact by Stephen Hunter
Ass-Kicking Action Thrillers
36th out of 141 books — 70 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike (the Paladin)
I just finished this book and the one that follows it in the "series" (if I may call them a series) Soft Target (review to follow, LOL). I've now read all but one of the books considered part of the Bob Lee Swagger series except one. I somehow missed the third in the series (Time To Hunt) I'm about halfway through that one. These books are a mixed bag.

I know someone's out there shaking their head thinking (or yelling at the screen), "yeah but I came here for a review on THIS book."

Okay, valid po
Jan 01, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it
Dead Zero Every time I’m in a jam, I just ask myself “what would Bob Lee Swagger do”? But looks like ole Bob Lee is getting a mite old and slow, so we have a new addition to the mix, Ray Cruz, Marine sniper and one mean fella on a mission to avenge his spotter, killed in an ambush in Afghanistan. This one gets a strong 4 Stars but not 5, because it was just too similar in many ways to Point Of Impact and did not meet the excitement level I expect from Mr. Hunter. Still, no one does bloody, loud, ...more
Paul Pessolano
Feb 03, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
Ray Cruz is a Marine sniper. He is on a mission to take out Ibrahim Zarzi (aka The Beheader".

Ray is in big trouble, in fact, so big that his Commanding Officer has asked everyone at headquarters to, "pray for Ray if you're religious. And if you're not religious, pray for Ray. That's an order".

Ray has been ambushed twice on this mission in Afghanistan just narrowly escaping with his life. Ray becomes very concerned when he discovers that the people trying to kill him are not Taliban or Al-Qaida,
Jul 02, 2012 DR rated it did not like it
I'm a longtime fan of the "Bob the Nailer" sniper novels--all of the way back to POINT OF IMPACT in 1993. Heck, I admit that I enjoyed the Mark Wahlberg movie, SHOOTER, which updated Bob Lee by several decades. Even more, I love the novels featuring Bob Lee's even tougher dad, the Medal of Honor winner from Blue Eye, Arkansas, "Mister Earl" Swagger. However, Hunter's novels have been spiraling downhill since he retired from the Washington Post. Maybe the time stolen from film criticism sharpened ...more
Scott Holstad
Oct 13, 2014 Scott Holstad rated it it was ok
This book started out really well, but the ending was so incredibly stupid that I have to give it just a couple of stars. The book starts out with Ray Cruz, a Marine sniper who is tasked with having to assassinate an Afghan warlord named Ibrahim Zarzi. However, out in the Afghan wilderness, he and his spotter are jumped by mercenaries (American). His spotter is killed, he is wounded, but escapes. He tries to complete his mission, but a missile destroys the building he was going to use to do it o ...more
Dennis Larsen
Jul 07, 2014 Dennis Larsen rated it it was amazing
As with all of Mr. Hunter's books, I really enjoyed it. I can relate to the characters and they truly come to life throughout the story. Another winner from my favorite author.
Nick Brett
Sep 04, 2012 Nick Brett rated it liked it
I like Stephen Hunter’s stuff, but I haven’t read them all and tend to dip in and out and often not in sequence. But he has made Bob Lee Swagger an iconic character and done very well to keep rolling out stories on the fairly limited subject of snipers.
Here we have an older semi-retired Swagger being asked to help out the FBI in tracking down a top marine sniper that is almost a younger version of Swagger himself. The sniper has gone off the range to complete a compromised mission and in additio
Alex Gherzo
Jan 13, 2013 Alex Gherzo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 11, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it
Stephen Hunter brought his "A" game to Dead Zero. In the initial chapters in Afghanistan, military sniper Sgt Rey Cruz and his spotter begin their authorized assignment to kill a terrorist known as the "Beheader." The two soldiers are ambushed by three American mercenaries under contract to an unknown high U.S. government official. Cruz survives two attempts on his life and then the cat & mouse begins back in the U.S. Cruz vows to kill the Afghan terrorist who has become the darling of the C ...more
Feb 18, 2011 Shelley rated it liked it
Dead Zero is the seventh book in the Bob Lee Swagger series, and probably the most politically charged one when it comes to the actual setting of the story.

Reyes Fidencio Cruz aka Rzay Cruz, is a 42 year old USMC Sniper and one of the best there is. He's turned down numerous requests for promotion, and alot better paying onces in the private sector to remain in the corps. In other words, he's a patriot and he loves his job. He and his spotter partner Lance Corporal Skelton are sent deep into Afg
Sherri Vigil
Jul 05, 2012 Sherri Vigil rated it it was amazing
For those readers who like modern day military mystery thrillers, this I would recommend. This thriller starts in Afghanistan with the top Seal sniper sent on a mission, but he and his spotter are ambushed by ????. This story is a great mix of soooo many whys, whos, hows, hhmmms, yikes, twists, turns, and then 3/4 through the book you have a "you've got to be kidding me" surprise moment! Then off you go again to the very last page. I don't like to give away any plots to fellow readers, however, ...more
Jesse Ing
Nov 15, 2014 Jesse Ing rated it it was amazing
Great read, Bob The Nailer getting it done at 64. Love him!
Oct 30, 2014 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another solid thriller from Hunter. This one introduces Ray Cruz, a USMC sniper serving in Afghanistan, who has been ordered to take out an Islam warlord, Ibrahim Zarzi, known as the "Beheader." But before he can do so, he and his spotter are attacked by a group of well-trained mercenaries and his mission goes uncompleted. In the mean time, the Beheader has supposedly changed alliances and is now working with the U.S. and is the front-runner to be the next Afghan president. But Cruz wants to com ...more
Jul 03, 2011 Joyce rated it really liked it
Bob Lee Swagger's adventures are always fascinating. His innate ability to use his history as a sniper to determine what will happen next and where make for good reading. This time he's after another sniper who is presumed to have gone rebel. There are also mercs chasing Swaggert and the other sniper. Both the FBI and CIA are also part of this. It is terrific summer reading.
May 22, 2011 Quinn rated it it was ok
Shelves: action, 2011-books
I really liked how this book started but the long drawn out story made this book just ok. I like the Swagger books because he is a bad ass killing machine. He was neither of those things in Dead Zero. The action sequences were lacking and the plot very predictable. I did like parts of this book but I want heroes not dead zeros. Overall, this book missed the target for me.
Jun 06, 2014 Cynthia rated it it was ok
So, now he has a son. I guess the author had to do something to keep his series going, as it was obvious Bob was getting too long in the tooth. Is the reader to believe that Swagger had DNA testing done simply because he thought Ray looked like his father? WOW!!

Then, the ending. Holy cow! The bad guy is at the White House with the president. The FBI has to get to the White House to stop the assassination. The head FBI guy yells for a sniper, but all the FBI snipers have gone home for the day! WH
Apr 03, 2016 Exanimis rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, adventure
This is a Bob lee Swagger story and the first appearance of Ray Cruize, both excellent snipers.

An American sniper team is sent in to eliminate a target. While they are moving in the target becomes an asset to America and the opp is called off. The sniper team has no way of finding out about the recall so a decision is made to eliminate the sniper team. Only one survives the attack and he is determined to complete his mission at all cost. Bob Lee Swagger is called in as the only sniper capable o
Steve Davis
May 14, 2013 Steve Davis rated it it was amazing
Got hooked in 20 pages. Surprise ending with some interesting views on current politics and life styles. I really liked this book - but there are some tedious spots - and a lot of gun information.
Theo Cage
Apr 07, 2016 Theo Cage rated it really liked it
OK! I'm a Stephen Hunter fan, first, and a thriller fan, second. I'm not squeamish about gore and I love military stuff. But I have a problem. Near the end, the two villains of the piece head off for some R&R and they end up in one of those cliche houses of ill repute, a modern Hollywood trope that irritates me to no end. The hooker with the heart of gold services our two anti-heroes for hours, never tiring, always enthusiastic. What a load of crap. Mr. Hunter - read about modern prostitutio ...more
Dec 21, 2010 Brian rated it really liked it
Stephen Hunter.
Bob Lee Swagger.
Need I say more?
Book 7 was a thrill. Leave it to The Nailer to thwart the bad guys
in his aw-shucks style.
Matthuvius Manhandlinglambs
Apr 30, 2013 Matthuvius Manhandlinglambs rated it really liked it
Fun, edge-of-seat read, although the big relationship reveal at the end comes out of nowhere and seems overly coincidental, silly, and unnecessary
Alicia J
Jan 31, 2013 Alicia J rated it it was amazing
Bob Lee is getting up there in years, but he's still got it. Another excellent installment from the incomparable Stephen Hunter.
Christine Howard
Feb 24, 2015 Christine Howard rated it really liked it
Shelves: joyof-books-2015
Hunter does a great job of drawing you into his military/political thrillers. His character Bob Lee Swagger for all his faults knows how to focus. In thin book a sniper in Afghanistan is sent to kill a man known as the Beheader, but when his spotter is killed and the building he occupies is blown up he disappears. Reappearing a few years later ready to go after the man who now is supported by people in the U.S. government to become the Afghanistani president. The story is more involved and there ...more
Neil M
Jun 04, 2014 Neil M rated it liked it
Shelves: action-thriller
I've been reading Stephen Hunter for many years now, and he is one of my very favorite authors. That being said, this book not one of his best. Still a great read, but not as good as some of the other Swagger books. Very different type of story, with a very different Bob Lee Swagger. I understand the guy's in his sixties now, but I miss the brutal, violent, ultra-tough Bob Lee from previous books. Still had a great line towards the end of the book, when Bob says, "My name is Bob the Nailer. I ki ...more
Feb 13, 2011 Chris rated it liked it
Didn't like this as much as his other books I've read.
Another page turner from Hunter again starring Bob Lee Swagger and introducing Ray Cruz. Thoroughly enjoyed the book although there were some connections in the plot that made any semblance to reality difficult. But that is only a problem if you view this genre as reality. Bob Lee Swagger has more testosterone than a 1990's defensive lineman in the NFL. That's ok because in the bookstores that I go in most books are saturated with other hormones. In any case, if you enjoy a fast paced espionage ...more
Jul 05, 2014 Dan rated it really liked it
Although this story isn't what I would call original & it breaks with the tradition of the Bob Lee Swagger novels (that I've read so far) it was still an very enjoyable read.
Let me explain what I mean by the story line not being original. This story deals with the modern war in Afghanistan, special operations soldiers operating in that theatre of war, snipers & counter snipers, CIA, FBI, Counter espionage & terrorist plots on American soil. There were times that the story reminded m
Oct 29, 2013 Wayne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adults
Recommended to Wayne by: Goodreads
This was one of Stephen Hunter's best books. His hero is Bob Lee Swagger who is getting along in the years now. He is in his 60s and is trying to stay away from all things civilization has to offer and to lose himself in the wild reaches of his ranch in Idaho. But of course his friend Nick Memphis, hotshot executive with the FBI, shows up and Bob Lee cannot refuse this next assignment. Bob Lee uses his brains and sniper knowledge to assist the FBI in a very tough task involving the president of ...more
Jan 08, 2011 Tony rated it it was ok
Shelves: thrillers
Hunter, Stephen. DEAD ZERO. (2010). **. My wife is a big fan of Hunter, though I had never read any of his novels. Thought I’d try this, his latest in the series featuring Bob Lee Swagger, his legendary assassin. Turns out that what this novel really is is a listing of all the latest armaments available for effective snipering (?) and a series of short snappy scenes that put the various snipers into conflict with each other and selected targets – and, of course, a body count of the collateral da ...more
Alain Burrese
Aug 04, 2012 Alain Burrese rated it it was amazing
I'm a fan of Stephen Hunter's Bob Lee Swagger character, and I was excited to learn about "Dead Zero" a number of months before it was released. After finishing it this morning, I'm hoping Hunter writes more about the characters in this latest novel of his. It was interesting that Bob the Nailer doesn't "nail" anyone in this book, at least not from behind a sniper system, but it was still an enjoyable read and I have liked seeing where Hunter takes Swagger as he ages. He's not the same man who a ...more
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few errors 1 18 Sep 29, 2011 01:10PM  
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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

Bob Lee Swagger (9 books)
  • Point of Impact (Bob Lee Swagger, #1)
  • Black Light (Bob Lee Swagger, #2)
  • Time to Hunt (Bob Lee Swagger, #3)
  • The 47th Samurai (Bob Lee Swagger, #4)
  • Night of Thunder (Bob Lee Swagger, #5)
  • I, Sniper (Bob Lee Swagger, #6)
  • The Third Bullet (Bob Lee Swagger, #8)
  • Sniper's Honor (Bob Lee Swagger, #9)

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