Adam's Reviews > Black Light

Black Light by Stephen Hunter
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's review
Aug 19, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, action-adventure
Read in August, 2007

For his second book featuring Bob Lee Swagger, the retired Marine gunnery sergeant falsely accused of a political assassination in Point of Impact, Stephen Hunter chose to incorporate several characters from his previous novel, Dirty White Boys . This seems like sort of an odd choice, since Point of Impact and Dirty White Boys originally had nothing to do with each other, but in general Black Light works, though it didn't blow me away. The first half of the narrative is split between 1996 and 1955, as Swagger and a young writer work to uncover the truth behind the murder of Bob Lee's father, Earl Swagger, a state trooper who was supposedly murdered by a paroled convict named Jimmy Pye. (The aforementioned young writer, Russ Pewtie, is the son of Bud Pewtie, the state trooper from Dirty White Boys who hunted down and eventually killed the escaped convict Lamar Pye, Jimmy Pye's son). The second half focuses exclusively on the present day, as Bob Lee and Russ race to uncover a massive conspiracy while being hunted by a variety of trained killers.

I enjoyed Black Light well enough, but I couldn't help feeling as if it was probably more fun for Hunter to write than it was for me to read. The connections between the two previous narratives are convoluted, and really smack of writerly vanity. Either that or a lack of new ideas.

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