Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dead Zero” as Want to Read:
Dead Zero
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dead Zero (Bob Lee Swagger #7)

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  4,604 Ratings  ·  213 Reviews
From New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Hunter comes a thriller that pits former Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger against the only man who might be able to outshoot him.

A marine sniper team on a mission in tribal territories on the Afghan-Pakistan border, Whiskey 2-2 is ambushed by professionals using the latest high-tech shooting gear. Badly
Mass Market Paperback, 528 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Pocket Star (first published December 28th 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dead Zero, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dead Zero

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Scott Holstad
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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,
Nick Brett
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
Jul 02, 2012 Mr rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 22, 2011 Quinn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 04, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't like this as much as his other books I've read.
Dennis Larsen
Jul 21, 2013 Dennis Larsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Alex Gherzo
Dec 27, 2012 Alex Gherzo rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Feb 11, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sherri Vigil
Jul 02, 2012 Sherri Vigil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 27, 2011 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jesse Ing
Nov 15, 2014 Jesse Ing rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read, Bob The Nailer getting it done at 64. Love him!
Bob Lee is getting up there in years, but he's still got it. Another excellent installment from the incomparable Stephen Hunter.
Dec 13, 2010 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Fun, edge-of-seat read, although the big relationship reveal at the end comes out of nowhere and seems overly coincidental, silly, and unnecessary
Steve Davis
May 14, 2013 Steve Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
E.R. Yatscoff
Sniper vs sniper vs sniper with old sniper Bob Lee Swagger recruited to find one sniper and discovers there's another. Good action and story. Glad Swagger didn't do any leaping off buildings and stuff as he is in his 60's but he does have the experience and smarts. FBI, Homeland Security, Afghanistan, terrorists, drones, and CIA are all here--yeah, that's bag of tricks. This book was a reduced bin buy.
Kenny Johnson
Jan 24, 2017 Kenny Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great premise

Another gripping Bob Lee Swagger adventure from Mr Harris with an interesting twist. Awesome read and can't wait for the next installment
Mar 03, 2017 minz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The action scenes were well written and exciting. Other than that the book was just stupid.
The best the FBI and CIA and Marines can come up with to figure out how a 26 yr old sniper (working in the high desert of Afghanistan) going for urban kill in a big city is a 65 yr old jungle sniper from Vietnam that never goes to a city. Then you start stacking conspiracy on top of conspiracy until this new team is the only sniper team available to protect the president at an outdoor event at the Whitehou
Lisa Dunckley
Feb 20, 2017 Lisa Dunckley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent book by Stephen Hunter! I don't think I've ever read one of his books that wasn't fantastic. One reason for this is that they start out with a bang, and get you caught up in the story immediately.

Gunnery Sergeant Ray Cruz is a lethally talented sniper. He and his spotter, Lance Corporal Skelton, are disguised as goat herders in the wild Afghan desert, and are on their careful way to eliminate Ibrahim Zarzi, known as The Beheader. Out of nowhere they are fired upon. Skelton is
Giovanni Gelati
Jan 19, 2011 Giovanni Gelati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love to find new stuff to read and this Bob Lee Swagger novel rocked. This was my first read on a Stephen Hunter novel and I liked everything about it. Today I want to include two things in this post about the novel, the synopsis and also some text from the novel to give you a little flav of Bob Lee if this is the first read for you on this character. Here we go, a little of what is between the covers first:
“Bob Lee Swagger tracks down an AWOL Marine sniper who resurfaces to complete his last
May 09, 2013 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Alain Burrese
Aug 04, 2012 Alain Burrese rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Just finished this book; it was a fairly fast read for me. Overall, a really good book that did a great job of keeping my interest in the storyline. It is about a Marine sniper team sent on an assassination team, only the team is ambushed. One man survives. He eventually makes it back to the States with the intent to finish his mission - only now his target is the one being groomed by the United States to be the next President in Afghanistan. Nick Memphis and Susan Okuda fly out to Swagger's ran ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-thriller
For background to Stephen Hunter's books, see my review of "Point of Impact."

Another Bob Lee Swagger novel--and another very good one. This time Swagger--ex-Marine sniper and the smartest but most modest man in the room--doesn't pull a trigger once. He has been drafted to find a rogue Marine sniper (Ray Cruz) who is to Afghanistan what Swagger was to Vietnam--the most tenacious, most intelligent, best sharpshooting devil on the ground.

A CIA team is also tasked to find Cruz--but to kill him, not
Jan 08, 2011 Tony rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 24, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a pleasant surprise on many levels, not the least of which was its amazingly textured descriptions of modern warfare. While other authors (Tom Clancy of course leaps to mind) have provided similar levels of technical detail, Hunter provides real heart as well. It was impossible for me not to care about the primary characters, particularly the snipers Cruz and Swagger.

The pacing is superb. Hunter is a former newspaper columnist who once penned movie reviews for The Washington Post.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
few errors 1 18 Sep 29, 2011 01:10PM  
  • Clean Kill (Kyle Swanson Sniper, #3)
  • The Cabal (Kirk McGarvey, #14)
  • Deep Shadow (Doc Ford, #17)
  • Bomb Hunters: Life and Death Stories with Britain's Elite Bomb Disposal Unit in Afghanistan
  • The Judas Gate (Sean Dillon, #18)
  • Warlord (Alexander Hawke, #6)
  • The Shooters (Presidential Agent, #4)
  • War Torn (War Torn, #1)
  • Cold Choices (Jerry Mitchell, #2)
  • The Secret Soldier  (John Wells, #5)
  • Ballistic (Gray Man #3)
  • The First Rule (Elvis Cole, #13; Joe Pike, #2)
  • The Art of War (Jake Grafton & Tommy Carmellini Universe, #16)
  • Agent X (Steve Vail, #2)
  • The Sniper and the Wolf (Sniper Elite, #3)
  • The Silenced (Jonathan Quinn, #4)
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 (10 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)
  • G-Man (Bob Lee Swagger, #10)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »