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Sniper Elite #2

Target America

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From the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestseller American Sniper comes a heart-pounding military thriller in which the fabled Special Ops unit is activated to stop a group of terrorists from launching “suitcase” nukes somewhere in America.

When Chechen terrorists manage to smuggle a Cold War–era Russian nuke across the Mexican-American border, the President is forced to reactivate the only unit capable of stopping them: Navy SEAL sniper Gil Shannon and his brash team of SEALs and Delta Force fighters. First introduced in Sniper Elite: One-Way Trip, hailed by Publishers Weekly as a “meaty thriller” with “snappy dialogue and well-timed humor,” Shannon and his team were run out of the military after defying direct orders and instead choosing to save the life of one of their own.

In Target America, Gil and his team, many of whom had gone rogue, are reunited as an off-the-books Special Ops unit that must race against the clock to save the country from nuclear destruction.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Scott McEwen once again delivers a gripping and fast-paced adventure that illuminates the shadow world of clandestine military operations.

464 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published June 3, 2014

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About the author

Scott McEwen

19 books258 followers
Scott McEwen is a trial attorney in San Diego, California. He grew up in the mountains of Eastern Oregon where he became an Eagle Scout; hiking, fishing, and hunting at every opportunity presented. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Oregon and thereafter studied and worked extensively in London, England. Scott works with and provides support for several military charitable organizations, including the Seal Team Foundation.

Scott's interest in military history, intense patriotism, and experience with long-range hunting rifles, compelled him to accurately record the battlefield experiences of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in United States military history.

Japanese: スコット マキューエン

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5 stars
782 (45%)
4 stars
674 (39%)
3 stars
224 (12%)
2 stars
34 (1%)
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11 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 121 reviews
Profile Image for Ed.
632 reviews56 followers
July 4, 2014
US Navy Seal Gil Shannon and friends search for a suitcase nuke somewhere in the US, presumably ready to detonate by evil Chechen terrorists. Complicating the hunt is a duplicitous US President and a cowardly political adviser with conflicting agenda's in this rush of page turning action. I loved it!

Gil Shannon's character will make you forget Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp, Jason Bourne, John Rain, Jack Ryan and all the other terrorist hunting good guys we read. This series is just outstanding!..........Ed
4,767 reviews53 followers
September 27, 2018
Chechen terrorists smuggle a suitcase nuke into America. The Sniper Elite was disbanded after the last book for political reasons. Now the CIA has to get them back together, because they're the only ones that can stop the terrorists.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a hit team is after Gil Shannon's (Sniper Ace #1) family, as if he didn't have enough to worry about.

There's enough action to keep things going quickly, even though the end is a little cheesy, IMHO.
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,805 followers
September 22, 2015
Okay...I know down graded the rating from the first, but it happens. This is a good book...finally. I liked it and it's actually chock full of a certain realistic feel and a very realistic climax.

That said, the book takes forever to finish it's setup. I don't know how a book that opened with a nuc going off in a tunnel under the American/Mexican border could slow to the point I almost abandoned it, but this one did.

We open with a good plot set up. The characters are getting "lined up" so to speak but then we bog down in so much convoluted "plot spread" so to speak that you'll be head scratching. Why go there...I get it already. We watch the terrorists plot...squabble...go through angst about failing in their religious duty. We get to hear/see them pontificate. Meanwhile we're watching the political machinations of those "on top" playing CYA as people are dying or going to die.

I was really close to setting the book aside...sad because I liked the first pretty well.

All that said however once we did get to running toward the climax we had a good book over all with a no punches pulled finish. On the whole I can recommend this novel though I do think it bogs down rather badly as it tries to spin out multiple story threads and then sort of loses control of them...for a while.

Over all I can recommend it.
Profile Image for Donna.
3,880 reviews7 followers
February 26, 2016
I started this book 3 different times before I could actually stay with it. I enjoy a great hook at the beginning...it gives me a feel for the kind of ride I'm about to embark upon and gives me a little anticipation. This book didn't have that. It was kind of slow on the set up. But once it got there, I enjoyed it.

This is my first book by this author. I liked the details given about the characters and the situations. I never felt lost. Even though it dragged a bit, there were some great twists. So 3 stars.
Profile Image for Nick Brett.
935 reviews56 followers
May 6, 2020
A military thriller that will delight fans of Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp.

There is a nuke in the US and the only hope of finding it might need some rules being broken. For that The President calls upon the team he disbanded following a previous mission where they ignored his orders. So plenty of action and White House politics in another excellent thriller from the author. Really did remind me of the best of Vince Flynn.

Really good series this, clever, action packed and engaging.

Profile Image for Corey.
415 reviews96 followers
July 19, 2019
A great, kick-ass, and at the same time powerful work of military-fiction, and excellent follow-up to One-Way Trip (Sniper Elite, #1) by Scott McEwen !

A group of Chechen Terrorists have managed to smuggle a Cold-War era Nuclear Weapon into the US across the Mexican-American Border, with their attempts to detonate it somewhere in the US on the anniversary of 9/11. With not a whole lot of options, the President has no choice but to reactivate the only unit capable of finding and stopping them, legendary Navy SEAL sniper Gil Shannon and his team of ST6 and Delta Force who have now gone Black-Ops!

Once again Shannon comes back into action to take on America's enemies, playing by his own rules, and getting the job done!

Can't wait to dive into book #3 The Sniper and the Wolf (Sniper Elite, #3) by Scott McEwen !
Profile Image for Kent McDougal.
27 reviews1 follower
May 30, 2022
2nd book in this great series, and stark reminder of the personal and family sacrifices these guys make to give and keep us free.
Profile Image for ElaineY.
2,099 reviews68 followers
December 13, 2016
Narrator: Brian Hutchison

The Narration: I don't know if I would have enjoyed this book as much if I'd read it instead of listened to it. As it is, as an audiobook, Target America was excellent. I'm so glad Hutchison is narrating the other books and hope it stays that way. His accent is neutral and his voice suits an action/thriller appropriate to the age of the MC, Gil Shannon, who is in his early 40s (unlike Guidall, Hill, Ferrone et all who sound rather elderly).

The Story: Some weak parts at the start - I couldn't quite connect some of the early scenes but my confusion was shortlived. There were also many characters and as I can't remember the details of the first book, I'm not sure if all of them are recurring ones, or new.

What I Liked: The main plot was simple (not always the case for me) and I could follow it easily. This was especially good for me because in some books an action scene may be very intense and suspenseful but I may not completely understand its connection to the plot, or may have unanswered questions pertaining to the scene (a result of overly complicated storylines). Brad Thor's books tend to be like that for me as well as some of Brad Taylor's. But to my delight, McEwen's plots are just right (like the Mitch Rapp books before Kyle Mills took over).

At the start of the book, Robert Pope (Director of SAD, the CIA's Special Activities Division), has tasked Gil Shannon with hunting down and taking out two Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives. At the same time, one of the suitcase nukes has detonated (Prologue) on the US-Mexican border between New Mexico and Chihuahua, devastating a border town and sending radioactive dust and debris heading towards El Paso, Texas.

Needless to say, the two-kiloton blast sends the White House into shock, especially when it is learnt there is a second RA-115 already in the US. The military is now at Defcon-2. The reverberation isn't only in terms of physical damage - Russia's President calls on the US President and warns that its intel has verified that North Korea will launch a surprise attack on South Korea should there be a nuclear attack on Washington, DC.

Gil Shannon, who is in Casablanca when the first bomb detonates, accomplishes his mission and heads home to find out what is going on. Meanwhile, we switch scenes to two spec ops guys - Medal-of-Honor recipient, Green Beret Daniel Crosswhite, whom we met in Book 21, and Navy SEAL Brett Tuckerman. These two are roped in to join Gil when Seal Team Six-Black is reactivated to locate and neutralize the second RA-115. DC is evacuated and the military is now at Defcon - 1.

Of course, there's the obligatory fragile marriage and wife who can't handle her husband's job. However, in this case, Marie, Gil's wife is a woman who can handle her own. Though traumatized and in acute distress when the Al Qaeda ops attack their family home, she shows she's no shrinking violet. Kudos to her! Ditto to Oso Cazador, the family's Chesapeake Bay retriever. Some good people die here and that saddened me.

Despite the frequent location and scene switches, I was never lost and found this installment unputdownable. No fillers, no navel-gazing, it was moving forward at every new scene and each picking up from the earlier, the suspense building up right to the end. A rather sad, but realistic, end. I hate it when good guys die.

So, yes I loved this one.
424 reviews5 followers
December 4, 2014
Imagine a really good Stephen Hunter book crossed with a so-so Tom Clancy book and you've got Target America.

Gil Shannon is back from his adventures in Afghanistan, and he's out of the military game. But not for long, because Chechen terrorists have teamed up with a branch of Al Qaeda to smuggle nuclear weapons into the US. When their first bomb goes off prematurely at the US-Mexico border, Gil is tasked with reassembling his old team to track down the second by any means necessary.

At the same time, the Al Qaeda operatives that Gil battled in the first book have made things personal, staging multiple attacks on his house in Montana. That part of the book works a lot better than the bomb-tracking part.

Overall the book was pretty solid - very gritty and realistic (or at least it seemed to be.) Gil works best when he's playing at Bob Lee Swagger and less when he's playing Jack Ryan/John Clark.
Profile Image for H00DEDRIOT.
6 reviews
July 26, 2017
Amazing book that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let you go.
Profile Image for Kevin Findley.
Author 12 books9 followers
April 20, 2019
Brutal death and destruction at the hands of America's finest on the worst the world has to offer. What's not to love and binge read on a Saturday morning and afternoon?

Gil Shannon is an Operator's Operator. So good at what he does, one of the sub-plots is the bad guy's trying to take him out as revenge for a previous mission and to keep him from interfering in detonating Soviet Era nukes on US soil. Unfortunately for them, Gil has already been called in and their assassination attempts quickly go tango uniform. If you're unfamiliar with that term, look it up.

The ending is win/lose, with the bad guys only getting a fraction of what they want. The loss side is the creation of teams whose only mission is track down and eliminate those who want to try it again.

One thing that irritated. McEwen refers to a Galaxy cargo jet flying on AVGAS. It's jet fuel Scott, specifically JP-8.

Find it! Buy it! READ IT!
144 reviews4 followers
February 4, 2017
The book begins with a nuclear suitcase bomb being smuggled into America through a tunnel under the border between Mexico and the U.S. The smugglers detonate the bomb in the tunnel when they find out they have been discovered. Most of the devastation was kept in the immediate area but the radiation spreads over much of New Mexico. Then the government learns there is a second bomb somewhere in the U.S. and the search is on. At this point retired Navy Seal sniper Gil Shannon and his team are recalled into action to find it. I found the book exciting and compelling.
I am adding Gil Shannon to characters I like in other author's books....Jack Reacher, Scot Harvath,
Scott Roarke to name a few. Can't wait to read The Sniper and the Wolf and Ghost Sniper.
Profile Image for Anirudh.
75 reviews6 followers
January 17, 2017
A book that was fine for comfort reading. Pure unadulterated brain candy. A very comforting plot where you know that the good guys are going to win in the end and the only question is how long it will take and how it will go.

a) An acknowledgement that war gets pretty ugly and that the rule books get tossed out of the window when situations are dangerous.
b) The heroes do get hurt, to a point at least.

a) The writing was a little cliched at times.
b) Characters were boring as hell with no development over the course of the story.
Profile Image for Patrick.
166 reviews1 follower
November 29, 2016
Another enjoyable read by Scott McEwen. While the story does take a long time to get going, it's fast-paced and suspenseful throughout. The main character is basically Jason Bourne without the amnesia, but I enjoyed him nonetheless. There are parts of the story that tickle the ol' Murica bone for sure.
I still think the author could tone it down a bit with the name dropping. Do I need to know that one guy is carrying a Sig while another guy is carrying a Beretta? Do I care that the cop has a Surefire flashlight? Not particularly.
Profile Image for Sean Kelly.
390 reviews4 followers
March 14, 2017
I liked this book almost as much as McEwen's first effort. There were some slow points about 1/3 to 1/2 way in, but there is enough interesting action and intrigue to keep the reader turning pages. Admittedly, this is the escapist style of fiction I tend to enjoy so I'll probably read the next two books in the series. Without a military background, I have little frame of reference for the veracity or accuracy of the operational language and narration, but the plot is interesting enough, as it was in the first book in the series, in a possible "ripped from the headlines" sort of way.
Profile Image for Robert Lawrence.
57 reviews4 followers
August 5, 2014
Was really excited to when I saw that Scott was writing this book. Having loved the first Gil Shannon book, I hoped that Scott could do a follow up that was just as good. He did! The storyline is believable, the characters are given the chance to be an integral part of the story and not just filler.
Thanks Scott for another great book! Can't wait for the next one.
March 30, 2017
I hated putting this book down. Better than the first book in the series (which I really enjoyed). Authors really know these characters. Better action, better thrills, just BETTER. If you like action packed shoot'em ups get this book and series. Can't wait to read the next installments! Good stuff, Maynard!
Profile Image for Tim.
2,111 reviews193 followers
April 3, 2015
An excellent terrorist novel featuring brave servicemen who put their lives on the line. Its a shame, but a reality that people must die to preserve our freedom and way of life. Thankfully, men and women do everyday. 8 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Jim A.
1,267 reviews63 followers
June 21, 2014
After the first book of the series, I probably set my expectations a little bit too high. I didn't enjoy this novel as much as I enjoyed One Way Trip.

Profile Image for James.
33 reviews1 follower
October 13, 2021
This is an odd one.

This title is a military thriller in the vein of Tom Clancy, but with more focus and visceral consequences. A lot of people die, and if someone is in the middle of a firefight, then they're going to get hurt or killed, almost without exception. I appreciate how no one is invulnerable, and just because someone survives one attempt to kill them doesn't mean they're above the next one. And for the plot, a lot happens in just over 400 pages, but whether that works for you depends on you.

First, the good stuff. The military jargon is present and accounted for, but it's never too obtuse or dense to read through. The writers do a fine job of walking the line between being accurate to the facts and details while also telling the story and moving things along. We encounter a lot of people in a lot of positions and places, and that gives a strong sense of gravitas to what's happening, shows how widespread the central problem really is rather than treating it like it's no big thing and putting it all in the hands of a few guys whose plot armour can be seen from orbit. And the human element is never missing. Everyone has their motives and approaches to the problems at hand and they all feel like real people with real concerns, albeit with just enough - maybe not enough - material to make you care.

One standout in this book is that the writers presented a properly strong female character. Not as a special inductee to the SEAL teams or some ball buster with an axe to grind, but a woman who came by her experiences honestly, did what she had to, and when threatened by an enemy of superior skill, turned the tables and came out on top, complete with the scars from the experience. No bravado, nothing artificial or propagandist about it, just someone who did what she had to in order to survive, and the impact is felt all the stronger for it. I won't spoil the details, but I had a moment of "Atta girl!" when the scene concluded because the outcome felt earned and the stakes were recognized and taken into full consideration. Props to the writers for that.

Where you might be ambivalent, dear reader, is in the same things that make the story work. The pace moves quickly because the segments and chapters are short and punchy while the cast is huge and exists to move things forward, but there isn't a central antagonist or villain to focus on. Some are there, but then there are others, and others yet, so it feels hard to really focus on this conspiracy in terms of central figures out to kill each other. While this adds to the scope of the story (pun intended), it can also make it feel disconnected and jumbled, hard to follow because things happen and then they're done and over with because we're off to the next plot point. Moping on the past wouldn't be necessary, but some of the impact is lost with the one-and-done approach. Also, the blurb on the back and the critical praises focus on Shannon as the main character, but a lot goes on around him and beyond him such that it was hard to see what all the hoopla was about. He's a badass SEAL team sniper, yes, but he's not at the center of things - a lot happens without him being there to make it happen, and that makes it hard to cheer for him over anyone else. Perhaps that's the effect of the realism element, that with a crisis of this magnitude, it's a victory of the army rather than the individual soldiers, but it's a lot easier to get behind people rather than institutions, and that feels like it's missing.

To conclude, definitely not a bad read despite some interesting structural choices, and it moves fast and keeps you guessing without ever tipping its hand on what's going to happen next. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, long enough to cover everything and short enough to maintain interest, and that's praise all its own.
Profile Image for Ana Maria  Rivera.
348 reviews17 followers
October 26, 2016
Second books in a series can be difficult and tough sometimes. Your have your reader all hype up, one clicking into buy the next installment and then BAM either you make it and they love it, or they just plain use the quitter strip (a.k.a. a bookmark) and they take forever to finish reading it.
I was introduced to all the wonderful characters in this series on book #4 and I just had to know how it all had begun... so I went lookin for book #1 and loved it... then came one-click buying my way to book #2 and it begins with a nuke going off in a narco-tunnel in the US-Mexico border and my hero Shannon hunting bad guys in Morrocco
What freaking more do you want ??...
So I was call in to follow along the adventure, excited to smell the gun powder again, blowing up bad guys in the streets of Morroco and hunting down drug dealers and stealing their money and suddenly I find myself fast forwarding a lot of pages because I just can take all the talking done between all those goverment people. There was a so much back and foward discussions between the President and the chief of staff and the other goverment official that it bored me to death.
I know this is fiction based on real life occurences, but up to now this is the book in which the author I believe elaborated more and more until it became very long and tedius focusing away from the action...
The characters are all there, the setting is impecable but there are not so many plot twist to keep you on the edge of your seat.
I admit, I am going on to follow into book #3 cause I have a few lines that I have to tie and still don't know the answers , but of the 3 out of 4 I have read, this one has been my least favorite.
Profile Image for Vera VB.
1,485 reviews6 followers
September 12, 2018
Amerika is het doelwit, een kernbom het middel. Vragen: wanneer en waar.
Als president van de Verenigde Staten kan je niet zomaar ieder middel inzetten om informatie te vergaren. Officieel dan toch niet. Officieus kan je uiteraard wel een en ander dat volgens de wet niet mag, zolang het maar niet terug te leiden valt naar jou en zolang je maar een paar pionnen hebt om op te offeren.
In dit boek heractiveert de president een team dat eigenlijk al lang afgeserveerd was wegens gebruik van ongeoorloofde middelen. Maar hij heeft ze nodig om informatie te vergaren. Je kan moeilijk beleefd aan een terrorist vragen waar en wanneer de bom gaat ontploffen. Je kan het wel vragen, maar een antwoord zal niet komen. Daarvoor zijn andere middelen nodig, middelen die het team van Gil Shannon wel durft uitvoeren.

Dit boek staat bol van de actie, er is geen seconde tijd om adem te halen of van ontspanning want het gaat allemaal flitsend snel. Er is ook geen tijd om het rustig aan te doen want er kan ieder moment een kernbom ontploffen. Er zit harde actie in dit boek, maar ook de nodige humor, waarschijnlijk nodig om te doen wat de mannen doen. De zelfopoffering gaat ver, het opkomen voor elkaar, voor het team is bewonderenswaardig. Met veel plezier gelezen, spannend, snel, amper weg te leggen.
Profile Image for Rob Smith, Jr..
1,119 reviews17 followers
March 15, 2019
A very good book that delves deep into the logistics, machinery and the politics of military actions. The story is solid as it is also a continuation of the first book in the series. The characters are also very good. There are a ton of characters here, the author duo manages to make almost every one distinctive and with background. The weakest part of the book are settings which can leave one lost. There are scenes in a Las Vegas hotel room that give little indication of the light show and 24 hour activity outside.

The plotting is also good as the book darts about in a complex web to location to location. Nicely maneuvered. The writing could be stronger. The strong dialogue ducks serious narrative beyond the descriptive.

Bottom line: I recommend this book: 6 out of 10 points.
Profile Image for Elly Stroo Cloeck.
Author 28 books8 followers
March 28, 2021
Een spannend boek in de stijl van Tom Clancy. Terroristen smokkelen twee kernwapens Amerika binnen en een stel Navy Seals moet een ramp voorkomen. De FBI komt niet in beweging, in het Witte Huis speelt een hoop politiek. Dat schiet niet op, dus neemt de held het heft in eigen hand.
De ingrediënten zijn bekend: een stoere held, wiens familie ook nog eens bedreigd wordt. Een stel mariniers die overal op af gaan. Terroristen die toch zwakke punten hebben. Voor mij is het te voorspelbaar. De korte hoofdstukken zitten met name in het begin vol met namen van hoofdpersonen en bijfiguren, zodat het me al snel duizelde. Verder is het wel vlot geschreven en, zoals ik al zei, spannend.
Profile Image for Larry.
983 reviews
May 20, 2017
This sequel begins right where the prior book left off. It follows a Chechen fighter released from Guantánamo Bay and is a mix of SEALs, terrorists, politics and spies – as well as a mythical (hopefully) nuclear 'suitcase bomb'. It's an OK story – typical of the genera. … though, I must admit to being uncomfortable reading that former SEALs – these HEROES – might steal from drug dealers and other very bad guys (which, of course, certainly deserve what they get).

A definitive takeaway from this book; don’t screw with Montanans with rifles. Good guys rule!

Profile Image for Pete.
660 reviews11 followers
March 31, 2019
Top notch. Fast paced with plenty of action, interesting characters and a strong story. The good guys are a group of misfit black op soldiers that the administration would just as soon disavow. They are led by Pope and Stratton who are willing to break the rules in a crisis situation. The author provides touches of humor along with the mayhem and perhaps best of all he creates strong female characters which you don't often find in this genre. If your a fan of Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, Stephen Leather and similar authors you will enjoy this.
Profile Image for Jessie.
21 reviews
April 26, 2018
Scott McEwen balances grittiness, realism with fantastic action that made this an absolutely enjoyable page-turner. The short chapters create a break-neck pacing that will have you finishing this book in one or two sittings.

My favourite part of the story was Marie's challenges, we now know that Gil & Marie are cut from the same cloth. I would love to see how this changes Marie in the long term, so hopefully that is picked upon in future novels.

Profile Image for Brandon.
553 reviews26 followers
May 12, 2018
Great counterterrorism novel. Gill and his fellow ST6Black team rush to prevent a second suitcase nuke from going off. Help and hinderances come from all quarters. The fight is intense, the intrigue and politicing is equally intense and rules are going out the window as the situation is unpresidented in US history. There's always more CT stories then anyone would ever read, but, this one (and series) is among the top tier.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 121 reviews

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