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Dead Zero (Bob Lee Swagger #7)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  4,858 Ratings  ·  228 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
ebook, 416 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Simon Schuster
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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
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THIS is what I was wanting/hoping for from I, Sniper: a return to the twisty and deadly world that Bob Lee is supposed to inhabit, not all that samurai/NASCAR shit. I was a bit dubious of the inclusion of a new protagonist in Ray Cruz, but he turned out to be likable and ruthlessly efficient (if he doesn’t have as much of those two qualities of Bob Lee, who can blame him? I only grow to like the old man more and more as the series progresses.) We have action here in the states and Afghanistan, a ...more
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 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 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 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 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 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
Bryan Park
Stephen Hunter's novels are always enjoyable. That being said, this one is not quite his best Bob Lee Swagger novel. I think he felt that he had fallen into a rut with the Swagger novels - the basic plot is something like: something bad happens; Swagger is called in; they hunt down the bad guys; Swagger dispatches the bad guys. This novel has a different feel to it, introducing Ray Cruz, who actually turns out to be Swagger's biological son (!). It starts out in the middle of war in Pa
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one intense political/conspiracy/military/terrorism/crime/thriller. A crazy ride full of action, clever investigation, deductions, a wide range of artillery, thrill, high-level conspiracies, terrorists and not to mention- hellfire!
Bob Lee Swagger really is one brilliant sniper but this novel gives him a more gumshoe role as he investigates both the government officials and Ray Cruz. Ray Cruz is of course as good as Swagger once was. The best sniper in the world.
Ray Cruz and his spotter
Christopher Taylor
I have enjoyed previous books in this series, as unlikely as old man Swagger's adventures were. I mean, he's a Vietnam vet, the guy is pushing 70. But this one combines unlikely vitality and action with tedium.

The book focuses on Swagger as consultant, doing basically nothing for the bulk of the book, yet stumbling over the solution to a mystery despite his lack of activity or skill. The problem is compounded by how Swagger is so implausibly involved and plugged in, going from success to success
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.
Philip Reiter
Hunter does tell a rather good story. However, his indulgence in excessive technical narration of weaponry, missiles, bullets, and technology is overwhelming for this reader. Lots of skipping, and skimming to be able to follow story line.
Phil Hill
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating read where our Marine hero, Bob Lee Swagger, confronts modern killing technologies in this page burner. Stephen Hunter never ceases to amaze me with his excellent writing and knowledge of modern day war fare.
Milt Jacobs
Real disappointment by an author I like. Too much time explaining military jargon and rank and ammo.
Kevin Middaugh
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story. Fast moving with a good plot. Only wish I had read some of the earlier Bob Lee Swagger books before read this one.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another v. good book. Some interesting stuff to think about starting on page 484.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The finish to the Earl Swagger trilogy. A good story.
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few errors 1 19 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 (Tommy Carmellini #6; 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)
“Okay,” he said, “I’m going in.” He turned to Swagger. “Sorry, old guy. A world where she dies so I can survive isn’t a world I choose to live in.” 0 likes
“These in the day when heaven was falling, when earth’s foundations fled, followed their mercenary calling, took their wages and are dead.” 0 likes
More quotes…