BOB LEE SWAGGER

 
Full Name: Bob Lee Swagger
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Former Sniper

Creator: Stephen Hunter
Time Span: 1993 - 2017
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Bob Lee Swagger is a former U.S. Marine Sniper.
       Born in 1946 and raised in Polk County, Arkansas, Swagger is the son of a Medal of Honor winner named Earl Swagger, a State Trooper who was killed in the line of duty when the young boy was 9 years old.
       When he was old enough, Swagger followed in his father's footsteps and joined the Marines. He was trained to be a sniper and during his three tours in Vietnam with the CIA's Special Operations department, he earned the nickname of 'Bob the Nailer'. [According to Wikipedia, he was officially credited with 87 combat kills but in reality actually dispatched nearly 400.]
       Receiving a wound in the hip towards the end of that conflict, Swagger would retired from the Marines with the rank of Gunnery Sergeant but the depression that followed would bring on far too much drinking, resulting in the break-up of his second marriage.
       For the next decade and a half, he would live an almost hermit-like existence back home. When the events told in the first recorded adventure take place, his attitude is forced to change and his life starts anew.
       The many stories related to Swagger run a wide gamut of times and places and events. Some look back to his father and the escapades he had. One even goes a generation further back to the grandfather Swagger never knew. Yet another lets the readers know about the son that Swagger lost as an infant during his time serving in Vietnam. And many move the life of Swagger along in a fascinating and quite varied journey.

BOOKS

Number of Books:9
First Appearance:1993
Last Appearance:2017

1 Point of Impact Point of Impact
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 1993

Approached to assist in preventing an assassination attempt on the President by a Soviet sniper who helped end his career, Bob Lee Swagger reluctantly agrees and then finds himself framed for the act and on the run.

1.1 Dirty White Boys Dirty White Boys
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 1994

Tangentially related to the series, this novel talks of a murderer who escapes from prison and races across the state with his mentally handicapped brother spreading destruction as they go. Mention is made of the episode many years before in which Bob Lee Swagger's father, Earl, was killed in the line of duty as a State Trooper.

2 Black Light Black Light
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 1996

A combination of stories involving Bob Lee Swagger's personal look into the case that took the life of his father, Earl Swagger, a State Trooper, three decades before.

3 Time To Hunt Time To Hunt
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 1998

The sniper that many years before ended Bob Lee Swagger's military career and took the life of his good friend, Fenn, is back and posing an immediate threat to Swagger and his wife and daughter.

3.1 Hot Springs Hot Springs
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 2000

The first of several books about Bob Lee Swagger's father, Earl. The action takes place just after WWII in the town of Hot Springs, Arkansas, where the DA is determined to break the hold of organized crime and asks Earl, a former marine, to spearhead the charge.

3.2 Pale Horse Coming Pale Horse Coming
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 2001

The second book about Bob Lee Swagger's father, Earl. In 1951, a friend of Earl Swagger is asked to investigate possible trouble in a remote Mississippi town that houses a prison for black convicts. When that friend disappears, Earl decides he has to check into things himself.

3.3 Havana Havana
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 2003

The third book about Bob Lee Swagger's father, Earl. It is 1953 and Earl Swagger reluctantly allows himself to be talked by the CIA into heading to Havana to look into the nascent activities of a lawyer named Castro and the unrest he is inciting.

4 The 47th Samurai The 47th Samurai
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 2007

During the battle of Iwo Jima in which Bob Lee Swagger's father, Earl, won his Medal of Honor, Earl also took as a war souvenir the sword of a slain Japanese officer. Decades later, the son of that warrior comes to Idaho to ask Swagger's help in recovering it. It turns out the sword is far more valuable than Swagger or the son realize and there are many who would kill to possess it.

5 Night of Thunder Night of Thunder
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 2008

The Sinnerman is a psycho killer in Tennessee who likes to use his car as his weapon of choice. When that man goes after Bob Lee Swagger's daughter, an investigative reporter, and nearly kills her, he gets a very dangerous and angry father on his trail.

6 I, Sniper I, Sniper
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 2009

Four radicals of the 60s have been shot down by a sniper. All evidence points to a decorated sniper named Hitchcock and his suicide seems to close the case. The FBI asks Bob Lee Swagger to examine the evidence just to confirm but Swagger comes up with a different conclusion - the real killer is still out there.

7 Dead Zero Dead Zero
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 2010

An Afghan war lord is the target of a US hit squad named Whiskey 2-2. One of that group is a sniper named Ray Cruz. When the assault is detected, all but Cruz are killed. Now, a few months later, the war lord is considered a friend of the US and is being brought to America to be honored. A message is intercepted saying that Whiskey 2-2 is back in action and ready to finish the mission. Bob Lee Swagger is brought in to stop Cruz but the more he learns of the Afghan target, the less he likes.

8 The Third Bullet The Third Bullet
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 2013

The wife of a writer working on another book about the JFK assassination comes to Bob Lee Swagger for help in looking into the murder of her husband. At first Swagger is not interested but when she reveals some very interesting facts about his death and the decades-old killing, Swagger changes his mind. That now makes him a possible target as well.

9 Sniper's Honor Sniper's Honor
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 2014

Ludmilla “Mili” Petrova was a woman who was hunted by both Hitler and Stalin during WWII. She is considered by some to be that conflicts greatest sniper but her role in history is almost erased. A modern reporter is out to learn more and asks the help of Bob Lee Swagger. Swagger is in turn very curious why such an important Soviet figure would have been so on the outs with her government and what really did happen to make her disappear.

10 G-Man G-Man
Written by Stephen Hunter
Copyright: 2017

Back during the Depression, the new FBI was charged with stomping out the reign of bank-robbing hoodlums. They called upon the sheriff of Polk County, Arkansas, to help in one particular case. That lawman was Charles Swagger. Eighty years later, Bob Lee Swagger finds a strongbox containing memorabilia from the time and begins to wonder what happened to his grandfather and why his own father, Earl, never talked about him.

MOVIES

Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:2007
Last Appearance:2007

1 Shooter Shooter
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer: Jonathan Lemkin
Actors: Mark Wahlberg as Bob Lee Swagger, Danny Glover as Colonel Johnson, Kate Mara as Sarah Fenn
Released: 2007

A more modern version of the first Bob Lee Swagger book, it tells how the ex-soldier is approached by a former commander to help figure out the most likely site for an assassination attempt. When it goes off, the killing is blamed on Swagger and he must go on the lam to prove his innocence.

TELEVISION

Number of Episodes:18
First Appearance:2016
Last Appearance:2017
Network:USA

REGULAR CAST
Ryan PhillippeBob Lee Swagger [ 1-2 ]
Omar EppsColonel Johnson [ 1-2 ]
Shantel VanSantenJulie Swagger [ 1-2 ]

Another version of the initial Bob Lee Swagger adventure, this USA Network series provides an ongoing serial into Swagger's attempt to prove his innocence.

Note: The data is derived from two terrific sites that I visit a lot: Epguides.com and TVMaze.com. Special thanks to those who maintain such terrific source of information.

1 Point of Impact
Episode 1-1, first aired 11/15/2016


2 Exfiltration
Episode 1-2, first aired 11/22/2016


3 Musa Qala
Episode 1-3, first aired 11/29/2016


4 Overwatch
Episode 1-4, first aired 12/06/2016


5 Recon by Fire
Episode 1-5, first aired 12/13/2016


6 Killing Zone
Episode 1-6, first aired 12/20/2016


7 Danger Close
Episode 1-7, first aired 12/27/2016


8 Red on Red
Episode 1-8, first aired 01/03/2017


9 Ballistic Advantage
Episode 1-9, first aired 01/10/2017


10 Primer Contact
Episode 1-10, first aired 01/17/2017


11 The Hunting Party
Episode 2-1, first aired 07/18/2017


12 Remember the Alamo
Episode 2-2, first aired 07/25/2017


13 Don't Mess with Texas
Episode 2-3, first aired 08/01/2017


14 The Dark End of the Street
Episode 2-4, first aired 08/08/2017


15 The Man Called Noon
Episode 2-5, first aired 08/15/2017


16 Across the Rio Grande
Episode 2-6, first aired 08/22/2017


17 Someplace Like Bolivia
Episode 2-7, first aired 08/29/2017


18 That'll Be the Day
Episode 2-8, first aired 09/05/2017


MY COMMENTS

       A movie that did not get much kind words from the critics but which I enjoyed a whole lot back in the mid 2000s got me interested in an author that up to then I had only seen on the bookstands. I had not yet picked up a Stephen Hunter book but kept "a-meanin' to". I really enjoyed that movie, taken from the first adventure, and I wanted to read more.
       Now, the book told quite a different story since the movie had "updated" its timeframe. Nevertheless, I was hooked on Bob Lee Swagger. He was a touch older than I and had a whole lot more experiences than I did but I could relate. And being a sucker for great writing and getting it in the pages of this book, I kept reading.
       I kinda read 'em out of order which is totally unlike me but there was a good reason. I did not read the sorta prequel, Dirty White Boys, or a couple of the Earl Swagger books until much later but until I got serious about possibly adding Swagger to the compendium, it did not seem to matter that much.
       And I am adding him now because someone recently suggested him and as I was reconsidering, I decided "why not?". And since I love to add series written extremely well about very interesting characters, well, it became a "duh!" moment.

GRADE

My Grade: A

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