swagger_bob_lee_mv_s swagger_bob_lee_bk_bl swagger_bob_lee_bk_poi swagger_earl_bk_phc swagger_earl_bk_hs swagger_bob_lee_bk_ttb swagger_bob_lee_bk_dwb swagger_bob_lee_bk_tth swagger_earl_bk_h swagger_bob_lee_bk_gm swagger_bob_lee_bk_is swagger_bob_lee_bk_dz swagger_bob_lee_bk_not swagger_bob_lee_bk_t47s swagger_bob_lee_bk_sh
Full Name: Bob Lee Swagger
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Former Sniper

Creator: Stephen Hunter
Time Span: 1993 - 2017


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 adventures of Swagger are part of this compendium because, while he is not a spy or would want to be considered one, he seems to find himself in the middle of governmental intrigue and having to deal with or against operatives in a wide variety of alphabet agencies.

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.


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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon

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.
buy from Amazon


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.


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

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: and 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


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.


My Grade: A


Be the first to leave your own comments about this series.

Tell us what you think of the series. Give your grade and comments.

Your Grade:
Your Comments:

To give your opinion, you must be logged in.

Sign In

SpyGuysAndGals is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and links with the Buy from Amazon button are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.