The Third Bullet

The Third Bullet

A Bob Lee Swagger Novel

Book - 2013
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A blockbuster alternate narrative to one of the most enduring controversies of our time: The assassination of John F. Kennedy. This time, Bob Lee Swagger is on the case.

Bob Lee Swagger is back in a thriller fifty years in the making . . .

It's not even a clue. It's a whisper, a trace, a ghost echo, drifting down through the decades via chance connections so fragile that they would disintegrate in the puff of a breath. But it's enough to get legendary former Marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger interested in the events of November 22, 1963, and the third bullet that so decisively ended the life of John F. Kennedy and set the stage for one of the most enduring controversies of our time.

Swagger begins his slow night stalk through a much-traveled landscape. But he's asking questions that few have asked before: Why did the third bullet explode? Why did Lee Harvey Oswald, about to become the most hunted man on earth, risk it all by returning to his rooming house to secure a pistol he easily could have brought with him? How could a conspiracy that went unpenetrated for fifty years have been thrown together in the two and a half days between the announcement of the president's route and the assassination itself?

As Bob investigates, another voice enters the narrative: knowing, ironic, almost familiar, that of a gifted, Yale-educated veteran of the CIA Plans Division. Hugh Meachum has secrets and the means and the will to keep them buried. When weighed against his own legacy, Swagger's life is an insignificant expense--but to blunt the threat, he'll first have to ambush the sniper.

As each man hunts the other across today's globe and through the thickets of history, The Third Bullet builds to an explosive climax that will finally prove what Bob Lee Swagger has always known: it's never too late for justice.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster, 2013.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed. --
ISBN: 9781451640205
145164020X
Characteristics: 485 p.

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StarGladiator
Aug 01, 2013

Such silliness - - - one need only exclude all the non-verifiable data [about 94% to 96%, since the CIA has spent so much money peddling disinformation], just finished the last book of over 700 books on the JFK assassination I've read and studied - - The Man Who Knew Too Much, by Dick Russell, who must be either the world's worst investigative journalist, or this was another disinformational, planted book - - and compare the verifiable data to the declassified documents from the CIA, State, FBI, INS, et cetera [much thanks to Mary Ferrell and the Mary Ferrell Foundation] and one ends up with the shooters having been Jean Rene Souetre [OAS], Mozes Maschkivitzan [Belgian criminal and CIA contract killer], Lazlo the Hungarian [OAS] and Lucien Conein [CIA] - - kill shots most likely from Souetre and Maschkivitzan, with Conein missing from atop the Dal-Tex Building. The planners: Allen Dulles, William Harvey, Tracy Barnes [Dulles' cousin on the Lansing side] and McGeorge Bundy.

c
Charlietwo
Jun 27, 2013

charlietwo June 2013
If you like complexity in the style of LeCarre where several separate webs are eventually woven into one then this is for you.

pw1040 Jun 06, 2013

Best novel I've read this year. Contrary to the comment below, the switching back and forth between the bad guy and the hero made the book, in my opinion.

j
jimg2000
Apr 13, 2013

Great finish against all odds. A bit tedious when the same events were told in different perspective by Oswald, the master mind and the sixty seven year old Swagger. Yes, both cliche and authentic in this original JFK assassin tale.

j
jguymon
Apr 02, 2013

ENFPWOMAN: suggest you go back and read Hunter from the start of the Earl Swagger books, then the Bob Lee Swagger books. Good sized public libraries have most of them. Indeed, you have found a treasure.
I've read all of his books at least twice.
You will recognize the great book, "Point of Impact," as the basis for the movie "Sniper," with Mark Wahlberg as Bob Lee.

e
ENFPWOMAN
Feb 20, 2013

The writing here is of a very high calibre. I'm only 48 pages into this book (my first Stephen Hunter novel), and I find myself re-reading certain sentences/paragraphs, enjoying the sheer beauty with which Hunter caresses the language. Hunter's 15 novels look like a treasure revealed.

ChristchurchLib Feb 12, 2013

"Like James Ellroy's American Tabloid (but set mostly in the present) or Stephen King's 11/22/63 (without the time travel), The Third Bullet reimagines the events surrounding the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy - and comes up with a conspiracy-heavy yet plausible scenario for what really happened that day. In this 8th thriller starring Bob Lee Swagger, we find the Vietnam vet drawn into investigating the murder of a novelist who'd been researching the assassination, and from there into the conspiracies swirling around JFK's death. In addition to great writing, conspiracy theories, and ballistics details, fans will enjoy the connections author Stephen Hunter draws between himself (and Bob Lee Swagger) and the dead novelist (and the hero he wrote about, Billy Don Trueheart)." February 2013 Thrillers and Suspense newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=599486

d
dannnn
Feb 09, 2013

Old Bob Lee strikes again and does a great job of it. Most complex in its simple way.

george0819 Feb 04, 2013

Perhaps the world doesn't need another JFK conspiracy theory novel, but this is an excellent read, with a plausible story-line, excellent character development, particularly the "Ivy" CIA agent, in full blossomed arrogance and pomposity and of course heroic linchpin, Bob Lee Swagger. In full disclosure, this is not a typical Swagger, "shoot 'em up" but is more intellectually based. As Hunter notes in acknowledgements, he doesn't alter the generally accepted knowns surrounding the actual event, but does spice the arena with just enough possibilities to make you think and have an enjoyable read. It's very well done.

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