Book - 2017
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"1934 was a pivotal year in the ongoing battle between the FBI and America's most famous outlaws--it was a year of giant personalities and huge shoot-outs, and it marked the deaths of John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, and Pretty Boy Floyd, among others. But that year, FBI agent Sam Cowley's priority was to nab the most dangerous gangster this country has ever produced, a man so violent he scared Al Capone and was booted from the Chicago mob--Baby Face Nelson. To stop him, Cowley recruited the most talented gunman of the time--Charles Swagger. When Bob Lee Swagger, now in Idaho, finally sells the land he owned in Arkansas, the developers begin to tear down the old homestead and uncover a steel case hidden in the foundation. The case contains a batch of 1934 memorabilia--a much-corroded FBI badge, a .45 automatic preserved in cosmoline, a gun clip, and a cryptic diagram, all belonging to Charles Swagger. Bob never knew his grandfather Charles, who died before he was he born, and his father Earl refuses to mention him. Fascinated by this new information, Bob is driven to find out what happened to his grandfather, and why his own father, whom he worshipped, never spoke of Charles. But as he investigates further, Bob learns that someone is following him, someone with his own obsession of finding out what Charles Swagger left behind."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Blue Rider Press, 2017
ISBN: 9780399574603
Characteristics: 447 p. ; 24 cm


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Aug 25, 2017

I have read Hunter for many years. This book is my favorite in recent years. Very creative in concept and story telling. loved it.

Aug 04, 2017

There's a big reveal about Bob Lee toward the end of the book that seems like it comes out of left field and then is just dropped and makes the reader wonder why it was brought up in the first place because it adds nothing to the narrative. Bob Lee's final confrontation with Baby Face made no sense given the facts of the actual gunfight that preceded it. Plus the logic behind why Bob Lee thought he had to re-write history to protect a colleague's reputation also made little sense. The story did inspire me to research the actual criminals and shoot-outs of the era. Baby Face Nelson was a true murderous psychopath. I loved Hunter's notes that he was inspired to write this story because he hated the movie Dillinger with Johnny Depp so much and knew he could tell a better story--and succeeded. Ignore the plot holes and just go along for the ride.

Jun 12, 2017

I am a great fan of Stephen Hunter and his Swagger/Sniper books. This is a good one and well worth the read. As he has done of late, and unlike many other writers with serial heroes, Hunter continues to age Swagger and incorporate the ups and downs of that into his writing - Swagger is now 71 years old and has decided to take on the task of learning something about his grandfather. So the story layout goes back and forth between present time and a narrative from his grandfather's foray into fighting gangsters (hence the title G-MAN) and with a little early Mafia thrown in for good measure. Interesting narrative of a time past in which law-enforcement procedures were vastly different, of course. There is lots of gun lore in this book which will please gun-savvy people or which can be easily skimmed by for those who are not. Lots of historical characters included, albeit some with poetic license taken for sure. Have fun with this one!

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