G-Man by Stephen Hunter


Stephen Hunter

From bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Hunter, the latest episode in his Swagger family saga--replete with Hunter's wicked suspense, vivid gun fights, and historical truths.

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From bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Hunter, the latest episode in the Bob Lee Swagger saga, which finds Bob uncovering his family’s secret tommy gun war with 1930s gangsters like John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson.
Ryan Philippe currently stars as Bob Lee Swagger on the hit USA Network series Shooter.

1934. The depths of the Depression were marked by an epidemic of bank robberies and the swashbuckling, Tommy-gun-toting outlaws who became household names. John Dillinger. Bonnie and Clyde. Pretty Boy Floyd. Hunting them down was the new U.S. Division of Investigation—soon to become the FBI—which was determined 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—Lester Gillis, better known as Baby Face Nelson. To stop him, the Bureau recruited the most talented gunman of the time—Charles Swagger, World War I hero and sheriff of Polk County, Arkansas.

Eighty years later, Charles’s grandson Bob Lee Swagger has finally decided to sell the family homestead, but when the developers begin to tear down the house, they uncover a strongbox hidden in the foundation. Enclosed is an array of memorabilia dating back to 1934—a much-corroded federal lawman’s badge, a .45 automatic preserved in cosmoline, a mysterious gun part, and a cryptic diagram—all belonging to Charles Swagger. Fascinated and puzzled by these newly discovered artifacts, Bob is determined to find out what happened to his grandfather, who died before Bob was born, and why his own father, whom he worshipped, never spoke of Charles. But as he investigates further, Bob learns that someone is following him, that someone is sharing his obsession with finding out what Charles Swagger really left behind.

Alternating between Bob’s present-day search to uncover his grandfather’s legacy and Charles’s relentless pursuit for the nation’s most notorious outlaw in the Midwest of the 1930s, G-Man is a thrilling, action-packed addition to Stephen Hunter’s bestselling Bob Lee Swagger series.

Advance Galley Reviews

I have not read any of the author's previous books. This book was just too long, with tediously overdone description. If it could be described in 4 words, he used 14. The story line told over multiple time periods was interesting, great way to tell a story. I still was not able to get involved in this story and did not finish the book, and it is too long to struggle through.

I've had the pleasure of reading a couple of othe Stephen Hunter's Bob Lee Swagger novels and was excited to receive this ARC from First To Read. This is one of his best. The book goes back and forth between a 70 year-old Bob Lee and his much younger grandfather Charles. The author manages the transitions smoothly while maintaining an exception sense of conflict and tension. The portion from the 1930's is extremely well researched with no glitches with any of the period pieces including the encounter with Bonnie and Clyde or John Dillinger. On the other end, the mystery that Bob Lee inherited from his old homestead keeps tensions high as he searches for an equally mysterious grandfather. This is a very good novel that I would give a five star rating.

G-Man is a thrilling ride that takes one back to the days of Dillinger & Baby Face. Stephen wrote this novel in a way that made you feel that you were right there in the action. The back and forth from present day to the 1930's was a great blend. I couldn't put the novel down, I wanted to see what happened next. The detail of mindset and the weapons made for an enjoyable read. I would recommend this novel if you like the 1930 time era, before all the electronics of today. One part of the novel, that I didn't get, was Charles Swagger's secret. It was mentioned and then dropped. There were inferences throughout the remainder of the novel, but was just weird placement in a 1930's era novel. Maybe Stephen is just throwing a social issue into the novel. If you want to know what the secret is, you'll have to read the novel.

I received an advance reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review via first to read. Wow! I am honored to have read this tale of Dillinger, and Baby Face! It is incredibly absorbing and detailed. You feel as though you are part of the action and the twist at the end really gets you! I do recommend reading it!

I very much liked this book. I love this time period and he does it justice. It is a little detailed, but the storyline is good. Great read.

This was a really long book. In my opinion the book would have been somewhat better and a quicker read if it did not go into such minute detail about every gun and car in it. But, I'm not that into guns and cars. However, i did find all of the minute details in regard to the Illinois and Wisconsin locations really interesting because that's where I am from and I could picture the exact location where things were happening. So whether there is too much detail is all about perspective. I thought the book was well written and unique. It puts a mystery into legendary events. So you kind of think you know what is going to happen, but you don't always, I enjoyed the book and the ending. I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Even though there has to be a lot of bloodshed in a book like this, the details were not overly gruesome. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the First to Read program by Penguin in exchange for an honest opinion. I now have to try to find Shooter on cable.

This has all the hallmarks of a true Stephen Hunter novel. The story, about Bob's grandfather Charles, is tragic, yet uplifting. Our country was built upon the price paid by heroes and villains, and sometimes unsuspecting bit players. Charles was one such player..someone whose adherence to duty had a price. The story is taut, well paced, and with a good sense of the period in which it was set. The protagonists are well drawn out, and human..and do not seem like cardboard cutouts. While not Hunter's best Bob the Nailer novel (I've read the 47th Samurai dozens of times, and Point of Impact, Time to Hunt almost as many, and they are superior), this is definitely worth a read, or two or three.

One of the better of the series. Action packed and a nice period piece. Did not like some of what you find out about Charles. Seems like it could have been thrown in for some shock value. Will continue to read this series as long as Mr. Hunter writes them.


More to Explore

  • Point of Impact
  • The Day Before Midnight
  • Black Light
  • Time to Hunt

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