Point of Impact (Bob Lee Swagger)
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He was one the best Marine snipers in Vietnam. Today, twenty years later, disgruntled hero of an unheroic war, all Bob Lee Swagger wants to be left alone and to leave the killing behind.
But with consummate psychological skill, a shadowy military organization seduces Bob into leaving his beloved Arkansas hills for one last mission for his country, unaware until too late that the game is rigged.
The assassination plot is executed to perfection—until Bob Lee Swagger, alleged lone gunman, comes out of the operation alive, the target of a nationwide manhunt, his only allies a woman he just met and a discredited FBI agent.
Now Bob Lee Swagger is on the run, using his lethal skills once more—but this time to track down the men who set him up and to break a dark conspiracy aimed at the very heart of America.
Stetson, all under a sheepskin coat, his best coat. Getting the car turned out to be no problem at all as the reservation in his name was waiting and the girl at the counter was especially ingratiating. She thought he was some kind of cowboy hero; her eyes lit with joy at what he took to be his incredibleness and when he called her “ma’am,” she was doubly pleased. He left the airport, found his way to the Baltimore Washington Parkway, from there to the Baltimore Beltway, and then west out I–70,
weirdly detonating synapse that caused the eye to lose its sharpness or its perspective; an ear that suddenly heard too much or not enough; a foot that fell asleep and distracted its owner from the serious business at hand. Bob blinked quickly, ordered himself to chill out, and tried to see in the lazy tremble in the cross hairs not something to hate (his own weakness) but something to make peace with—something to forgive. Self-forgiveness was a large part of it: you can’t be perfect all the
possibilities; these men had been discovered by Research, investigated at length by Plans, watched by the pros from Operations, and then winnowed to this sullen quartet. It was Dobbler’s job to break them down psychologically for Colonel Raymond Shreck’s final decision. Each of the final four had a flaw, of course. Dr. Dobbler pointed these out. He was, after all, still a psychiatrist, if now uncertified. Flaws were his profession. “Too narcissistic,” he said of one. “He spends too much on his
an easy time.” “Nick, we need bodies on this thing. I’m going to suspend you without pay for a week, but it won’t go into effect for three months. Then I’m afraid it’ll have to.” Nick nodded. It meant that within a month afterwards he’d be rotated back to the sticks and he’d never get out. It had taken him years to get to New Orleans. But it also meant, however provisionally, he’d be able to stay. “I suppose I’ll be transferred then.” “Nick, you know how it works. And I’m going to have to put
Pork. Get your ass and a half down there and then go to prone, on your belly, legs and arms spread. You make a stupid move, I’ll have to dump your bones here. Sad for a big boy like you to have to die over a dead dog.” Nick struggled down with the dog’s corpse; he could sense Bob above him, the yawning bore of the .45 always locked onto him. The man carried the gun lightly, easily, as if he’d been born with it. At the bottom Nick looked up, and there was Bob, the gun on him. Obediently he went