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Master Sniper Mass Market Paperback – 31 Mar 1999
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"Hunter is a deft craftsman with a sure sense of pace and scene. He also knows about irony and sprinkles just a bit over every corpse."--The Washington Post
"Stephen Hunter is the best writer of straight-out thrillers working today."--Rocky Mountain News
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Repp was the master sniper whose deadly talent had come to the notice of British Intelligence as the linchpin of a desperate Nazi plot to reverse the fortunes of the Third Reich at the eleventh hour. But what was the nature of the weapon that Repp was to aim--and who was to be his last target? Allied Intelligence officers Leets, from the U.S., and Outhwaite from England are dispatched to identify and abort his lethal mission. And when they finally learn the truth, the Second World War's deadliest race against time is on....
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I thought the main plot of this story was excellent. It's near the end of WWII and the Germans have developed the first infrared weapon targeting system. The story's protagonist, Captain Jim Leets, is assigned to: 1) find and understand the technology, 2) find the German Lt. Colonel Repp who is the master sniper and who will be using this new technology, and 3) identify and save the person(s) the master sniper is planning on killing with this new technology. The premise is quite believable, more than enough to keep me engaged in the story.
I also enjoyed the diversity of characters. The author did an excellent job of balancing the positive and negative in each character, thus making each one come off as authentically human. I thought the character, Shmuel, was excellently presented.
The romance subplot involving Susan seemed distracting to the story. I usually enjoy the romance subplot, but this one didn't resonate with me. Maybe because the situation was a bit too WWII cliché... married woman, husband halfway around the world, seeks companionship with local military guy, feels guilty... but doesn't. I really wasn't interested in the outcome of the romance, which is why I say it distracted from the story rather than enhancing it. A quarter of the way into the story, I found myself wishing Susan would get killed by a German V2 rocket or transferred back to the States so that Captain Leets could find a better girlfriend who wasn't such a downer.
The whole tennis-thing with Roger seemed oddly included, but it did accomplish a little character profiling... although I didn't think it added that much to the ending. Roger was a minor character throughout the story who ended up playing a major role in the climax. I guess Roger's "larger role in the ending" could have been predicted--based on the number of words given to him--but it didn't feel right to me. Oh well, no big deal.
It was a good story, not great but good.
The story starts a little slow, flipping back and worth between the German sniper Repp and the American officer Leets and his British counterpart Outhwaithe, but kicks into high gear and never lets up a few chapters in.
This novel was Stephen Hunter's 1st book, written in 1980. For a 1st novel, its excellent.
The story / plot of this book is amazing,once you find out what Repp's mission is, it will blow you away, this book should have been a movie long, long ago.
The Germans have a new weapon "Vampir (Vampire)", a highly sophisticated nightvision apparatus that attaches to a rifle, allowing the shooter to work at night and "Vampir" shoots a special 100 % lead round that makes very little sound when fired. Their is only one "Vampir" and the Germans have got their best man for the job, a German named Repp "der Meisterschutze (The Master Sniper)" as fellow Germans and the Jews know him. Germany is losing the war and its almost over, but Repp has one more mission to complete, a mission that could change the world.
An American officer named Leets has a hunch that something big is about to happen, he just doesnt know what or who it is, yet!
Good action, great characters and great storytelling from Stephen Hunter!
"Dirty White Boys" by Stephen Hunter was entertaining, I think "The Master Sniper" was a little better. Can't wait to read "Point of Impact" next!