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Soft Target by Stephen Hunter

Soft Target (2011)

by Stephen Hunter

Series: Ray Cruz (2)

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181765,840 (3.05)2



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If I wanted to read right wing politics, I'd pick up Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck, etc., but not Stephen Hunter. Yet under the guise of a "thriller," we have Hunter's view of Obama and the left and it's not pretty. Int his tale of a Somali terrorist takeover of the Mall of America in Minnesota, where they kill people at random and have about 1,000 hostages, we have the beginnings of an interesting story. Until we get to Colonel Douglas Obobo. I'm not making that last name up. He's a charismatic black man, who has risen to the top of the Minnesota State Police without ever having fired a shot, through his charisma, seemingly, as the press love him, as do the people. He always seems to know the right things to say. However, the men in the field can barely contain their hatred of him. The SWAT commander wants to go in firing, and Obobo will have none of that, so he sends him off to write reports. The FBI man wants action, but Obobo will have none of it and sends him off for logistical support. Here's a passage from the book that describes Obobo's mindset at work:

"Finally. He swaggered to the phone. This was his moment. His whole life he'd been able to synthesize arguments, turn them around instantly, and reiterate them in cajoling tones, until his opponent had agreed with him. It was his strength. He knew he could do it now, brilliant synopsizer, genius of empathy, purveyor of mega-earnestness. Colonel Obobo looked around, saw Renfro standing close by, giving him encouragement through sympathetic, even moist, eyes."

That was when the terrorists were about to talk to him for the first time, but they wouldn't play ball and it left him completely unnerved. He's viewed as a dunderhead by his all knowing staff, and his decisions get others in trouble.

Okay, enough! I realize not everyone out there likes Obama -- hell, I can barely tolerate him, even though I voted for him twice. I just think he's by far the lesser of two evils. But to rip the president like this under the guise of fiction, no of a thriller, is just too much to take and I gave up on page 178. I've read some Hunter before and enjoyed him in the past, so I *might* give him another chace, but if I see this crap again, he's gone, history, see ya. What an asshole. Not recommended, unless you're a right wing bigot. ( )
  scottcholstad | Sep 11, 2014 |
Hunter was one of my favorite authors in the past. His Bob Lee Swagger series were great. I think he has lost his passion for story-telling, it seems like he is just phoning it in now, counting on his past reputation to sell books. This particular book was awful. ( )
  1Randal | Aug 25, 2014 |
Hunter was one of my favorite authors in the past. His Bob Lee Swagger series were great. I think he has lost his passion for story-telling, it seems like he is just phoning it in now, counting on his past reputation to sell books. This particular book was awful. ( )
  1Randal | Aug 25, 2014 |
A group of terrorists take over the Mall of America in Minnesota during the Christmas rush.

Some see this as an opportunity to advance their careers but Marine sniper, Ray Cruz is one of the few who takes positive action.

Well written and suspenseful. ( )
  mikedraper | Jan 27, 2013 |
Radical Islamic terrorists take over the largest shopping mall in America where Ray Cruz, a retired military sniper, and his fiancee are shopping. They violently hold more than a thousand hostages, and make demands. The leader is ruthlessly cold-blooded with no concern at all for human life, and so are his very young Somalian followers. Yet, not all of it is at it seems.

Cruz is able to hide with a few others, having been separated from those held in hostage. Unbeknown to the terrorist group, he makes his plan to stalk and kill them one-by-one, stealthily, quietly. In the meantime, the police force is outside, unaware of Cruz and what he's up to inside, making attempts at delicate negotiations to peacefully end the standoff with no loss of hostages, and Cruz, unaware of the negotiations, just might ruin it all.

This is a suspenseful, fast-paced read. The unique thing about this book is that the hero is not your ethnically ordinary American and he doesn't seem to be the only hero, although he is the main character hero but room is left for other characters. ( )
  atdCross | Nov 17, 2012 |
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A follow-up to "Dead Zero" finds retired marine sergeant Ray Cruz confronting a band of terrorists who have taken over the Mall of America, where they begin to systematically execute more than one thousand hostages.

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