Time to Hunt

Last updated
Time To Hunt
Time To Hunt Stephen Hunter.jpg
First edition
Author Stephen Hunter
CountryUnited States
Series Bob Lee Swagger series
Genre Thriller
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date
April 13, 1998
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages463 pp
ISBN 0-385-48043-1 (hardback edition)
OCLC 37975648
813/.54 21
LC Class PS3558.U494 T56 1998
Preceded by Black Light  
Followed by The 47th Samurai  

Time to Hunt is a 1998 thriller novel, and the third in the Bob Lee Swagger series by Stephen Hunter. In narrative sequence it is preceded by Point of Impact and Black Light .


Plot summary

The book begins about four or five years after the events in Black Light. Swagger's daughter is now around 8, and he owns a "lay-up" horse ranch, where he cares for horses. He has been slipping into a deep depression due to his inability to properly support his family.

Alienating himself from his wife and child, they leave for a morning horseback ride with a friend from another ranch. His wife is shot and nearly killed by a sniper, and the friend is killed. Bob assumes that the man was mistaken for him, and killed in an attempt to kill Bob Lee. This act plunges him back into a world of violence and intrigue.

While his wife recuperates, he attempts to unravel the secrets behind the assault.

This book has a dual plot, with the present plot, dealing with Bob's investigation into his wife's attempted murder. The second plot is set in the past, beginning on a Marine Corps base in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

A young Donny Fenn is the squad leader of a group of Marines who perform the state funeral services for Marines killed in the Vietnam War, which is raging across the world. Donny is brought before his superiors and ordered to follow one of his men, who is suspected of sympathizing with peace demonstrators who are led by a charismatic man named Trig Carter. In turn, Trig is suspected of having ties to an extremist group. Incidentally, Donny's girlfriend, Julie, is involved with this group of war protestors. Donny discovers that his sympathies lie closer to Trig's friends, and rather than rat out his own man, Donny defies naval investigators, buying a one-way ticket to the front lines of the Vietnam war. Just before being shipped out, his commanding officer, who admires Donny's courage, gives him enough money to run off with Julie and marry.

Donny meets up with Bob Lee Swagger, a Marine Sniper at the top of his game, joining him as Bob Lee's new spotter. Scourge of the North Vietnamese army, there is already a sizeable bounty on Bob Lee's head, but after an exciting firefight to rescue an overwhelmed outpost, a vengeful NVA Colonel calls out the big gun: Solaratov, a Russian sniper who is the only man alive who could possibly equal Bob Lee Swagger.

Donny is getting extremely short (close to going home). On Donny's last day in Vietnam, a day he should spend completing paperwork that will send him home, he makes the fateful decision to go on one last reconnaissance with Bob Lee. Solaratov's bullet ends both Bob Lee's career in the Marine Corps and Donny Fenn's life.

Back in the present, Bob Lee is unraveling the tapestry of lies that have buried the past all these years and discovers that there may be more to Donny's death than he originally thought.

Television adaptation

The second season of the USA Network series Shooter (2016–2018), starring Ryan Phillippe as Swagger, is based on Time to Hunt. [1]

Related Research Articles

<i>Full Metal Jacket</i> 1987 war drama film by Stanley Kubrick

Full Metal Jacket is a 1987 war drama film directed and produced by Stanley Kubrick, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Michael Herr and Gustav Hasford. The film is based on Hasford's 1979 novel The Short-Timers and stars Matthew Modine, Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio and Adam Baldwin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Allen Muhammad</span> American serial killer, co-perpetrator in the "DC Sniper Case" (1960–2009)

John Allen Muhammad was an American convicted murderer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He, along with his partner and accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, carried out the D.C. sniper attacks of October 2002, killing 10 people. Muhammad and Malvo were arrested in connection with the attacks on October 24, 2002, following tips from alert citizens. Although the actions of the two individuals were classified by the media as psychopathy attributable to serial killer characteristics, whether or not their psychopathy meets this classification or as a spree killer is debated by researchers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carlos Hathcock</span> United States Marine Corps Sniper

Carlos Norman Hathcock II was a United States Marine Corps (USMC) sniper with a service record of 93 confirmed kills. Hathcock's record and the extraordinary details of the missions he undertook made him a legend in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was honored by having a rifle named after him: a variant of the M21 dubbed the Springfield Armory M25 White Feather, for the nickname "White Feather" given to Hathcock by the North Vietnamese People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN).

Stephen Hunter is an American novelist, essayist, and film critic.

<i>The Short-Timers</i> Autobiographical novel

The Short-Timers is a 1979 semi-autobiographical novel by U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gustav Hasford, about his experience in the Vietnam War. Hasford served as a combat correspondent with the 1st Marine Division during the Tet Offensive of 1968. As a military journalist, he wrote stories for Leatherneck Magazine, Pacific Stars and Stripes, and Sea Tiger. The novel was adapted into the film Full Metal Jacket (1987) by Hasford, Michael Herr, and Stanley Kubrick.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper</span> Occupational field and specialty within the USMC

United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper is a secondary MOS designator of U.S. Marine Corps infantrymen and reconnaissance Marines that have graduated from a U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper School. Scout Snipers must earn the rank of Lance Corporal, be selected by their battalion to join the scout-sniper platoon, and complete an approved scout-sniper course in order to receive this designation.

<i>Point of Impact</i> (Stephen Hunter novel) 1993 conspiracy thriller novel

Point of Impact is a 1993 thriller novel by Stephen Hunter.

Bob Lee "the Nailer" Swagger is a fictional character created by Stephen Hunter. He is the protagonist of a series of 12 novels that relate his life during and after the Vietnam War—starting with Point of Impact (1993) up to the most recent Targeted (2022). Swagger is also the protagonist of both the 2007 film and the 2016 TV series Shooter, each based on Point of Impact. Creator Stephen Hunter has stated that Swagger is loosely based on USMC Scout Sniper Carlos Hathcock.

<i>Black Light</i> (novel) 1996 thriller fiction novel

Black Light is a 1996 thriller novel by Stephen Hunter. It is the second novel in the Bob Lee Swagger series and the sequel to Point of Impact.

<i>Shooter</i> (2007 film) 2007 American action thriller film by Antoine Fuqua

Shooter is a 2007 American action thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Jonathan Lemkin, based on the 1993 novel Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter. The film follows Force Recon Marine Scout Sniper veteran Bob Lee Swagger, who is framed for murder by a mercenary unit operating for a private military firm. The film also stars Michael Peña, Danny Glover, Kate Mara, Levon Helm, and Ned Beatty. It was produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura through Di Bonaventura Pictures, and released by Paramount Pictures in the United States on March 23, 2007. It grossed $95.7 million on a $61 million budget.

Charles Benjamin "Chuck" Mawhinney is a United States Marine who holds the Corps' record for the most confirmed sniper kills, having recorded 103 confirmed kills and 216 probable kills in 16 months during the Vietnam War.

<i>Susans Plan</i> 1998 American film

Susan's Plan is a 1998 American black comedy film written and directed by John Landis and starring Nastassja Kinski, Dan Aykroyd, Billy Zane, Rob Schneider, Lara Flynn Boyle and Michael Biehn. The plot revolves around Susan (Kinski)'s plan to kill her former husband and collect his life insurance.

<i>The 47th Samurai</i>

The 47th Samurai is a 2007 thriller novel, and the fourth in the Bob Lee Swagger series by Stephen Hunter. In narrative sequence it is preceded by Point of Impact, Black Light, and Time to Hunt.

<i>Night of Thunder</i> (novel)

Night of Thunder is a 2008 thriller novel, and the fifth in the Bob Lee Swagger series by Stephen Hunter.

<i>Hot Springs</i> (novel)

Hot Springs is a thriller novel by Stephen Hunter, published in 2000.

<i>I, Sniper</i>

I, Sniper is a novel by Stephen Hunter, published by Simon & Schuster in 2009. It is Hunter's sixth novel whose hero is Bob Lee Swagger, a U. S. Marine Corps sniper who first appears in Point of Impact which is partially set in the Vietnam War. It is tenth in order of publication and sixth in the chronology of the character.

<i>Rodina</i> (TV series) Russian TV series or program

Rodina is a Russian political thriller television series developed by Pavel Lungin and Timur Weinstein, based on the Israeli series Hatufim, which was created by Gideon Raff. Rodina is a second adaptation of Hatufim, after the American version Homeland by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa.

<i>Shooter</i> (TV series) American television drama series

Shooter is an American drama television series based on the 2007 film of the same name and the first three novels in the Bob Lee Swagger series by Stephen Hunter. The show stars Ryan Phillippe in the lead role of Swagger, a retired United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper from MARSOC living in seclusion who is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the President. USA Network picked up the pilot in August 2015 and ordered the series in February 2016.

<i>Dead Zero</i>

Dead Zero is a novel by Stephen Hunter, published by Simon & Schuster in 2011. It is Hunter's seventh novel whose hero is Bob Lee Swagger, a U. S. Marine Corps sniper who first appears in Point of Impact which is partially set in the Vietnam War. It is eleventh in order of publication and seventh in the chronology of the character.


  1. Mitovitch, Matt Webb (July 11, 2017). "Shooter Team Talks 'Bigger' Season 2, PTSD Julie, Memphis' Setback (Video)". TVLine . Retrieved December 22, 2022.