cover image Sniper


Vaughn G. Hardaker. Skyhorse, $14.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-62636-557-5

Four people lie dead on Boston Common at the outset of Hardaker’s hard-hitting, if predictable first novel. To Det. Mike Houston’s trained eye, the evidence points to an experienced sniper, someone trained, as Houston was, by the U.S. Marine Corps. When Houston’s ex-wife, Pamela, falls to the assassin’s bullet, he knows that the lives of his family and friends are at stake. Allying himself with criminals, Houston takes on his unseen opponent in a game of cat and mouse that leads to a bloody showdown on an isolated Maine island. A paean to vigilante justice, this thriller offers a rich assortment of revenge fantasy clichés without building on them in any way. Readers should be prepared for torture scenes, problematic racial and misogynist elements, and a passionate rejection of rule of law in favor of more emotionally satisfying violent confrontation. Agent: Paula Munier, Talcott Notch Literary Services. (Feb.)