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Monday, July 1, 2019

SOFT TARGET: A THRILLER (Ray Cruz #2) (audiobook) by Stephen Hunter

Published in 2011 by Brilliance Audio.
Read by Phil Gigante.
Duration: 7 hours, 56 minutes.

The premise of this book is pretty simple: The Bruce Willis movie Die Hard meets Minnesota's The Mall of America, except in this book it is called America: The Mall.

It's Black Friday, the biggest shopping day in the biggest shopping mall in America. Suddenly, Islamic terrorists throw off their disguises, shoot the mall Santa between the eyes and take a thousand people hostage.

Turns out that super tough retired Marine Ray Cruz is shopping in the mall and almost immediately sets out to start taking out the bad guys...

So, if the book had just followed that basic story line, it would have been better. Instead, it moves away from this compelling story (the "thriller" promised in the title). Instead, we get a lot of political wrangling with an up and coming politician-type leader of the Minnesota State Patrol, his subordinates and the FBI. This character, named Obobo, was clearly modeled on President Obama (bi-racial, father is from Kenya, extremely well-spoken, almost no experience for a man in his position) and it's obvious that the author is no fan. That's fine, I wasn't a fan, either. But, wow, this was not subtle. Also, this story line was mostly 2 hours of time-filler in this audibook. It did almost nothing and made no sense.

One last complaint - one of the bad guy's escape plans was so pathetic that I can't believe that anyone who had spent any time in America and witnessed a major media even would have ever considered it. It had no hope of success. He might as well have fired off flare guns while running out of the main entrance of the mall.

Phil Gigante read this audiobook. He is a seasoned audiobook pro and it showed - he did a great job with accents and female voices.

I rate this book 2 stars out of 5. It gets 2 stars because I really liked a character named LaVelva.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Soft Target: A Thriller by Stephen Hunter

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