When you read as many books about sniping as we have, you sometimes can get a little bored with reading the same things over and over. So it was nice to open this book and read something new. The title does not truly describe what the intent of the author and the book is. The purpose of the book is to discuss, as much as possible, the shadowy world of sniping within the various Special Operation groups of the United States military, specifically during the Global War On Terror. As you might imagine, this is especially difficult due to the classified nature of special operations forces, but the author does an admirable job of putting the pieces together and presenting the data to the reader.
The way the author, Chris Martin, accomplishes this is by lots of obvious historical research and then complementing that with a number of interviews with ex-snipers from the special operations community. They say what they legally can and the author fills in the rest with public record and other bits of information. The area where the book does fall a bit short is in the amount of time that is spent discussing the history of special operations and how it has morphed over the past couple of decades. He then attempts to meld in how the snipers fit into each of the different teams. While he does a very good job with laying this out, a majority of the words and pages are spent on the discussion of special operations in general and not sniping. A rough guess would be that 70% of the book is spent talking about special operations and the remaining 30% is about sniping within special operations.
The information is well presented and the author is obviously an experienced professional as it flows very well making it easy to read. As is common in some books about the military, there are a lot of acronyms thrown around and a lot of military jargon that the inexperienced may have difficulty following. The first hand accounts provided by the actual snipers that were interviewed, many of which have their own books we have reviewed here, provide a good source of actual stories and information. The recounting of those stories is done on a high enough level not to threaten any classified tactics or information but yet detailed enough to highlight the effectiveness of the special operations forces and their snipers.
We are giving the book four out of five stars, which is a very good score. It did not score higher only because it is not purely focused on sniping but rather is focused on the special operations community with some attention specifically paid to how snipers have fit into and enhanced that community. A very good book for anyone looking to learn more about the tip of the US military spear and their snipers.
Sniper Central Rating: