Well, this book did not turn out how we thought it would and we are just going to declare why from the get go. This is NOT a book about sniping and there is very little mention of sniping in the book at all. What this book is, is a true story about a young Scotsman who likely committed a brutal crime in his teenage years and then later went on to become a sniper in the UK military before the crime caught up to him. So that fact that this is a true crime book and not a book related to sniping, makes it difficult for us to review it since everything we do here relates to sniping in some way.
If you are into true crime, then this book will likely satisfy you more than it did us. We actually did not care much for how the story was told as the author obviously carried a lot of biases about firearms owners and even recreation shooters. There were numerous comments about the way the subject of the book, Michael Ross, was taught to shoot at a young age. Unfortunately those comments were not factual that he learned to shoot, but instead they were comments about how he had learned to be a killer at a young age. Or comments about how a collection of 12 firearms was considered a extensive or excessive firearms collection. As a father who taught all of my kids, girls and boys, to shoot at a far younger age than Michael Ross was taught, I consider it more common sense gun safety and how to safely enjoy the recreational past time of “plinking” and marksmanship. Yes, each of my kids knows how to defend themselves if it ever came down to it, but they were never trained to be assassins as the author seems to imply all kids that shoot for fun are. A bit disappointing. I do have to admit that the author is from a country that does not enjoy the same rights to own and shoot firearms as we do here in the U.S.A. and I suspect a certain level of ignorance from not being exposed to it is to blame for the tone of the book.
The crime story is mildly interesting but the details of the unfolding of the story over more than a decade drags on and is slow moving. As the pieces of the puzzle unfold, the drama is somewhat anti-climatic with few surprises, and some head scratching as how some of those pieces are described, unveiled and fit together. There is literally only a couple of pages devoted to anything related to sniping and the title of the book is a bit unfortunate. If you are expecting a Sniper’s Story, this is not the book you want. If you are looking for a true crime story that takes place in a very remote island village in Scotland where you can see how a brutal murder can effect a tight nit and rugged population, then you might find some value in the story. Just don’t let the picture on the cover fool you, its crime, not sniping.
Sniper Central Rating: