Book Review: Pale Horse Coming, by Stephen Hunter

Anyone who hasn’t read Stephen Hunter’s work is really missing out on some great gunnie fiction. Most of his books are based on the characters of Earl Swagger (WWII Medal of Honor winner) or his son Bob Lee Swagger (Vietnam War sniper).  Pale Horse Coming is an Earl Swagger novel written specifically for the shooting crowd. Picture The Magnificent Seven rewritten to star real people – seven of the most notable firearms personalities of the 1940s and 50s.

That is what Hunter does here – Earl Swagger assembles a team including Audie Murphy, Ed McGivern, Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan, and others to bring justice to a corrupt Mississippi prison camp. He does an excellent job researching these historic personalities and writing their interactions, which makes great reading for someone familiar with who they are. And then, of course, copious righteous violence ensues when they embark on the mission.

If you liked Unintended Consequences, you’ll love this work – it’s one of my favorites.

Also available on Kindle, for the eBook folks: Pale Horse Coming


  1. I’ve enjoyed all of Stephen Hunter’s books, but this one was by far my favorite. The addition of the real life gun guys by cleverly renaming them as characters just takes it to another level.

  2. One of my all-time favorites. Early Swagger (in this book) and his son Bob Lee Swagger (other books) wonderful, very human, characters.

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