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Jack Coughlin Books In Order

Publication Order of Kyle Swanson Sniper Books

Kill Zone (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dead Shot (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Clean Kill (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Act of Treason (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Running the Maze (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Time to Kill (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
On Scope (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Night of the Cobra (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Long Shot (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shock Factor: American Snipers in the War on Terror (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Jack Coughlin has become a well-recognized and respected name in the realm of military literature. His work has been praised as having both a sense of accuracy but also being truly captivating on what life is like for deployed service members during a time of war. His novels focus on the American war in Iraq and many of the issues faced there today make appearances in his literary work.

Even from an early age, Coughlin showed a great deal of interest in a potential military life. Born the youngest of five siblings in the town of Waltham, Massachusetts, Coughlin was the only boy of the children. His father also built a career in literature and history after deciding to leave his job as a contractor. Unfortunately, at a very young age Jack was blinded in his right eye after being involved in an accident with a sharp rick that had ricocheted from a fight between two older children. With the loss of his eyesight, the chances of Coughlin entering the military were low. However, overtime his sight returned and he regained his 20/20 vision that would someday make him renowned as a shooter. In 1985, at the age of 19, Coughlin enlisted in the United State Marine Corps.

Coughlin completed his Marine recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island. Until this point in his life, Coughlin had never built experience operating any form of firearms, especially any form of rifle. His first experience with firearms occurred during his recruit training and he immediately showed skill with the rifles. Following recruit, Coughlin attended the U.S. Marine Scout Sniper School. During his career, he was stationed in the Philippines at the Subic Bay U.S. naval base, at the Jungle Operations Branch, and with the Marine Barracks Security Platoon. Overtime, he was reassigned to the 3rd, 4th, and 7th Marine regiments before finally being assigned with the 1st Battalion. During this time, Coughlin built a name for himself as a dedicated and talented sniper and soldier.

In 2003, Coughlin was deployed to Iraq during the Operation Iraqi Freedom for the Iraqi invasion with Basara. While in Iraq, he witnessed a great deal of historic change including being present for the destruction of the infamous Saddam Hussein statue. It was in Iraq he receive one of his two Bronze Star for his valor. Following his tour in Iraq, he returned to the states and retired from his military service.

Coughlin is perhaps best known for his autobiography, Shooter, which recounts with great detail his time in Iraq. The book was published in 2005 and has received high literary praise as an asset to understanding the war in Iraq. Shooter gives Coughlin’s firsthand account of a soldier interacting the Iraqi people while serving so far away from home. Unlike his other works, Shooter is a non-fiction novel that gives true insight into the war in Iraq and how Coughlin interacted with the world around him. Shooter was written in collaboration with author and fellow military veteran Donald A. Davis. Davis is also one of two other collaborators on Coughlin’s fictional novels.

Thus far in his literary career, he has been involved in the writing over seven books with military peers Captain Casey Kuhlman and Donald A. Davis. The trio’s first novel Kill Zone tells the tale of an American general that has been captured in the Middle East and the struggles of Gunnery Sgt. Kyle Swanson to rescue the general from his captors. Kill Zone combines accurate military information with a fictional plot, telling a tale of loss, betrayal, and anger that fuels a fiery story. The novel received rave reviews from several respected sources including The Washington Post and Publishers Weekly. The trio’s second book Dead Shot also went on to become a hit with literary critics. This novel also features the exploits of military hero and sniper Kyle Swanson. Dead Shot depicts the story of an assassinated Iraqi scientist following Hussein’s death and his infamous weapon of mass destruction. Dead Shot takes a fictional but relatable look at the fear of terrorism and the horrors such weapons can amass on the public. Coughlin also uses a great deal of his knowledge from working alongside British comrades in Iraq to base much of the book out of the United Kingdoms.

Like Coughlin, the Swanson character is both a sniper and a Gunnery Sargent The character Kyle Swanson has been praised as an impressive literary creation. Even more, his exploits and interaction in the military realm are very accurate and understandable as they are being written by a man who not only has worked within the same field but also served for many years as a military sniper. The result being a character that shows all the well the work done in a military realm and the trials and tribulations faced by someone who works from the shadows with a loaded rifle. The character has been lauded as not only relatable and understandable, but also compelling and perfectly flawed.

Jack Coughlin’s work has succeeding in accurately depicting what is faced by American servicemen in a time of foreign war. Even more, from his books, readers can learn more about the Iraqi people and the nation behind the media coverage. This alone opens up a great deal of literary merit. His work has been praised by critics and been given the stamp of approval by other renowned service men and women who have served overseas during the Iraqi war. His experience as a sniper and military soldier has given him a plethora of knowledge on the subject which he writes about, making his work captivating to anyone interested in not only war, but in the daily life of a service member. His work has shed light on some of the more veiled happenings of the Iraq war as well as opening up the public eye to potential issues that could arise. There is perhaps few authors today that can compete with Coughlin in the realm of military literature.

United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Jack Coughlin, retired, was born in Waltham, Mass., on January 12, 1966. He was the youngest of five children and the only boy. While still a youth, Coughlin had vision loss in high right eye, caused by a sharp rock. The rock flew as a result of two boys fighting near where Coughlin stood. When the eye healed, his sight was 20/10.

Coughlin enlisted in the Marines at age 19. His initial training took place at the Marine Depot on Parris Island. Later, Coughlin attended Scout Sniper school. He was stationed in various locations, including the Philippines, with Alpha Company, Marine Barracks Starboard Security Platoon and with the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines. Coughlin was deployed to Iraq during both Operation Restore Hope and Operation Iraqi Freedom, playing key roles in important missions during both deployments. For Operation Restore Hope, he was deployed with 1st Battalion, 7th Marines Weapons Company. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Coughlin was responsible for taking out the enemy manning a ZPU-4, ensuring the success of that particular mission. Coughlin had 60 confirmed kills during his multiple years of service.

Upon his return stateside after his deployment during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Coughlin retired from the U.S. Marine Corps. Since that retirement, he has written several books, with help from fellow author Donald Davis.

Coughlin tries to share, through his writing, the experiences he faced and the lack of humanity he was forced to adopt in order to survive in Iraq and ensure the success and continued life of American forces. He notes in an interview shortly after the release of his book that he deals with the things he has done every day of his life, reflecting on them and trying to take solace in the fact that he did what he did “the right way.”

Coughlin is a father with two daughters. He says he shared his experiences, not to receive thanks or to warn people of his potential danger, but to let people know that the men behind the guns in Iraq are people just like everyone else. They do what they need to do, and they find a way to succeed at that. Still, they are people and have emotions. They face the consequences of their actions by reliving them, both awake and through dreams while they sleep. Having civilians understand this a tiny bit better is a hope that Coughlin has and part of the reason he wrote his autobiography and shared it with the world.

After his autobiography, Coughlin’s efforts with Davis are a series of fictional novels following a Gunnery Sergeant on his missions in various exotic locales, filled with danger and intrigue. The novels are a great draw for people that want to read about things they are unlikely to ever experience in real life. Books filled with danger and intrigue, giving people a window into a place they may or may not ever see, are in high demand. Coughlin, with his real life experiences, is well-prepared to craft these stories with a sense of realism not often seen in war fiction.

Coughlin’s autobiography is one of many that have been published in the years following 9/11. It covers an area of the war not typically talked about or even confirmed as existing in some cases – the life of snipers who protect other soldiers during high profile missions. His writing is a significant step forward in terms of sharing information with the public that may or may not have remained unknown. However, Coughlin hopes to see the work be considered a benefit in today’s times.

All of Coughlin’s works are collaborative efforts with Donald Davis, who has written novels that have been on the New York Times Bestseller list. Davis lives outside Boulder, Colorado.

Shooter – Autobiography, Book One

Shooter is the autobiography of Coughlin as a sniper in the US Marines. He had numerous confirmed kills and was so good, when military officials discussed him, they simply said they were glad he’s on “our” side. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Coughlin was credited with 13 kills in a 24-hour period and 23 more throughout his deployment.

During the course of the novel, Coughlin shares experiences where he was forced to kill Iraqi civilians. The individuals were ordered to stop, had warning shots fired into their car and still accelerated toward American troops. This gave Coughlin no alternative but still was a horrifying experience for him.

Coughlin shares a number of his experiences during his 20 years with the Corps and traveling to many of the world’s hot spots to accomplish his assignments. Some targets were as far as half a mile away. Some were scheduled hits, and some were unplanned firefights. The experiences shared throughout this autobiography are poignant and provide the reader with an intense, up close perspective of not only Coughlin but his fellow soldiers during his years in the Marine Corps.

Shooter made the New York Times bestseller list after its release in 2005. The book was released in hardcover, paperback, Mass Market paperback, unabridged audio CD, unknown binding and as an Audible book. Readers found it gripping and insightful, calling Coughlin both a great warrior and a great author. There are some Marines, however, who noted disagreement with his portrayal of some events.

Kill Zone – Book Two

A sniper novel set mainly in the Middle East, this book chronicles the rescue effort for an American general held by terrorists, but terrorists speaking American English.

Pulled from his vacation on a yacht over blue waters, Gunnery Sgt. Kyle Swanson is given his orders to head a rescue mission. Swanson and the members of his team are ambushed in flight to their destionation, killing all but Swanson. Unsure who can be trusted and what is going wrong, he continues on alone, intent on finishing the mission and saving the general. Yet he finds himself in a difficult predicament when he realizes the general is in danger from the worst possible foes – fellow Americans.

Swanson makes appearances in the other novels written by Coughlin and Davis. Coughlin’s experience has great impact on the veracity of the scenes and scenarios in these novels.

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