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A decent man haunted by his warrior past as well as the memory of his suffering at the hands of an abusive father, Earl yearns for the peace and quiet of domesticity with his wife Junie and the child she carries. But his need for "the hot pounding of the gun, the furious intensity of it all," is even more compelling. Earl's fearlessness in the face of danger is his defense against guilt over having survived both the war and his father's cruelty. Tasked with training a commando cadre to destroy Madden's criminal enterprise, Earl finds a way to channel his violent nature in the service of justice, despite his suspicions about his boss's political agenda, which threatens to compromise his assignment and destroy his team.
A prequel to Stephen Hunter's three well-reviewed suspense thrillers starring Earl's son, former marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger (Point of Impact, Black Light, Dirty White Boys), Hot Springs is bloody, hard-boiled fiction at its best. Hunter's precise descriptions of combat, hardware, and commando training are rendered in spare, uncluttered prose, and the melodrama around a key subplot--Earl's tangled, love-hate relationship with his murdered father--enhances rather than detracts from the novel's superb pacing and powerful narrative. Another subplot, involving Madden's rivalry with Bugsy Siegel, whose plan to create a rival sin city in Las Vegas threatens his own prominence, is less successful, but that's a minor quibble. While it's the only part of Hot Springs that doesn't fully engage the reader, it highlights Hunter's verisimilitude in depicting the heady post-World War II era. This is a highly readable book that should send grateful fans to Hunter's backlist as soon as they've turned the last page. --Jane Adams --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I was introduced to this author, Stephen Hunter, via his stories following the exploits of ‘Bob the Nailer. Read morePublished 5 days ago by D. Blankenship
Earl Swagger is a survivor, a warrior who survived the abuses of his father and nothing but combat leading up to the close of the second world war as a Marine who garnered an... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Bern
Great Read, interesting and varied characters. Excellent fictitious interaction between characters and actual historical figures of that time.Published 2 months ago by Judy A. Bruso
I live in western Arkansas and really enjoyed this book. Well written.Published 2 months ago by Highway man
Nicely done with historical fact weaved into story line... That said, lighten up on the earl abuse seqeal is a bit too much and loses believabilityPublished 2 months ago by Robert Hampton
Hunter has never disappointed. Love the language of the time. Very refreshing.Published 3 months ago by Alman