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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.
Stephen Hunter is a consistently superb writer... If I could, I would ALWAYS be reading one!
I wish I could do ANYTHING as well as this guy can craft words into an... Read more
Stephen Hunter is a master story teller and he will keep you guessing with all of his twist and turns and finally will throw in a surprise at the end! Read morePublished 4 days ago by Glen Moseley
Excellent prose with real world gravity. A what if that takes you for an excellent ride. One of Hunter's best.Published 23 days ago by petros ioannidis
Really an amazing novel by Stephen Hunter. He brings back to life the post-war atmosphere, in the cusp between the immediate post-WWII downsizing and before the 1950s growth... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Philip Ammerman
A very good start to the Swagger family ;lot of action . Ver y enjoyable bookPublished 1 month ago by gene123
I have read all of Stephen Hunter's books about Earl Swagger's adventures and also Hunter's books about Earl's son Bobby Lee and his adventures. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Riley1
My new favorite writer. Swagger stories with Earl and Bob Lee are page turners. going to put it down triple a plusPublished 1 month ago by Michael Hamilton