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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.
Enjoyed the book very much.....having read all of the Bob Lee Swagger series I found this look back interesting, and well written.Published 3 days ago by Stan Edwards
As a native Arkansan and long-time resident of Hot Springs, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It filled in some [probably true--or close] details in our little city's history and... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Ronald G. Kirkpatrick
Local politics and national crime. What a mixture! Very good read; I'm wearing out the next page button on my Kindle reader. Read morePublished 20 days ago by M. B. Dodson
Stephan Hunter is a masterful writer that has developed his characters very carefully. We have the books dealing with Bob Lee Swagger, the son, and Earl Swagger, the father. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Budman
Excellent read with a blockbuster ending! Hard to put it down. Already on the next one!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Another Hunter masterpiece. I've read everything he's published and Hot Springs is among his best.Published 1 month ago by Rabid_Reader