Hot Springs

  • Title: Hot Springs
  • Author: Stephen Hunter
  • ISBN: 9780684863603
  • Page: 179
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Hot Springs In the summer of the most wide open town in America is Hot Springs Arkansas a city of ancient legendary corruption While the pilgrims take the cure in the mineral rich degree water that b
    In the summer of 1946, the most wide open town in America is Hot Springs, Arkansas, a city of ancient, legendary corruption While the pilgrims take the cure in the mineral rich 142 degree water that bubbles from the earth, the brothels and casinos are the true source of the town s prosperity It is run by an English born gangster named Owney Maddox, who represents the NewIn the summer of 1946, the most wide open town in America is Hot Springs, Arkansas, a city of ancient, legendary corruption While the pilgrims take the cure in the mineral rich 142 degree water that bubbles from the earth, the brothels and casinos are the true source of the town s prosperity It is run by an English born gangster named Owney Maddox, who represents the New York syndicate and rules his empire like a Saxon lord while sporting an ascot and jodhpurs But it is all about to be challenged A newly elected county prosecutor wants to take on the big boys and save the city s soul he also wouldn t mind being the next governor He begins a war on the gambling interests and, knowing the war will be long and bloody, hires an ex Marine sergeant, Earl Swagger, who won the Medal of Honor on Iwo Jima, to run it Swagger knows how to fight with guns as well as any man in the world But he is haunted the savage fighting he just barely survived and the men he left behind in the Pacific still shadow his mind, leaving a terrible melancholy There are even darker memories a murdered father who beat him mercilessly and drove a younger brother to suicide And he s torn by his own impending fatherhood, as his wife, Junie, nears term It isn t that Earl Swagger is afraid of dying scary still, it s possible that he yearns for it.The gangsters fight back, setting up a campaign of ambush and counterambush in the brothels, casinos and alleys of the City of the Vapors Raids erupt into full out combat amid screaming prostitutes and fleeing johns The body count mounts Meanwhile, the politics behind the war are shifting Will the prosecuting attorney stick with his raiders orsell them out to curry favor with the state s political machine Will Owney Maddox defeat the raiders but lose a personal battle against a cunning rival from the West who foresees a Hot Springs in the Nevada desert as the future franchise city of organized crime But most important, will Earl Swagger survive yet another hard war, not merely with his body but also with his soul intact Packed with page turning action, sex, sin and crime, Stephen Hunter s Hot Springs is at once a relentlessly violent and deeply touching story.

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      Posted by:Stephen Hunter
      Published :2019-05-15T15:18:14+00:00

    About Stephen Hunter


    1. Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name See this thread for information.Stephen Hunter is the author of fourteen novels, and a chief film critic at The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize He lives in Balti, Maryland.


    423 Comments


    1. As far as I’m concerned Stephen Hunter is one of the very top-tier candidates of Thriller King. Even when he’s writing about shit that I don’t have a lot of interest in (most obviously the focus on sniping and all kinds of long rifle technologies and tactics from the Bob Lee books) I still find myself getting sucked in, enjoying the over-indulgent details on gun shit and whatnot and reading every book obsessively until it’s finished. Dude just knows how to write a gripping book and it’ [...]

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    2. Hunter is a knife-man with words. He cuts to the bone wherever he wants the words to go.Earl Swagger is just back from the war in the Pacific. He sees Hot Springs, Arkansas, 1946, in all its reptilian life: “The club was dark and jammed. Gambling was king here on the upstairs floor, and the odor of the cigarettes and blue density of the smoke in the air were palpable and impenetrable. It smelled like the sulfur in the air at Iwo and the place had a sort of frenzy to it like a beach zeroed by t [...]

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    3. A very well written novel. The character and plot development have many sophisticated layers and even though the ending is a bit predictable, the story development isn't. I also really appreciate the way that Stephen Hunter incorporates real life figures into many of his stories. I will note that I like the Earl Swagger novels far better than the Bobby Lee Swagger novels. I feel that Stephen Hunter spends more time caring about Earl's character. The Bobby Lee novels have the serial writer feel w [...]

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    4. 3 ½ stars. A lot of good action and suspense. But audiobook narrator’s BREATHS hurt the book.Neat characters. I loved the Earl Swagger tough-guy-soldier fighting mobsters. He uses automatic guns and rifles. Great use of land around him during fights. I had some problems with it, but I still enjoyed it.One part made me mad. I kind of don’t want to trust this author. Becker the prosecuting attorney hires a dozen soldiers headed by Earl and D.A. Becker wants them to raid gambling casinos owned [...]

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    5. While I like Hunter's books most of the time, I loved this one. While it's perhaps a little over dramatized, it is well written and suspenseful.Earl Swagger, a returning WW II vet and Medal of Honor winner, joins a group taking on Mafia member Owney Meany and his crew who run Hot Springs, Arkansas and its gambling, prostitution and other illegal activities. The story has lots of action as Earl and ex-FBI agent D.A. Parker train and lead a group of young police officers to put Meany out of busine [...]

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    6. No Negroes are allowed in this hospital. That's the rule.

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    7. I loved this book. Hunter writes like he was born and raised in the south. Earl Swagger is back from WWII a decorated hero. He doesn't cotton to all the attention he gets because of his war record. Earl has a whole new life ahead of him, new wife, a new job and a baby on the way that he's none to excited about. He is plagued by demons from the war as well as his childhood. To add insult to injury he seeks to drown it all in alcohol. I find myself rooting for Earl, wanting him to pull himself tog [...]

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    8. We bought this book when published in 2000. My husband read it and I always planned to but it was shoved in a closet [good thing I get around to cleaning at least once a decade!:] I found it most enjoyable but I'm not sure it would appeal to others as well since I live outside Hot Springs and have become interested in the history.The setting is right after World War II and Hunter has used many real characters in a real setting with a mostly fictional tale. The city was full of corruption with ga [...]

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    9. this was my first Stephen Hunter novel, and i LOVED it! i'm usually not fond of 500+ page books, but i could not put this one down! it is written in a style that is descriptive and engaging. when you couple that with a good plot, action and great characters, you've got yourself a page turnere plot was reminiscent of movies like The Dirty Dozen and Seven Samurai. you've got a team of elite soldiers led by a badass ex-Marine that raid casinos in circa 1946 Arkansas to take down the local mobsters. [...]

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    10. This is an outstanding book, with a multi-textured plot, great action between cops and gangsters in the 1940s, well-written characters, and a perfect conclusion. Frenchy Short comes from my home town of Williamsport, PA. I'm not sure why Hunter emphasized that in the book, but it's okay with me. Short also appears on Havana. I hope he appears on other Hunter books, too. He's a nice/nasty character.

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    11. A friend lent me “Pale Horse Running”, the second book in the series. It was great! I’m so glad that I went back and read the first Earl Swagger book. (Mitch Rapp would look up to Earl Swagger!)I enjoyed how the author adds vignettes using real life characters of the 40’s i.e. Bugsy Siegel, Mickey Rooney, Burt Lancaster, etc. Also, in a small way, the book helped me to understand what a Medal of Honor recipient feels.(I wonder if this book was the geneses of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire [...]

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    12. Great book. I enjoy the Earl Swagger character as much as his son Bob Lee!This story reminds me a lot of movies like Gangster Squad & the Untouchables. Terrific 40's gangster storyAnd being familiar with NW Arkansas area it is neat to read a story set there. Thats one of the reasons why I rwally like Stephen Hunters novels, they are set in my area.

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    13. WOW. I picked this book up at the airport because it looked like the best one on the shelf to keep my attention and boy did it an more. I have to tell you, this southern detective noir reminded me of everything I loved about noir fiction. I've since bought the next two Earl Swagger books. Thanks Stephen!

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    14. This one's crazy. It's a good read, but won't stick with you. It's no classic, but it'll keep you glued to it. I love books like this for long plane rides. I was taken out of my uncomfortable seat on my flight to Bangalore to a corrupt and broken Arkansas and didn't leave it until the wheels hit the runway.

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    15. This is about Bob Lee Swagger's dad & answers some questions about the first few books that I was dying to know. I didn't like it quite as much as "Point of Impact" & "Black Light", but that could be because I identified more with Bob Lee than his dad.

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    16. Part 1940s post-WWII, part alternative reality; inspired by true crime but written into a smart, well crafted suspense with deeply complicated characters. I believe this is first in a series, if I could I'd get all the rest of them immediately.

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    17. Loved the story. Started a bit slow and then the story sucked me in until I was obsessed to finish the book.I got clued into this series by author Stan R. Mitchell who reference this series in his book "Sold Out".

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    18. I actually prefer Earl to his son Bob Lee. Must be the fact that I love anything within an historical context. I wish that Hunter would produce a guideline for his readers with regard to what order the books should be read in.

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    19. Even cooler than "Pale Horse." Mobsters, a really hacked-off Marine, an old-school gunslinger, a gambling and whoring Mickey Rooneyis book has everything.

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    20. Starting off brilliantly. Written in 2000

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    21. This author has great action. Never boring.

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    22. SUBJECTIVE READER REVIEW WITH PLOT SPOILERS FOLLOWS: I've read and assigned 5 stars to Hunter books written between 1993 and 2017, Earl Swagger #2 and Bob Lee Swagger #s 1, 3, 9 & 10, and was always missing something until I read 'Hot Springs.' This book is the Rosetta Stone of Hunter's catalogue, explaining the strange dichotomy that Charles Swagger was and how his DNA branded all of his male progeny. Read this book and the rest of them start to make perfect sense. a completely delusional p [...]

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    23. I'm torn between 4/5 stars. But this novel catapults Hunter into "my must read" list. Part WEB Griffin, part Michael Connelly. I can't hardly wait for the next in this series.

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    24. Earl Swagger is awesome.

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    25. More great 'redneck' noir--deep and dark and filled with bullets and fedoras.

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    26. Some superb writing." Hot Springs is a novel telling about gangsters and gambling in U.S. city Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is the first novel in the series featuring Hunter's character Earl Swagger summer 1946 and Earl Swagger, former Marine and recipient of the Medal of Honor, feels he is an angry man with nowhere to go in the post-war peace. But then he joins a new war, the one against organized crime, and in this hellish crucible rediscovers his courageous true self." We get some info on Earl's [...]

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    27. The Earl Swagger series is in some ways better for me than the Bob Lee novels mostly for the simple fact that author Stephen Hunter lays out interesting characters from past history. Mixing fictional and real people in a good historical fiction that has plenty of action and mystery makes for some fun reading with perhaps a bit more depth in the characters. Maybe it's because we have both Harry Truman and Bugsy Siegal in addition to others along with the overall milieu of the south immediately fo [...]

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    28. This is a terrific read. Hunter creates a few excellent subplots to support his main one and he does a very good job of capturing the seminal culture of Arkansas during the 40s. At it's core this novel is about a decent, though flawed individual wrestling with inner demons. Much of the story is dark but the author uses humor very well in spots to balance that. Looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.

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    29. It is interesting to see how authors try to take a military man with a specific skill set and bring him home to fight crime. This story was OK in that regard but the reality, or the lack of it I should say, kept rising up to make this a less than optimal reading experience for me.

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    30. Stephen Hunter says in the afterword that the story he wrote of Hot Springs is a bit over done but that's allowed in a novel's sense. Thank goodness since 'things' kind of get out of hand here, but make for a never let up action read.

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