Hot Springs: A Novel (Earl Swagger)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The undisputed master of the tough thriller, New York Times bestselling author Stephen Hunter delivers a masterpiece of crime fiction set in 1940s Arkansas, where law and corruption ricochet like slugs from a .45 automatic.
Earl Swagger is tough as hell. But even tough guys have their secrets. Plagued by the memory of his abusive father, apprehensive about his own impending parenthood, Earl is a decorated ex-Marine of absolute integrity—and overwhelming melancholy. Now he’s about to face his biggest, bloodiest challenge yet.
It is the summer of 1946, organized crime’s garish golden age, when American justice seems to have gone to seed for good. Nowhere is this more true than in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the reigning capital of corruption. When the district attorney vows to bring down the mob, Earl is recruited to run the show. As casino raids erupt into nerve-shattering combat amid screaming prostitutes and fleeing johns, the body count mounts—along with the suspense.
young doctor and they looked scared. She knew something was wrong. “Let me give you some anesthetic, Mrs. Swagger.” “No,” she said. “No gas.” “Mrs. Swagger, you’re only a little dilated and you’ve got some hours to go. There’s no need to suffer.” “No gas. No gas! I’m fine. I want my husband. Is Earl here? Earl, Earl, where are you? Earl?” “Ma’am,” said the nurse, looking over, “ma’am, we haven’t been able to reach your husband.” “I want Earl. I want Earl here. He said he’d be here for me.”
vulnerable to a wire shutdown. It all depends on how fast they get info from the outside. That’s the lifeline. See, here’s the deal—if we can shut down that main book, man, we hurt ’em. We nail ’em.” “Do we know where it is?” “Of course not. Lots of folks do, but they ain’t gonna be telling us. What we’re going to do is hit a variety of places, close ’em down, wreck the machinery, and turn the prisoners over to the cops. The cops won’t hold ’em but a day, but the key is wrecking the machinery.
the fuckers first.” He turned to Hurst. “What do you make of it?” “Whoever thought this out, thought it out well,” said the lawyer. “These boys were well armed and well trained. But more to the point, whoever is planning this thing has thought long and hard about what he is attacking.” “Garry, what the fuck are you tawkin’ about?” said Owney. “Consider. He—whomsoever he may be—has certainly made a careful study of Hot Springs from a sociological point of view. He understands, either
Malvern for a look-see at Mary Jane’s. Again, it was surprisingly empty. A single white man sat at a table to the right, in overalls, with a low-slung hat down over his eyes and a half-full whiskey bottle on the table before him. His fiery glare seemed to drive most people away. Above, a few gals hung out the sporting house’s windows, but they were listless, almost pallid. Earl recognized fear of the paralyzing variety; he’d seen enough of it. He pulled around the block for a look down the
medal, in the Pacific? Well, they’re true. Earl was a great Marine out there. Earl killed a lot of the Yamoto race. So any young man who gits to study and learn and benefit from Earl’s bravery and leadership ability, he’s a lucky young man indeed, wouldn’t you say?” “Yes sir,” said Carlo, for he felt that way exactly. “But you should know something, Henderson,” D.A. continued. “Earl’s was the very toughest of wars. Five invasions. Wounds. Lots of men lost on hell’s far and barren beaches. You