Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hot Springs - Book Review

Chewing through more of the Stephen Hunter list, I opted to change things up a bit and shift over to the Earl Swagger portion of his series. (Earl Swagger is the father of Bob Lee Swagger; Hunter runs two series where they intersect somewhere down the line in Black Light. Black Light is the third in the Bob Lee Swagger series and was written before the Earl Swagger series though it takes place years later. Got that?)

So Hot Springs is the first in the Earl Swagger series and introduces more in full to a character that Bob Lee Swagger fans already know about. Earl's a World War II hero, returned home to Arkansas after being recruited by law enforcement to help clear out that hotbed of sin known as Hot Springs. Hunter does his usual bang up (heh) job of getting the story underway and showing us why Earl's such a hero while keeping us interested in the gun lore about which Hunter is an expert. There are plot twists aplenty as well as cameos from real life gangsters, heckalacious gun fights, a portrait of post World War II Hot Springs, rural Arkansas and a very fine climax. An excellent start to this series as well as a primer on an offstage character that looms so large in the Bob Lee series.

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