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Hot Springs | [Stephen Hunter]

Hot Springs

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 Stephen Hunter (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (264 )
5 star
 (129)
4 star
 (92)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
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1 star
 (5)
Overall
4.3 (222 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
 (7)
1 star
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Story
4.4 (220 )
5 star
 (127)
4 star
 (72)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jonathan Oceanside, CA, United States 09-25-12
    Jonathan Oceanside, CA, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good start to a series"
    Where does Hot Springs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is a great book. Not the Best, definitely not the worst. Earl Swagger and DA are great characters.


    Which character – as performed by Eric G. Dove – was your favorite?

    Earl - D.A. - Owney Maddox
    It took me a little while to get used to Eric G Dove. It started out sounding very staccato, and matter of fact but after a while it fell into a good groove. The matter of fact story telling fit the character so it began to meld. In the end, i was wrapped up in the story and in the voice.

    Eric G Dove did a good job with the English Accent on Owney as well.


    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charlie 12-30-11
    charlie 12-30-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    499
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I'm a sucker.."
    Any additional comments?

    ...for a Swaggart. Interesting location and plot line for a location and time we don't usually remember. A study in the Earl Swaggart character and what made Bobby Lee the character he became.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Scottsdale, AZ, United States 07-29-14
    Patrick Scottsdale, AZ, United States 07-29-14

    PSW

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    164
    21
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this book!"

    This is a wonderfully crafted story of corruption, gangsters and heroic police action. The descriptions and action are vivid and moves along briskly. One tends to identify or at least understand the underlying pathos and motivations of all the main characters, good guys and bad guys. In a no excuses fashion it does paint corruption in the evil colors that it deserves. I found the book much in the style of Elmore Leonard, in terms of subject, the crisp, realistic dialog and the complexity of the story which seems to unravel naturally and with ease. My only complaint is the final few chapters of the book seem to drag a bit tediously in exploring the psychology (prior experiences & motivation) of Earl Swagger, the main character, leading to the final "showdown". Except for this indulgence, I would be seriously tempted to give the book 5 stars. Earl Swagger and post WW2 America are such unique and interesting subjects, I truly hope Stephen Hunter follows this with more "swagger".

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S United States 08-28-14
    S United States 08-28-14 Member Since 2014

    Retired reading, English, & math teacher. Survivor of rear-ending on Channel 5 bridge in Florida Keys that resulted in 10 day coma&rehab,

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    88
    13
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    0
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    Story
    "Started well but lost me with too much detail,"

    I liked this in beginning but had to almost force myself to finish with too much repetitive detail. It lost me by the end.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Lake Jackson, TX, United States 03-04-13
    Gary Lake Jackson, TX, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Book, Sequels Drop Off Significantly"
    What made the experience of listening to Hot Springs the most enjoyable?

    This presentation did not use a lot of character voices or added background noise and music. It was a nice straight forward presentation.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Two actually, Earl Swagger and D.A. Parker. Both demonstrate no nonsense approach to life without bluster.


    Have you listened to any of Eric G. Dove’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I have now listened to a few sequels of the Earl Swagger series, and presentation is the most significant factor in the quality decline.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No - too lengthy.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lilly2734 Mentone, AL, United States 06-29-15
    Lilly2734 Mentone, AL, United States 06-29-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
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    247
    129
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    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Didn't expect much, got a lot"

    What a surprise. I don't usually enjoy turn of the century stories but listened a bit and got hooked.

    This was a new author for me, always the quest to find yet another story teller who makes me look forward to the next book. Eric Dove did a fine narration, a fit like Guidall and Mitch Rapp, Longmire, etc.

    All the gangsters make an appearance only to meet up with Earl. I thoroughly enjoyed the story which I think was a new shot at modern day special forces. My take, give it a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wolfpacker Fort Mill, SC 05-31-15
    Wolfpacker Fort Mill, SC 05-31-15 Member Since 2014

    Curtis

    HELPFUL VOTES
    612
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    346
    150
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    FOLLOWING
    76
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Many Storylines, Slow Start, Heart-Pounding Finish"

    There are at least six storylines in this well-written book. Perhaps as a result of that, it takes a good two or three hours to get into the story. From there it builds to a climactic ending. Characters are well-developed. You will enjoy the ride once you get into it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 05-23-15
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 05-23-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    91
    ratings
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    170
    164
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    10
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Definitely full of Action but a bit drawn out."

    This was definitely an action filled story, it was interesting learning about Hot Springs in the 1940s, however, not my favorite type of action thriller. The story was a bit drawn out, and I wish we could have gotten to know the characters much better. The main character, Earl Swagger, was not as believable as he should have been. I wish he would have developed him much better.

    Many say that he has a lot of better books than this one, but I am sort of hesitant to use a credit to try another one. I prefer James Lee Burke's Robichheaux novels much, much more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pennym850 04-30-15
    pennym850 04-30-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must Love Cussing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Stop the foul language


    Has Hot Springs turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Eric G. Dove’s performances?

    No


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disgust


    Any additional comments?

    I could not even listen to this book because of the foul language. How many times do you have to say the work F**k in one sentence?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A User 04-09-15
    A User 04-09-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "New hero in the making"

    A very interesting book with a few twists so that it wasn't a run of the mill done a thousand times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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