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.
It is a great book. Not the Best, definitely not the worst. Earl Swagger and DA are great characters.
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.
...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.
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".
Stop the foul language
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?
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.
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 by the mob. The first two raids are a success. A bunch of mobsters get killed plus three innocent bystanders. So Becker now says keep doing what you are doing but you can’t use automatic weapons or wear bullet proof vests. WHAT??? The mobsters use automatic weapons. In my opinion Earl should have walked away. It was a stupid request. If Becker doesn’t want them to raid anymore, just stop. Don’t ask these guys to fight with their hands tied and get killed. It reminded me of the Vietnam War - same thing happened to our soldiers there.
Some readers might be sensitive to the child abuse. Earl’s dad severely and repeatedly beat Earl’s younger brother who killed himself. There’s some back story about this.
Eric G. Dove was fantastic. He did all voices well. Even women. They did not sound like effeminate gay guys. How can a man do women so well? I’d love to give him a 5 for performance, but I’m trying to get some attention for the microphone problem below which is why I gave it a low rating.
Mr. Dove used a microphone that picked up his BREATHS. They were annoying and distracting. Many times I had to tell myself “try not to listen to the breaths.” Narrators: PLEASE listen to the recording of yourself and if you hear your breaths, use a different microphone - or stand farther away from it.
Narrative mode: 3rd person.
Genre: action suspense thriller.
Retired reading, English, & math teacher. Survivor of rear-ending on Channel 5 bridge in Florida Keys that resulted in 10 day coma&rehab,
I liked this in beginning but had to almost force myself to finish with too much repetitive detail. It lost me by the end.
This presentation did not use a lot of character voices or added background noise and music. It was a nice straight forward presentation.
Two actually, Earl Swagger and D.A. Parker. Both demonstrate no nonsense approach to life without bluster.
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.
No - too lengthy.
No, because I would be embarrassed to admit how much I like it.
Cowboy justice, revenge, gunplay. Don't remember them, but they must have all been there.
Eric Dove bring Earl Swagger and all the characters to vivid life
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.
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