Havana: An Earl Swagger Novel

By Stephen Hunter


Outgunning all others within the area of razor-edged motion and sheer guts, New York occasions bestselling writer Stephen Hunter plunges Earl Swagger deep right into a steamy underworld of strength, politics, and blood. . . .

Cuba, 1953: The island is on hearth.

The Mafia-run casinos are rolling, and it’s only a 30-minute flight from Miami to an international of vice, playing, intercourse, and medication. the cash is there for somebody who understands tips to get it, together with the Cuban executive and the police, who are looking to maintain their best friend Uncle Sam satisfied. There’s just one probability to this corrupt utopia: a silver-tongued, bold younger progressive named Fidel Castro. With the chilly conflict less than manner, the Soviet Union has despatched a cosmopolitan veteran agent to discover and help the younger upstart. To counter, the CIA has summoned Medal of Honor–winning ex–Marine sergeant Earl Swagger, whose heroic exploits have earned him the popularity of a guy who doesn’t know the way to lose. yet he’s not only going to discover Castro. . . .

He’s going to kill him.

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All types of little bars and golf equipment appeared jammed up and swinging demanding, jam-packed with revelers, and he attempted to select a one who he’d believe cozy in. He wandered alongside cobblestones and didn’t consider like going so far as the Bodeguita del Medio, and after it slow he stumbled on a fresh, well-lighted position referred to as l. a. Floridita that seemed much less Cuban than the opposite areas, extra big-city the USA. In he went, discovering himself in a depressing corridor that was once all bar at one aspect and everybody in all places else, whereas a mambo staff wandered approximately, paying out that blood rhythm of the Cubano track. Earl took a interpreting and divined that he cherished where, that it was once too crowded for difficulties and that there have been sufficient american citizens right here so he might believe pretty well at domestic. He slipped via crowds of merrymakers until eventually he came across house on the bar. a few form of celebration used to be occurring and where used to be choked with motion; he may perhaps consider no matter what it used to be pounding within the air, loud because the tune, a hum of drama. It was once as though ballplayers have been the following, yet they couldn’t be, since it was once the top of June, the season have been working with reference to 3 complete months. probably motion picture humans, yet Earl didn’t recognize whatever approximately motion picture humans, so not one of the faces have been recognizable to him. He became his again on it, and whilst the barkeeper got here up, in his crimson jacket and black tie, so fancy, Earl attempted out his brothel Spanish to get a gin and tonic with out gin, yet lots of tonic. The cooling of the liquid helped a few, and he had one other pretend-drink, simply minding his personal company. all people consuming milkshakes in cocktail glasses and at the back of the curved bar there has been a few form of hugely idealized view of the harbor because it should have appeared from a conqueror’s send heading inward. It was once someplace alongside in right here while he turned acutely aware new individual used to be subsequent to him, and that she was once observing him. He appeared over. good, occasionally it occurs. She was once what the lads could name a knockout. She used to be darkish and brown, and he observed now not Cuban, yet a few kind of Asian—Filipina, perhaps. yet she had white in her too, and anything fierce in her eyes that he’d purely noticeable in eastern field-grade officials, one of those bravado and swagger that simply drew you in. “You’re an incredible one,” she stated. “I take place to be, convinced, ma’am. ” “Are you tricky? ” “What? ” “I acknowledged, are you tricky? ” “Not rather. ” “Damn. ” “What’s the matter. ” “I’ve obtained this giant man pawing me. He won’t take no for a solution. Coming right here was once an incredible mistake, yet I can’t appear to break out. ” “Ma’am, I can’t struggle him for you. It doesn’t paintings that means. I don’t desire the difficulty and folks get harm undesirable in fights. most sensible wager is name a cab and stroll quick for it and he’s most likely too under the influence of alcohol to return after. Or have the barkeep name the police officers. ” “You’re a cop your self, i will be able to inform. ” “That’s precise. yet I’m no longer on any form of accountability the following. I’m simply telling you what i feel could be just right for you. ” “Yes, that may paintings in ny. yet this is often Havana and this guy’s a god round the following. those police officers and the barkeepers all love him. ” “Well, i'll stroll you out and get you a cab a block away.

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