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 money is there for someone who understands tips to get it, together with the Cuban govt and the police, who are looking to continue their best friend Uncle Sam satisfied. There’s just one possibility to this corrupt utopia: a silver-tongued, bold younger innovative named Fidel Castro. With the chilly struggle less than means, the Soviet Union has despatched a worldly 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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What is—” “Never brain. Your success hasn’t particularly run out, however it will if you happen to hold up. ” They ran to it, climbed in, and pulled themselves less than a tarpaulin, the place Castro came across to his horror the truck’s shipment was once manure. “Oh, Christ! ” he acknowledged. “If you're too beautiful for shit, my friend,” stated the Russian, “then you're too lovely for revolution. ” He smiled, banged at the again of the cab, and with a lurch the traditional automobile took off. The Russian appeared over. “I imagine we’ve made it, for now. the fantastic socialist destiny awaits your subsequent terrific selection. ” bankruptcy forty First the lengthy passage of shot-up, burned-out vehicles. Already teenagers scampered upon them within the wash of morning gentle, whereas crowds fought to catch up with to examine the ruination, yet have been held again by way of infantrymen. The symptoms of conflict have been all over the place, within the swimming pools of blood that lay coagulating at the street Moncada, within the scent of burned powder and fuel and uncooked, ripped steel, within the particles upon the road. a number of small fires nonetheless burned, so the smoke used to be within the air too, and the scent of the blood. forward, the place the nook of the barracks loomed yellow and white within the sun, the ratholes of gunfire riddled the faux medievalism of the constitution. lots of the home windows have been shot out. Frenchy and Earl sat of their station wagon in the street close to Guardhouse three, ready as an incredible spoke at the radio headset to a headquarters someplace, checking their credentials sooner than letting them move. The Cuban squaddies have been choked with themselves, their juices all aflow, their eyes bulging with drama, vainness, delight of victory and machismo. each one of them swaggered, carried or wore his weapon at a rakish perspective, smoked cigars or cigarettes or drank from an additional rum ration published by way of significant Morales, the hero of the day, who had rallied the lads within, killed the 1st invaders, then poured fusillade after fusillade down at the rebels crouching in the back of their vehicles. the most important used to be potentially under the influence of alcohol himself through this time—on victory and compliment, but in addition on rum, a guard back his discomfort: his more youthful brother, a lieutenant, was once officer of the day and were shot down by way of Guitart within the first seconds of the struggle. Earl may possibly learn the conflict from what he observed, as he and Frenchy waited. He observed the way it relatively hadn’t been a conflict in any respect, which intended there’d been no actual victory both. The attackers by no means obtained inside of and the defenders simply blasted them from the relative protection of the barracks home windows or the wall alongside the parade floor. Worse nonetheless, the attackers had no aid, no artillery or mortars, now not even grenades or a lot within the manner of automated guns. It was once extra a gesture than something, and it had produced not anything yet failure. “Whoever dreamed this one up needs to be busted again to recruit,” he stated bitterly to Frenchy, for it angry him to determine whatever performed so stupidly, and to work out lots blood unfold around the pavement as a result of it. “It wasn’t precisely von Clausewitz, used to be it? ” stated Frenchy.

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