Reluctantly leaving his wife and hero-worshipping son at home, Swagger flies off to Cuba in 1953 to act as a bodyguard for "Boss" Harry Etheridge, a rainmaking Southern congressman who proposes investigating the influence of New York gangsters on the Guantanamo Naval Base. Almost as soon as his lungs fill with the humid Caribbean air, Swagger regrets accepting this assignment. Not only must he contend with posturing, backstabbing U.S. intelligence agents, but Boss Harry proves to be both incautiously lustful (forcing Earl to rescue him from a Havana brothel confrontation) and a big target for mobsters who don't want American politicians or anyone else upsetting the profitable criminal equilibrium of Batista-era Cuba. Swagger exacerbates the risk to his longevity by agreeing to help the U.S. government assassinate Cuba's revolutionary darling of the moment, Fidel Castro--a task that will pit this Arkansas lawman against a disenchanted Russian killer who's been charged with protecting and mentoring the 26-year-old agitator.
The year is 1953 and the place is Cuba. The Mafia-fun casinos are rolling, and it's just a 30-minute flight from Miami to a world of vice, gambling, sex and drugs. This books wraps together this world, the CIA, Russia and some colorful characters.
Earl Swagger is one helluva character! My father got my husband and I started on the Swagger books. I thought this would not be the book for me, but I'm as addicted as the rest of the family. Non-stop action, mostly-good-guys DO win in the end ...
I had the same reaction as Chris P. I did not enjoy this book as much as I did Hot Springs or Pale Horse. I am not quite sure why. It just did not seem to flow as well to me. Could be me, perhaps I read it too soon after I read Hot Springs. I think I sometimes get a little bored with an author if I don't vary it up a little. Still all in all, a pretty fun read, just, you know, not as fun as Hot Springs or Pale Horse.