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Havana by Stephen Hunter
Havana brings back Earl Swagger, on special assignment from the Arkansas state patrol acting as a bodyguard to a U.S. congressman on a trip to Cuba in 1953. A young revolutionary named Fidel Castro is rising in power and drawing the attention of those who want to support him, the Soviets, and those who want to eliminate him, the American government, mobsters, and corporate interests. It turns out that Earl has been given this assignment because they want him to assassinate Castro. This drops Earl in a violent maelstrom where he's the only one working in his own best interests. Havana is another top-notch, high-testosterone thriller set in a richly re-created Cuba of 50 years ago. Drawing mostly positive reviews, the St. Petersburg Times says, "Havana is violent, though somewhat less so than previous Swagger books. It also is the most compelling of the lot, for what could spawn a more interesting story than a city described as a place where 'gambling is expensive, sex is cheap, and death is free.'"