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Pale Horse Coming


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About the Author

Stephen Hunter has written over twenty novels. The retired chief film critic for The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, he has also published two collections of film criticism and a nonfiction work, American Gunfight. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.


Just bumped up from November, this thriller is set in the South like Hunter's recent hit, Hot Springs. When a friend disappears after heading off to Mississippi to investigate a secret prison for violent black convicts (it's 1951), Earl Swagger swaggers off and gets into trouble of his own. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Earl Swagger, the gritty WWII-vet hero of Hunter's bestselling thriller Hot Springs, is back in this virtually un-put-downable gothic chiller about unspeakable evil in the murky Mississippi bayous. In 1951, five years after the conclusion of Hot Springs, straight arrow ex-county prosecutor Sam Vincent tells Earl - his trusted friend and former investigator, now a sergeant in the Arkansas state police - that he has been hired by a Chicago attorney to travel to Thebes, a mythic prison camp in the remote backwaters of Mississippi to verify the death of a black man who is the beneficiary of a will left by a one-time employer. When Earl hasn't heard from Sam by an agreed upon date, he goes looking for him and discovers that he is being held in the prison. Earl frees Sam, but is taken prisoner himself. Tortured by the prison hierarchy who fear he has been sent by a federal agency to expose their abominable secrets, Earl, aided by a trusty, escapes, vowing to return to destroy the camp and kill its evil warden and his henchmen. A staunch upholder of the law, self-righteous Sam refuses to participate in Earl's plan for retribution, but promises not to interfere. Assembling a strike force of seven of the country's most able gunmen, Earl sets out to wipe Thebes from the face of the earth. Meanwhile, probing the fate of a famous doctor who worked for the military researching biological warfare during WWII, Sam realizes Thebes may harbor an even darker secret after a bomb attempt on his life. Unforgettable characters in vivid settings more than offset the melodramatic, credibility stretching scenarios of the hard-driving thriller. Once again, Hunter proves he is a master of the cinematic prose. Agent, Esther Newberg, ICM. (Oct. 12). Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

San Francisco Examiner One of the best storytellers of his generation.
The Providence Journal-Bulletin Cements Hunter's status as the best thriller writer going today. Maybe ever.
The Washington Post Book World Classic hard-boiled fiction....Features some of Hunter's best writing.

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