Earl Swagger Books

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Earl Swagger is the lead character in the Earl Swagger series of novels by American novelist Stephen Hunter. The first novel in the series that featured Earl Swagger, was the 2000 published title Hot Springs. The books are best classified as mystery thrillers.

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Order of Earl Swagger Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Hot Springs ( By: Stephen Hunter) 2000 Description / Buy
2 Pale Horse Coming ( By: Stephen Hunter) 2001 Description / Buy
3 Havana ( By: Stephen Hunter) 2003 Description / Buy
4 The Bullet Garden (By: Stephen Hunter) 2023 Description / Buy

Chronological Order of Earl Swagger Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Bullet Garden (By: Stephen Hunter) 2023 Description / Buy
2 Hot Springs ( By: Stephen Hunter) 2000 Description / Buy
3 Pale Horse Coming ( By: Stephen Hunter) 2001 Description / Buy
4 Havana ( By: Stephen Hunter) 2003 Description / Buy

Order of Swagger Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 Front Sight ( By: Stephen Hunter) 2024 Description / Buy
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Earl Swagger is a World War II hero that has been hired to clean up his hometown of Hot Springs in Arkansas, which has fallen into gambling and corruption. The series begins in 1946 immediately after the War, when organized crime was at its peak. A man full of integrity, and with the skills to deal with criminal gangs, he is the perfect choice to lead the fight for the town.

The first novel in the series, Hot Springs tells the tale of Earl Swagger, a man who though tough as nails, is apprehensive about the birth of his child Bob Lee Swagger. His apprehension soon takes a backseat, when he is offered the opportunity to rid the town of crime and corruption brought about by the mob. A man of impeccable integrity, nothing irks him more than the fact that his hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas is the capital of the criminal gangs, which seem to have overpowered the justice system.

Hired by the district attorney to run the anti-mob war, his first stop is a casino where a raid he organized, erupts into a fatal nerve shattering battle that sees the johns feeing, and the prostitutes screaming amidst a mounting body count. The suspense and all out action of the first novel demonstrates the artful storytelling of Hunter that won him a Pulitzer 1n 2003.


The Earl Swagger series of novels is a spinoff of the Bob Lee Swagger series, two of which have been made into movies and TV series. The most popular of the books is Point of Impact that was made into the movie Shooter in 2007. The movie featured Michael Wahlberg as the lead and was written by Antoine Fuqua. In early 2016, the USA Network confirmed that they would be picking up the Point of Impact story, and making it into a TV series also known as shooter. Ryan Philippe would play the role of retired Marine Recon sergeant Swagger. The fourth book in the series, the 47th Samurai was picked up by New Regency and is in development. Titled The Sword, the story will be written by Robert Kamen, creator of the Taken and The Transporter franchises.


As the first spinoff of the popular Bob Lee Swagger series, the first novel of the Earl Swagger series is incredibly popular among fans of the books. Featuring a tough protagonist and all out action, the book is sure to provide a thrill for any Stephen Hunter fan.

The second book in the Earl Swagger series, Pale Horse Coming is the most highly regarded title by fans. After his friend Sam, a former prosecutor vanishes while investigating a sinister racist conspiracy in Thebes, Earl Swagger sets out to investigate. He soon discovers a peculiar prison with an all-negro population and a town that has a Ku Klux Klan type population, that is wary of strangers. Even as he manages to get his friend freed, he soon finds himself incarcerated on suspicion of being an investigator with the federal government. With an acquired hatred for white people, Earl must now protect himself from the inmates, even as planning a daring escape.

One of the most explosive of the Earl Swagger series is Havana, the third book in the series, that can simply be described as razor edge action. Set in Cuba, the novel sees the veteran intelligence agent Earl Swagger hired by the CIA to find and assassinate a young Fidel Castro, who is set on taking down the American allied Batista government. However, it will not be so easy to counter the young revolutionary, given that he has Soviet support. Will Earl survive in Cuba and fend for himself, in a country that now sees Americans as the enemy.


Fans of the Earl Swagger series also like the “John Rain” series of novels by Barry Eisler. These are espionage novels featuring John Rain a Vietnam veteran turned assassin for hire, with a strict ethical code.

Earl Swagger aficionados will also like the “Dave Robicheaux” series of novels by James Lee Burke. Dave Robicheaux is a Sheriff’s deputy and Vietnam War veteran that constantly breaches the police ethical code, seemingly without ever suffering the consequences.

What Is The Next Book in The Earl Swagger Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Earl Swagger Series. The newest book is The Bullet Garden and was released on January, 24th 2023.


1 thought on “Earl Swagger”

  1. Earl Swagger is one of the most complex and interesting characters I’ve ever read. These books sneak in some history too, which is always enjoyable. Hopefully millennials will pick up these books and realize they take a lot of stuff for granted. I really enjoyed this series and they shouldn’t be overlooked. If you like action, you’ll enjoy these books.

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