Havana (novel)

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Paperback edition cover
Paperback edition cover
Author Stephen Hunter
Country United States
Language English
Series Earl Swagger
Genre Thriller novel
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 416 pp
ISBN 0-7432-3808-7
OCLC 52601404
813/.54 22
LC Class PS3558.U494 H38 2003
Preceded by Pale Horse Coming

Havana is a novel by author Stephen Hunter. The third novel in the Earl Swagger series, it was released by Simon & Schuster in 2003, and takes place in Cuba during the emergence of Fidel Castro.

Earl Swagger ends up being recruited as a personal bodyguard for an Arkansas politician who is visiting Havana, Cuba. Earl is met by Frenchy Short who is now a CIA intelligence officer in Cuba and is coerced into an a black bag operation to take out Fidel Castro. Along comes an unnamed former inmate from the Gulag (who is possibly the sniper T. Solaratov in the novel Time to Hunt) to help the young Castro along with wisdom and encouragement for the Communist interests.

After the historical attack on the military barracks in the failed attempt by Castro to take over the country, Earl is put on the trail. Earl tracks and finds his target only to abandon the mission due to the shady nature of his former subordinate. Left to fend for himself in a country that no longer tolerates Americans, Earl must evade and survive to return home to his wife June and son Bob Lee.

Earl is given a safe haven from a Havana prostitute whose life he saved. The Gulag inmate appears again to offer Earl transportation back to Florida. But when Earl realizes that the prostitute's life is in danger he must return to Havana for a final showdown.

While Earl has been away, Bob Lee has been at home spending days at a time refining his marksmanship ability, thinking his father's absence is due to him unable to shoot a deer at the opening of the story. Bob Lee encounters his father walking along the road on his way back home from his daily target practice, and eager to tell him all about his newfound ability to shoot.