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The Hot Country

The Hot Country

Book rating: 03 Hardback Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller

By (author) Robert Olen Butler

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  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Format: Hardback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 232mm x 32mm | 544g
  • Publication date: 18 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0802120466
  • ISBN 13: 9780802120465
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 516,289

Product description

In The Hot Country, Christopher Marlowe Cobb ("Kit"), the swashbuckling early 20th century American newspaper war correspondent travels to Mexico in April and May of 1914, during that country's civil war, the American invasion of Vera Cruz and the controversial presidency of Victoriano Huerta, El Chacal (The Jackal). Covering the war in enemy territory and sweltering heat, Cobb falls in love with Luisa, a young Mexican laundress, who is not as innocent as she seems. The intrepid war reporter soon witnesses a priest being shot. The bullet rebounds on the cross the holly man wears around his neck and leaves him unharmed. Cobb employs a young pickpocket to help him find out the identity of the sniper and, more importantly, why important German officials are coming into the city in the middle of the night from ammunition ships docked in the port. An exciting tale of intrigue and espionage, Butler's powerful crime-fiction debut is a thriller not to be missed.

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Author information

Robert Olen Butler is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of twelve novels, six story collections, and a book on the creative process, From Where You Dream. A recipient of both a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction and a National Endowment for the Arts grant, he also won the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has twice won a National Magazine Award in Fiction and has received two Pushcart Prizes. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University.

Customer reviews

By Paul D 04 Oct 2014 3

The Hot Country â?? Great Historical Adventure

The Hot Country by Robert Olen Butler is another Christopher Marlow Cobb â??thrillerâ?? which according to The Washington Post is â??A thinking personâ??s historical thrillerâ?? and part of the literary thriller genre. Never have literary thrillers actually been that thrilling and the same can be said of The Hot Country. If this is a thriller then I am up for the Noble Prize in Literature next year. This is a good historical adventure which in places is stodgy but in others a gloriously written adventure.

Christopher Marlow Cobb is a war journalist who is in Vera Cruz, Mexico it is 1914 and Europe is teetering on the edge of war when a German boat drops anchor in the bay not far from a couple of American frigates. It is not the invading Americanâ??s that stir Cobbâ??s curiosity but a German official who comes a shore and is hidden away in the German consulate. Why would a German be interested in Mexico when the storm clouds are gathering over Europe?

To find out more Cobb has to assume the identity of a German so that he able to follow the German to his destination without raising attention to himself. He knows that the German must be heading out to meet the Mexican rebel leader Pancho Villa but what will he be offering, arms or money possibly both? While on the train journey the service is held up by Villaâ??s bandits who rob the train and Cobb is taken with them when he bumbs in to a double agent he knows.

He manages to earn Pancho Villaâ??s trust, finds out the Germanâ??s plans and decides to get back to America as quickly as possible to write the story of his life. Somehow the story gets spiked but means Cobb has to return Mexico and meet with Villa.

This is an old fashioned adventure story based on historical fact with everything you expect, blood, lust, money and the US of A coming to the rescue. Well written the prose flows on the pages sometimes it over elaborates but that is my personal opinion. This is a good book for all those that enjoy a historical adventure but it is not a thriller. It is still a pleasure to read, even if you cannot overlook the fact that the Americans are the heroes and revolutionary leaders are backwards fools and the Germans are not much better. At times the imagery this book invokes had me thinking of John Wayne and other western heroes of the silver screen.

By jane brown 23 Sep 2014 4

This book popped through my letter box from Real Readers which is due to be published 18 December 2014

I had not come across this authors work before and on reading the cover I was not sure at first.
I started to read this, and this turned out to be a really good thriller with some good twists. The story concerns a war correspondent by the name of Christopher Marlowe Cobb in Mexico as he stumbles upon a potential front-page story intertwined with the events of the time (set in 1914)
The history of the Mexican revolution was really interesting and well researched
This was well written and a really good story in which I could not put down.

This is an author to look out for.

Review quote

"This high-spirited adventure by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler is an antic concoction of genre cliches, literary sendups, personal homages, fanciful history and passages of great writing."--New York Times Book Review "It's an exciting story, much of it based on fact, and Butler has a good time with it. His writing is both crisp and thoughtful, his people ring true and he offers an amusing portrait of a golden age in journalism... The Hot Country is a thinking person's thriller, the kind of exotic adventure that, in better days, would have been filmed by Sam Peckinpah."--Washington Post "Butler takes an often-overlooked chapter of history and turns it into a whip-smart tale of intrigue and espionage."--CNN.com "A high-spirited adventure."--Charlotte Observer "Enjoyable novel that should attract devotees of espionage and historical fiction."--Library Journal "A fine stylist, Butler renders the time and place in perfect detail."--Publishers Weekly "An awfully good read."--Criminal Intent "[The Hot Country is] Robert Olen Butler's fast-paced entree into adventure tales. Add a little Indiana Jones and you get the picture: a smart guy also handy with his fists and firearms, burdened with a dedication to finding out the truth."--Plaza de Armas "Pancho Villa, fiery senoritas, and Germans up to no good--Robert Olen Butler is having fun in The Hot Country and readers will too. An intelligent entertainment with colorful history."--Joseph Kanon, New York Times bestselling author of The Good German and Istanbul Passage "The Hot Country is a spirited and beautifully told tale of adventure and intrigue in the grand old style, rich in both insight and atmosphere. Going off to war with Kit Cobb is as bracing and fun as it used to be in George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books, or in Perez-Reverte's Captain Alatriste novels. And the best part is that there are more to come. Saddle up."--Dan Fesperman, Hammett award-winning author of The Double Game