It says right on the cover that Jon Land’s Caitlin Strong series has won eleven major awards, and it is easy to see why. When I read the tenth installment in the series, Strong as Steel, I was reminded of a coyote – lean, fast, and clever. The book gripped me right away with images of a ghost ship, a trope I find particularly compelling. What does the ghost ship off the coast of Turkey have to do with murders in Mexico and Texas? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Suffice it to say, the ending is everything you wish it was, kind of a reverberating howl into the night, if I may be indulged with that metaphor.
Caitlin Steel, the eponymous heroine of the series, is the latest in a long line of Texas Rangers and we hear about her grandfather and father as well. Flashbacks are told as if they were unfolding in real time, which is a nice touch. One can’t but hope Ms. Strong will have a child to carry on the family business but, as she is firmly ensconced in the trope of the strong-willed and fiercely independent heroine, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope for that. These books aren’t about romance, they’re about a sharp-shooter with a strong eye for justice.
The other characters are interesting and mostly men. The author draws great character sketches and it is also easy to visualize the scenes in the novel. Sometimes the interpersonal relationships seem flimsy, but I’d say that’s a function of the main character’s isolation due to her own self-sufficiency. One doesn’t get the sense she had a terribly mothering upbringing, and that masculine aloofness somewhat defines her. Still, I loved Ms. Strong like I love the idea of the coyote: wily, lonesome, and resourceful. She’s fully in line with a new breed of female protagonist that reads more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing – or, a coyote. You won’t regret having this installment on your shelves. It’s a compelling and satisfying read.
Strong As Steel
by Jon Land
on Tour April 22 – May 25, 2019
Tough-as-nails Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in this electrifying ninth installment of the series, by USA Today bestselling author Jon Land
1994: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a mass murder on a dusty freight train linked to a mysterious, missing cargo for which no record exists.
The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself on the trail of that same cargo when skeletal remains are found near an excavation site in the Texas desert. She’s also dealing with the aftermath of a massacre that claimed the lives of all the workers at a private intelligence company on her watch.
These two cases are connected by a long buried secret, one that men have killed and died to protect. Caitlin and her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters must prove themselves to be as strong as steel to overcome a bloody tide that has been rising for centuries.
Published by: Forge Books
Publication Date: April 23rd 2019
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0765384671 (ISBN13: 9780765384676)
Series: Caitlin Strong #10
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Jon Land is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of 50 books, including ten titles in the critically acclaimed Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong series, the last of which, STRONG TO THE BONE, won both the 2017 American Book Fest and 2018 International Book Award for Best Mystery. The next title in the series, STRONG AS STEEL, will be published in April. MANUSCRIPT FOR marked his second effort writing as Jessica Fletcher for the MURDER, SHE WROTE series, and he has also teamed with Heather Graham for a new sci-fi series starting with THE RISING. He is a 1979 graduate of Brown University, lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jon Land. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 22, 2019 and runs through May 23, 2019. Void where prohibited.