“Strong Enough to Die” by Jon Land

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Rating:  3.5 WaterTowers

Jon Land sent me a signed Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of “Strong Enough to Die” which is due in stores in May 2009.  How cool is that?  Thank you to Jon!  

“You believe in God, Belladonna? I asked you that before and you never answered me.”

“Strong Enough to Die” is a rip roaring adventure with an ending so exciting, brutal, surprising, and totally satisfying that when you finish you will realize you hardly took a breath the last ten pages.  

“Strong Enough to Die” starts with some introductions.

  • A shootout in the Texas desert between two Texas Rangers (the police, not the baseball players) and a band of Mexican outlaws.  Caitlin Strong, our heroine, is one of the Rangers.  And there is an American trying to kill her and her partner,  on the outlaw side.
  • In Bahrain, we meet a tortured, dazed man who does not know who he is and who thinks he does not exist.  He has been totally defeated.
  • In Washington D.C., we meet Harmon Delladonne, CEO of the all powerful MacArthur-Rain company (based in Houston, TX),  discussing the failure in Bahrain to get what they wanted.  
  • In Houston, we meet a journalist writing an important story about “very dangerous men” when suddenly his computer erupts….and he dies.  

These threads are woven neatly together as “Strong Enough to Die”  evolves and more characters are introduced.

Most notably, we meet Cort Wesley Masters a killer from Texas who Caitlin sent to jail 5 years before for being that American involved in the shootout.  He has just gotten out of jail, because new DNA testing proved that he was not at the scene.

Cort has made it his goal to kill Caitlin who had left the Rangers, gone back to school, and recently landed a job at a clinic caring for victims of torture.  

In this clinic is the man from Bahrain who is again the target of  the evil Delladonne.

One night a band of ex-military special forces, under the leadership of Delladonne’s right hand man, Clayton, invade the clinic to get to the man from Bahrain and, as a cover, killing everyone in the clinic.  At the same time, Cort visits the clinic to kill Caitlin.

The special forces killers are surprised by Caitlin who kills several of them. With a change of heart, Cort spares Caitlin’s life and manages to kill a couple more of the invaders.

An odd allliance is formed.

Texas Ranger and killer partner up to find and destroy the secret that Delladonne is hiding. A secret so volatile, and pervasive, it could change the world.

Moving from Texas to Mexico to Bahrain the action pieces together the plot points culminating in the slam bang showdown at the end.  

Needless to say, I really enjoyed reading “Strong Enough to Die” and now have a new author with over 25 books written to read!  

I particularly enjoyed the bits of Ranger history and lore throughout the book.  If you want to learn more about the Texas Rangers (the police, not the baseball team) you can visit the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.  

I heartily recommend this book when it comes out in May 2009.  

I guarantee the ending will wrap you up and blow you away.

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