Rating: 4 WaterTowers (Caitlin Strong, Texas Ranger, kicks ass)
This is an ARC sent to me by Jon Land. It is due in stores in June 2010. I will try to remain as objective as possible, but, so you know, Jon is the main reason I am getting all these cool books to review…Thank you, Jon!
In this second installment, Caitlin Strong, Texas Ranger, finds herself looking for missing women and finding a whole lot more (including her old friend and former convict / special forces soldier, Cort Wesley Masters).
Pity the poor bad guys standing in her way.
William Ray Strong and Texas Ranger legend George W. Arrington find 26 bodies rotting in the middle of the barren West Texas Plains. There is no indication how they died, or why. As time passes these deaths are attributed to an evil spirit, the Comanche’s Mishotunga.
Caitlin’s grandfather, famous Texas Ranger Earl Strong, was called in to help restore order in Sweetwater, Texas during the oil boom of 1931.
The new people who moved to Sweetwater were out of control and the local Constable Hollis Tyree (the town’s Banker before the Bank went under) could not handle the situation alone. Hollis called the Texas Rangers who in turn sent Earl.
Tough as nails, Earl quickly restored law and order with a tight fist, fast gun, and Ranger courage.
After the oil boom, Hollis became rich (black gold, Texas tea) and Earl eventually retired to tell Texas Ranger stories to his granddaughter…Caitlin.
Caitlin Strong is on the trail of missing girls when Cort Wesley’s son (Dylan) tries to help a teenage girl who happens to have escaped from her kidnapper, a bald headed, steroid pumped-up mass murder suspect named, Macerio.
Unfortunately, Macerio knows where Dylan lives and is out to get his girl back and tie up some loose strings in the process. Luckily for Dylan and his new friend, Cort and Caitlin are not to be messed with.
Macerio escapes, but, has unfortunately, for him, unleashed the wrath of the Rangers and his most formidable foe, Caitlin Strong.
Caitlin, now teamed with Cort (and being helped behind the scenes by an old foe, the “Angel de la Guardia”), find where the women are being taken; a water mining operation, in the same West Texas Plains location that the bodies were found 100 years ago, run by Hollis Tyree III. Nearby, in the town of Albion, unexplained violence has erupted from ordinary people, and far away in Mexico, someone with pure Mayan blood has hatched an evil plan to overthrow the U.S. in 2012.
The stage is set, the multiple lasers are charged and ready to be fired on the single pellet that will fuse creating an energy source hotter than the Sun…it is called “Strong Justice”.
Jon Land takes seemingly disparate events throws in some fictional history, a touch of real history, a pinch of current events (such as the real mass murder mystery of “Las Muertas de Juarez”, see this Wikipedia article), fusing them together in a rockin’ kick-butt novel sure to please anyone who loves action, and plenty of it.
Speaking of current events, as I finished this book, there were several high profile murders in Juarez, Mexico which, for me, put an exclamation point on some of the topics discussed in “Strong Justice”.
I am definitely looking forward to the next Caitlin Strong novel. If you want to start from the beginning, I recommend reading “Strong Enough to Die”. (See my review here.)
Oh yeah…watch for the appearance of Texas Rangers Jim Rollins and Steve Berry….VERY cool! 🙂
UPDATES (March 18, 2010):
1. Jon sent me the cover photo. I believe I am the first to have this to post, even before Amazon….! WhooHoo 🙂
2. I asked Jon two questions, here are the questions and his responses:
1. Is there gonna be another Caitlin Strong book?
Most definitely. I’m working on the 2nd draft of STRONG AT THE BREAK (the title is drawn from the Ernest Hemingwa quote) and it will be published in spring 2011.
2. You live in New England…do you have family, or a history, with the Texas Rangers?
None at all. I’ve loved Westerns, and the old west in general, since I was a kid. I think the Texas Rangers are the living embodiment of the spirit that created the great American frontier. I’ve always been enthralled by their mystique and mythology. And the more I learn about them, the more I realize how rich and vital their contributions to the state of Texas and country in general have been. Remember, they remain in existence to this day pretty much doing the same thing they’ve always done.