A Book Spy Review: ‘Strong As Steel’ by Jon Land

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Strong as SteelTexas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns for her tenth go-around in the latest thriller from bestselling author Jon Land. 

After the action-packed events of Strong to the Bone (2017), fifth-generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong now finds herself chasing the same ghosts that once proved too elusive for her father, Jim Strong, more than two decades ago.

It all started in 1959 when a freighter crashed off the shores of Turkey, it’s entire crew dead—though no cause of death was ever determined. The story then jumps nearly forty years, picking up with Jim Strong, who was called out to investigate the mysterious deaths of five crew members onboard a freight train in Pecos County, Texas. On-site, those crew members proved to be just the tip of the iceberg, with other bodies found littered around the train, and even more in the next car. Again, no cause of death was ever determined.

In the present day, Bob McNelly of the Texas Criminal Investigations Division, asks Caitlin for help serving a search warrant to Communications Technology Providers, a prominent IT company located in the heart of Texas. Strong goes along for the ride, but before the pair ever get the chance to hand over the warrant, all hell breaks loose as gunfire erupts around them. When the dust finally settles, after both sides throw plenty of lead—with Caitlin once again proving she’s a force to be reckoned with—all the company’s employees are dead, and Caitlin wants answers.

Her pursuit for justice eventually leads her to Mexico, where, as fate would have it, she walks the footsteps of her father, even running into and interacting with the same people he bumped into twenty-plus years ago. After a steady buildup that covers the first quarter of the book, things take off with a bang when Caitlin finds a disturbing connection between her case and the unsolved train case Jim was working in the 90s, putting Caitlin on a collision course with a number of unsavory bad guys—all of whom will kill to keep secrets buried where they belong . . . in the past. 

Without giving anything away, Land’s latest is one of his most imaginative, original stories yet, involving a number of surprise players and memorable characters. Alongside Caitlin, Cort Wesley Masters is also back, and his presence proves necessary and timely when Caitlin continuously finds herself outmanned and outgunned. 

All in all, Jon Land turns in another fun, action-packed story featuring one of the best female protagonists in the business. 

Book Details

Author: Jon Land
Series: Caitlin Strong #10
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0765384671
Publisher: Forge Books
Release Date: April 23, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 7.0/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

 

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