Saturday, October 4, 2014

Strong Darkness: A Caitlin Strong Novel-Jon Land

Strong Darkness: A Caitlin Strong Novel
Jon Land
Forge, Sep 30 2014, $26.95
ISBN 9780765335111

After confronting religious fanatics with a bulldozer at a funeral for a fallen warrior, Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong and her boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters are in Providence where his son Dylan Torres lies in a hospital in an induced coma due after suffering a blunt force trauma.  PPD Detective Finneran leads the inquiry, but objects to Caitlin’s involvement having dealt with her previous visit to Brown University (see Strong Rain Falling).  At about the same time, San Antonio College Professor Guillermo Paz envisions Strong needs him.  As Masters and Strong investigate the assault, they find a link to Chinese businessman Li Zhen managing the construction of a new 5G network in Texas and missing hooker Kai whose clues to her whereabouts are corpses.  Strong heads home where Paz joins her to look into Li’s empire and Masters goes to New York following a lead re his son’s attack.

In 1883, Caitlin’s great-grandfather Texas Ranger William Ray Strong and Judge Roy Bean find evidence of a different type of killer than any either has seen before.  They follow the murdered bodies alongside of the railroad tracks in an effort to end a serial killer’s relentless slaughter.  Ironically William’s case and that of his great-granddaughter mirror each other; as the twenty-first century psychopath’s M.O. apparently copies that of the nineteenth century maniac.

The sixth Caitlin Strong Texas Ranger thriller (see Strong Vengeance and Strong at the Break) is a fantastic police procedural that grips the reader whether it is 1883 or the present.  The key to this exhilarating entry is Jon Land’s ability to effortlessly switch between the three subplots; which makes for a fabulous fast-paced mystery.

Harriet Klausner

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