cover image Strong as Steel: A Caitlin Strong Novel

Strong as Steel: A Caitlin Strong Novel

Jon Land. Forge, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7653-8467-6

Land toggles smoothly between plotlines in his solid 10th thriller featuring third-generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong (after 2017’s Strong to the Bone). In a prologue set in 1959 Turkey, a freighter, whose entire crew is dead, crashes into a dock. Flash forward to 1994 Pecos County, Tex., where Caitlin’s father, Jim, checks out a freight train whose five crew members were murdered and dumped alongside the train, together with the corpses of two men who appear to belong to a Mexican drug cartel. In one of the train’s cars, Jim finds three more bodies, with no apparent cause of death. In the present, Caitlin joins Capt. Bob McNelly, of the Texas Criminal Investigations Division, in his attempt to serve a search warrant on Communications Technology Providers, an IT firm. That assignment goes south rapidly when the pair come under fire from professional gunmen who massacred the business’s employees. The less than plausible resolution of the various story threads detracts from the suspense and tension of what’s come before. Still, Land fans should be satisfied. Agent: Natalia Aponte, Natalia Aponte Literary. (Apr.)