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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Book 339: STRONG DARKNESS Review

Strong Darkness (Caitlin Strong #6) by Jon Land
ISBN: 9780765335111 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781466821064 (ebook)
ASIN: B00ILXYTW8 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Forge Books


Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in her most thrilling adventure yet
1883: Texas Ranger William Ray Strong teams up with Judge Roy Bean to track down the Old West's first serial killer, who's stitching a trail of death along the railroad lines slicing their way through Texas.
The Present: Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong finds herself pursuing another serial killer whose methods are eerily similar to the one pursued by her great-grandfather almost a century-and-a-half before.
But that's just the beginning of her problems. The son of her boyfriend is nearly beaten to death at Brown University. The investigation leads back to Texas and to the Chinese high-tech company awarded the contract to build the US's 5G network. Li Zhen, the company's founder, counts that as the greatest achievement of his career, but it hides his true motivations—nothing less than China's total domination of the United States.
His plan is backed by elements of the Chinese underworld. Up against an army at Li's disposal, Caitlin blazes a violent trail across country and continent in search of secrets hidden in the past, but it's a secret from the present that holds the key. Darkness is coming, and only Caitlin Strong can find the light before it's too late.


Strong men are usually referred to as a take-charge kind-of-guy, macho (in a good way), or a man's man. Strong women are not viewed so kindly and are generally called arrogant, demanding, bitches, or worse. Caitlin Strong doesn't care about the terminology used; she is a strong-willed, take-no-prisoners type of person that knows right from wrong, a formidable law officer, and she doesn't apologize for anything she does. Caitlin knows that life may not be all black-and-white, but she has a strong sense of justice and a duty to right any perceived wrongs. This quickly becomes evident when she uses a John Deere front loader to nudge a group of protesters at a funeral into a trench. 

Strong Darkness is the sixth book in the Caitlin Strong series but the first one that I've read. Even though this was a new-to-me series, I was able to follow the characters and the plot without any difficulty. Mr. Land has this amazing ability to weave historical elements with contemporary themes into a highly plausible and enjoyable read. I wasn't quite sure how the storyline from 1883 with Judge Roy Bean and Caitlin's great-grandfather was going to play out, but it does play an integral role in the story. Past and present serial killers targeting the same types of women sounded a bit far-fetched, but again it works. It may sound trite to say that Strong Darkness was an engrossing read, but it captured my attention from the first page to the very last. I liked Caitlin Strong and admired her sense of justice and willingness to fight for what is right. Caitlin isn't perfect and it is her flaws, such as her quick temper, that made her into such a likeable, if not admirable, character to me. I enjoyed her interactions with her significant other, Cort Wesley Masters, her friend and guardian angel, Colonel Guillermo Paz, and even her boss, Captain Tepper.

Strong Darkness is more than just a thriller with good guys versus bad guys; it is a contemporary thriller with a historical component and a bad guy that's downright evil. Did I enjoy reading Strong Darkness? Yes! I loved the characters (good and bad), the action, and the storylines. How can you not like a story that includes a Chinese terrorist threat using technology, Judge Roy Bean, a college student in New England, a past and present serial killer in Texas, did I mention Judge Roy Bean, and a kick-ass heroine? Do the good guys win? If so, at what cost? Well I could tell you, but I'll just say this . . . read the book! Don't like reading books from a series? Don't worry, you can pick up this book and not feel you're missing too much from previous books in the series. Of course you should probably read all of the books in the series just to flesh out all of the background information. I can't wait to read all six books back-to-back.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via Partners in Crime Tours. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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