Strong As Steel

Strong As Steel

, Book # 10
Forge Books
April 23rd 2019
February 23, 2019 February 27, 2019

ISBN: 0765384671
ISBN13: 9780765384676
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tough-as-nails Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in this electrifying ninth installment of the series, by USA Today bestselling author Jon Land

1994: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a mass murder on a dusty freight train linked to a mysterious, missing cargo for which no record exists.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself on the trail of that same cargo when skeletal remains are found near an excavation site in the Texas desert. She’s also dealing with the aftermath of a massacre that claimed the lives of all the workers at a private intelligence company on her watch.

These two cases are connected by a long buried secret, one that men have killed and died to protect. Caitlin and her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters must prove themselves to be as strong as steel to overcome a bloody tide that has been rising for centuries.

About the book

The book begins in the past, 1959 a ship arrives in the Turkish port of Ordu with the dead crew. Time jump to 1964 Mexico City, Mexico, a girl is bringing wedding rings to her parents’ wedding and hears “fireworks”, they are gunshots and both parents are killed. 1994 Texas Fort Stockton, a group of Mexican men, perhaps belonging to the drug cartel, are found dead. Jim Strong investigates.

Today Dallas, Texas, Caitlin Strong accompanies Captain Bub McNelly, captain of the Texan Criminal Investigation Division, to serve a search warrant in an information-gathering company and the pandemonium breaks out when they enter.

Caracas, Venezuela, Guillermo Paz is hanged, but just before the hanging trapdoor opens, the pandemonium breaks out.

Nigeria, Enrico Molinari, the faceless man, must punish the infidels, those who have turned their backs on his God. And for this reason,  he gathers the firstborn males of a village, all kids, and has them killed.

Are all these cases connected?

I liked how the author connects all these cases that seem disconnected at first; I like that it talks about popular beliefs that in the end are not true; that it talks about deadly viruses, that the CDC is taken into consideration and that it talks about church conspiracies.

The protagonist of the book and of the series is Caitlin Strong, daughter, grand-daughter, great grand-daughter (etc..) of Texan rangers and a ranger herself. Her name is Strong and that’s exactly what she is. I love strong female characters that are well written and don’t pass as light headed. There has been a few female characters in books that I read in the previous months that are just like that and were written by female authors. I love how Jon Land writes this character.

The only thing that I don’t understand is why Cort Wesley often calls Caitlin “Ranger” and Caitlin calls Cort by full name. Maybe if I read the other books I would understand, but for now I can’t understand it. It seems strange that a couple calls each other that way.

I read this book aware that it is the 10th book in the series, so I already knew that I wouldn’t understand some things but I must say that the book doesn’t refer to previous cases and therefore I read it without problems.

At the beginning, I was afraid that the fact that the protagonist’s boyfriend is an outlaw would lead me to not like the book, but as soon as I started reading, I realized that the meaning of the outlaw is not synonymous with criminal as I had hypothesized therefore I liked the book for this reason, too. And then the short chapters. I love books with short chapters!

At some point in the book, Cort Wesley’s eldest son begins a relationship with a certain Selina. I must say that I realized shortly after her introduction who she was. And I like this character.

I like the author’s style, the way of writing these chapters is interesting, I mean a chapter about a certain fact, then moving on to a chapter set in the past, or a chapter focused on Caitlin and the next one on Cort Wesley. I like this mix of scenes. I just didn’t like one fact only: Cort who sees the ghost of his friend… for this reason I give 4 stars and not 5.

I also like that it is contemporary, I like that it talks about the crap that Trump is doing, not in detail but, for example there is a sentence that refers to the wall that he wants to build at the border with Mexico. (“Crap” is my though, the book doesn’t take part in favor or against it).

Strong As Steel by Jon Land
on Tour April 22 – May 25, 2019
Read an excerpt:


Dallas, Texas

“You want to tell me what I’m doing here again?” Caitlin Strong said to Captain Bub McNelly of the Texas Criminal Investigations Division.

McNelly, who favored string ties and shiny cowboy boots, turned to the quartet of figures in equally shiny windbreakers milling behind him in the makeshift staging area, who looked more like businessmen. Caitlin had heard he was a descendant of the famed Texas Ranger captain Leander McNeely, a man who’d once told the whole of the U.S. government to go to hell, but wasn’t too keen on the freedom with which Rangers still operated today.

“Special Response Teams hang their hat on being multi-jurisdictional,” McNelly told her. “Consider yourself the representative Ranger.”

“Since when does an SRT look more comfortable holding briefcases than firearms?”

“I need to tell you that computers are the real weapons these days?” McNelly asked her. “And those boys accompanying us are forensic experts who know how to fire back.”

“Just two guns, yours and mine, backing them up,” Caitlin noted.

“I don’t need a computer to do the math, Ranger,” McNelly said, while the four techs wearing windbreakers hovered behind them in front of the elevator. “You and I serve the warrant on the geek squad upstairs and let the experts do their thing with brains instead of bullets. How hard can it be?”

They were about to serve a search warrant on an information technology firm on the 42nd floor of the Chase Tower, the city’s tallest building. Caitlin had served plenty of more “traditional” search warrants in her time on the likes of biker gangs, drug dealers, and various other suspects. The kind of service that found her backed up by guns and plenty of them, instead of briefcases and backpacks.

A chime sounded ahead of the elevator door sliding open.

“In my experience,” Caitlin said, stepping in first to position herself so the door didn’t close again before the SRT computer forensics techs were inside, “it pays to have brains and bullets.”

McNelly smiled thinly. “That’s why you’re here, Ranger. You were specifically requested for the job.”

“By who?”

“I don’t know. Orders came from the top down.

The cab began its ascent. If this were a Ranger operation, as opposed to CID, Caitlin would have insisted on securing the space in question prior to bringing up the civilians. Because that was clearly what these personnel in ill-fitting windbreakers pulled from a rack were. Civilians.

“Get your warrant ready, Captain,” she told McNelly, as the cab whisked past the floors between “L” and “42.”

He flapped the tri-folded document I the air between them. “Got it right here.”

“What’s CTP stand for again?” Caitlin asked, referring to the acronym of the company on which they were about to serve the warrant.

“Communications Technology Providers. I thought I told you that.”

“Maybe you did, but you never told me what the company did to get on the Criminal Investigation Division’s radar. I’m guessing that’s because somebody ordered you to take me along for the ride. All well and good in this political world we live in, until something goes bad.”

McNelly flashed Caitlin a smirk, as a chime sounded to indicate the elevator had reached its desired floor. “I can tell you this much, Ranger. The suspects we’re after here don’t know a gun from their own assholes. Worst thing they can do is infect us with a computer virus.”

He led the way through the open cab door, without waiting for Caitlin to respond. She exited next, followed in a tight bunch by those four computer techs in their windbreakers which made it look like they’d stuck their arms through Hefty bags.

The doors along the hall were uniformly glass, sleek and modern, some frosted. According to the building layout Caitlin had studied, Communications Technology Providers occupied a pair of adjoining office suites adding up to nearly five thousand square feet in total. One was a corner office, meaning at least a portion of those suites would enjoy wraparound windows and plenty of natural light.

Caitlin had just reflexively shoved her jacket back behind the holster housing her SIG Sauer P-226 nine-millimeter pistol, when the glass double-door entrance to Communications Technology Providers ruptured behind a fusillade of gunfire.


Excerpt from Strong As Steel by Jon Land. Copyright © 2019 by Jon Land. Reproduced with permission from Jon Land. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Jon Land is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of 50 books, including ten titles in the critically acclaimed Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong series, the last of which, STRONG TO THE BONE, won both the 2017 American Book Fest and 2018 International Book Award for Best Mystery. The next title in the series, STRONG AS STEEL, will be published in April. MANUSCRIPT FOR marked his second effort writing as Jessica Fletcher for the MURDER, SHE WROTE series, and he has also teamed with Heather Graham for a new sci-fi series starting with THE RISING. He is a 1979 graduate of Brown University, lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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2 coffees on “Strong As Steel

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Yeah, I might read the other books of the series, but I have so many author I want to read that I don’t know if I have time heehee.

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