Strong Cold Dead: A Caitlin Strong Novel
Forge, 2016 (2016)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
trong Cold Dead
is the eighth in Jon Land's high-octane action-thriller series starring tough, gun-toting Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong and her outlaw lover, ex-Special Forces Cort Wesley Masters, and Masters' two sons. Another significant lead is former secret police colonel Guillermo Paz, who sought redemption as Caitlin's and others'
. All the books are enriched by fascinating Texas Ranger lore scattered throughout.
hough I had only read two previous episodes, I dived right in to this one and quickly caught up with Caitlin's life. The mystery this time centers on a fictional Comanche reservation, where Texas Ranger Steeldust Jack Strong was involved in the late 1800s, when a horribly mutilated body was discovered - and it wasn't a bear kill. Flashbacks continue to Jack Strong's actions. We're shown a similar event in 1930 Nunavut, Canada.
ast forward to the present day where Caitlin is in trouble, as usual. She's called to help Cort's eldest son Dylan, who is at the Comanche reservation (instead of at university) alongside his gorgeous new Native American girlfriend Ela. They and others face off against a crew of construction workers/oil drillers trying to enter the reservation - tribal elders had sold off mineral rights. The next day, a mutilated body is found.
hat sets the stage but there's more involved - ISIS terrorists working with an embittered young man, Daniel Cross, whom Caitlin had helped in the past. They have a plan, which involves the reservation as well, but they want a demonstration from Cross first. And there's sleazy Cray Rawls of Rawls Energy, Petroleum, and Chemical, which has irons in the fire, and interest in an unusual corn fungus, that's been integral to Comanche life for generations.
on Land weaves this all together into an engrossing thriller, with Caitlin front and center. Cort and Guillermo have her back, as always, and Dylan is in the wings, facing monsters just as Steeldust Jack did long before. Great series!
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