Strong Rain Falling by Jon Land

Strong Rain Falling

Jon Land's bestselling series featuring Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong continues in Strong Rain Falling. Mexico, 1919:  The birth of the Mexican drug trade begins with opium being smuggled across the U.S. border, igniting an all-out battle with American law enforcement in general and the Texas Rangers in particular.The Present:  Fifth Generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong an...

Title:Strong Rain Falling
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Strong Rain Falling Reviews

  • Cheryl Kravetz

    Strong Rain Falling, coming in August from Forge Books, is without a doubt, one of Jon Land’s best works yet!

    Jon has the unique talent of describing a scene so that the reader feels a part of the story. He breathes life into his characters so we feel like we know them. I especially love the Caitlin Strong, Texas Ranger, character and eagerly await each adventure. Strong Rain Falling is a perfect example of this.

    In Strong Rain Falling Caitlin weaves through the past and present to take down a n

    Strong Rain Falling, coming in August from Forge Books, is without a doubt, one of Jon Land’s best works yet!

    Jon has the unique talent of describing a scene so that the reader feels a part of the story. He breathes life into his characters so we feel like we know them. I especially love the Caitlin Strong, Texas Ranger, character and eagerly await each adventure. Strong Rain Falling is a perfect example of this.

    In Strong Rain Falling Caitlin weaves through the past and present to take down a notorious drug lord. During her investigation, Caitlin discovers the two teenage sons of her friend, Cort Wesley Masters, are being targeted by drug smugglers. The dangerous chase leads Caitlin and Cort Wesley through some of Mexico’s seediest districts where they uncover a plan to destroy not only the boys, but all of America’s power grid. She risks her career and her life in her attempt to stop the evil plot that dates back to 1910 when the drug trade began in Mexico.

    Strong Rain Falling is a thrilling book that will keep you reading until the very last page, racing through many twists and turns. I highly recommend this book.

  • Amy Lignor

    A young boy walks out of the desert all by himself. The landscape is completely barren as he marches towards the town of Smokeville, Texas. The year is 1919, and the scene is set so perfectly that readers will almost see the meeting that takes place between the young boy and the father and son team of Texas Rangers that meet up with him. As the boy begins to tell his story to William Ray and Earl Strong, danger is in the air. It seems this boy has knowledge of a fierce drug cartel smuggling opiu

    A young boy walks out of the desert all by himself. The landscape is completely barren as he marches towards the town of Smokeville, Texas. The year is 1919, and the scene is set so perfectly that readers will almost see the meeting that takes place between the young boy and the father and son team of Texas Rangers that meet up with him. As the boy begins to tell his story to William Ray and Earl Strong, danger is in the air. It seems this boy has knowledge of a fierce drug cartel smuggling opium across the Texas-Mexico border. But not only are these bad guys interested in raking in the wealth, they are also primed and ready to start a fight with any American law enforcement that dares to cross their path…especially the Texas Rangers.

    Moving on to present day, yet another Texas Ranger named Strong comes into the mix. He is a fifth generation Ranger by the name of, Caitlin, and his morals and strength are beyond reproach. When Caitlin, his colleague Cort Masters, and Cort’s two sons, survive a gun battle with what seems to be a new generation of smugglers, the Rangers gather information that is tied to the past. Although this time the smugglers are not after law enforcement, they are targeting Cort Masters’ boys.

    This fact sends Caitlin and Cort on a new mission, as they follow a trail that actually takes them back through the past. The discoveries they make that tie-in with the original Texas Rangers team from long ago will cause them more than a bit of panic, as the small Texas ‘issue’ turns into a case that literally could change the fate of a nation.

    Readers will be astounded by the historical issues brought up during the Mexican Revolution in regards to the fierce fights that a generation before had to win against this drug cartel that never seems to stop. But when it all comes down to a face-off with the last member of the cartel, the long war between Rangers and smugglers blows out of control.

    This book is definitely a one-day read, with Caitlin reminding many of the one and only Chuck Norris. In other words, this is a man who should never be messed with. High action, great plot - this is definitely an A+ job!

  • Russell

    Strong Rain Falling is the new novel by Jon Land in the mega-series featuring Caitlin Strong, a 5th generation Texas Ranger, and her former outlaw boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters. It’s the fifth book in this series, continuing the painstaking, and at times painful, evolution of the characters. As an avid reader who reads close to 4-5 books a week, it’s the one series that I wait for every year because the story has so roped me in thanks to the complex relationships and writing unmatched with any o

    Strong Rain Falling is the new novel by Jon Land in the mega-series featuring Caitlin Strong, a 5th generation Texas Ranger, and her former outlaw boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters. It’s the fifth book in this series, continuing the painstaking, and at times painful, evolution of the characters. As an avid reader who reads close to 4-5 books a week, it’s the one series that I wait for every year because the story has so roped me in thanks to the complex relationships and writing unmatched with any out there today.

    Before cracking the book open, I recommend that you strap yourself to a chair because it’s going to turn your world upside down and, otherwise, you may hit the floor between pages. Strong Rain Falling starts out with what has to be the greatest opening of any book I’ve read to the point that I kept saying, no, this cannot be happening; but it was in heart-stopping fashion that sets the stage for a story that hits you from every angle and doesn’t let up for a single second or page. Simply stated, Jon Land has taken an outstanding series to a whole new level and heights I didn’t think possible for a thriller.

    But there’s nothing simple about Strong Rain Falling. Before long we learn that the visceral violence contained in that mind-numbing opening has its routes in a past that has also come back to threaten the lives of Cort Wesley’s two teenage sons for whom Caitlin has become a kind of surrogate mother. And it all stems from actions taken a century before by Caitlin’s own grandfather and great-grandfather, Texas Ranger legends themselves who take on the drug war at its very inception in 1919 back in the days of Pancho Villa’s Mexico. It hit home back then but it hits home quite literally in the present with the stakes higher for Caitlin than they’ve ever been before. She’s become known in Ranger circles as “Hurricane” because any time she even gets close to something all hell breaks loose and the body count begins to rise. And that doesn’t even take into account how that count rises even more thanks to her enigmatic protector Guillermo Paz who had ties to the drug cartels before becoming their most sworn and deadly enemy. Paz seems to show up out of nowhere whenever it seems that Caitlin has gotten herself in so deep that there’s no way out. And whenever he appears, know that the rain falling will actually be blood †

    Strong Rain Falling is by far the best thriller of the year and one of the best novels as well. Jon Land's writing is second to none and the thrills and action run non-stop from first page to last. I end up reading all of his books twice because the pace keeps me from grasping everything the first time through. So do yourself a favor and read Strong Rain Falling at least once. Like me you will be enthralled, amazed and left shaking your head in disbelief when you finally undo those straps binding you to your chair.

  • Cym Lowell

    The fifth installment of the Caitlin Strong series is a winner! It will make an engaging television or Hollywood movie series.

    With loathsome bad guys, indomitable good guys, and plot twists engagingly drawn from events of the day, Jon Land has crafted a genre that will continue to expand and develop. He has the rare and vital talent to bind these elements into page-turning thrillers.

    In Strong Rain Falling, Caitlin’s “sons” are endangered by hit squads directed by the Mexican descendant of one of

    The fifth installment of the Caitlin Strong series is a winner! It will make an engaging television or Hollywood movie series.

    With loathsome bad guys, indomitable good guys, and plot twists engagingly drawn from events of the day, Jon Land has crafted a genre that will continue to expand and develop. He has the rare and vital talent to bind these elements into page-turning thrillers.

    In Strong Rain Falling, Caitlin’s “sons” are endangered by hit squads directed by the Mexican descendant of one of her antecedents’ antagonists south of the border as drug wars were taking hold. There is a plot to reduce America to its figurative knees. The stakes could not be higher for Caitlin and Cort Wesley personally, Texas, or America. To the rescue come Caitlin and her team, including young Dylan who will likely become an element of the next generation of Strong’s Texas Rangers.

    As a genre, thrillers tend to have little emotional content woven into the characters or stories. If you enjoy focusing on the conflicting emotions of real people cast in impossible circumstances, then you will embrace Caitlin and her troop. Single-minded service as a Ranger has been interrupted by falling in love with an infamous hoodlum, Cort Wesley Masters, and his teenage sons. She is their de facto mother, exposing a latent maternal instinct. In Strong Rain Falling, a residue of their dead mother’s family tree comes back to endanger the boys.

    Can they be saved? Will romance be sacrificed? How will Caitlin blossom?

    As always with this series, when I closed the back cover relaxing at Rosemary Beach, I looked over the waves to the horizon wondering about the next adventure. Perhaps Caitlin will be drawn into plots of would be terrorists to blow-up schools in San Antonio and beyond, exposing her boys and thousands more. We might even be treated to the blossoming of the love in her heart as it finds balance with duty and the next generation of Strongs. I am Strong at Heart and ready for the next adventure.

    Thank you Jon for building a treasure chest for us readers to dive into in search of our own rewards!

    *this book was given to me by the publisher for my honest opinion*

  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)

    Strong Rain Falling by Jon Land is the fifth book in the action/adventure series featuring female Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. Normally Caitlin or her good friend Cort Wesley Masters are the intended target when/if the shooting starts, but much to their surprise and horror this time Master's two teenage sons, Dylan and Luke, are unmistakably the planned victims. Caitlin must figure out why the boys are being targeted and how it ties into two different massacres that happened on the same day but

    Strong Rain Falling by Jon Land is the fifth book in the action/adventure series featuring female Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. Normally Caitlin or her good friend Cort Wesley Masters are the intended target when/if the shooting starts, but much to their surprise and horror this time Master's two teenage sons, Dylan and Luke, are unmistakably the planned victims. Caitlin must figure out why the boys are being targeted and how it ties into two different massacres that happened on the same day but decades apart. It seems Caitlin's famous Texas Ranger grandfather and great-grandfather hold a key to her present day case from one they worked on in 1919.

    The murderous plot leads back to the Mexican drug cartels of 1919. Unknown to Caitlin a complex plan for vengeance has been set into motion by the present day surviving head of her family's business, Ana Callas Guajardo. Caitlin's own massive and dangerous guardian "angel" Guillermo Paz is there to help her at every turn, while Masters is also searching his contacts to figure out why his son's specifically are being menaced.

    Land's starts out running and quickly becomes a gallop as clues are uncovered and questions answered even as the body count rises and, it seems, nowhere is safe in this fast-paced complex thriller.

    The characters are just as complex as the plot. It is always refreshing to see a strong female characters well written and Land has done a credible job with Caitlin and Ana. It's good to see a strong woman (or is that Strong?) as a Texas Ranger working things out on her own terms, not taking guff from anyone, and figuring out what is happening. As for other characters, Paz's self-searching that has him "auditing" college classes to hear about philosophers and then challenging the professors was very entertaining. In comparison, the DHS officer (Smith, Jones) was comparatively slimy.

    For those of you who haven't read any of Land's previous books in the Caitlin Strong series, don't let that stop you from reading Strong Rain Falling. Let me admit right now that this is my first Jon Land book featuring Caitlin. Previously I had read several novels with his main character Blaine McCracken. While you won't be privy to all the intricacies of the back story established in previous novels, Land provides enough details to get you up-to-speed quickly. Certainly I didn't feel lost and unable to figure out how everyone was connected.

    Very Highly Recommended

    Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Tor/Forge Books via Netgalley for review purposes.

  • Victor Gentile

    Jon Land in his new book, “Strong Rain Falling” Book Five in the Blaine McCracken series published by Forge Books gives us a new adventure with Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong.

    From the back cover: Mexico, 1919: The birth of the Mexican drug trade begins with opium being smuggled across the U.S. border, igniting an all-out battle with American law enforcement in general and the Texas Rangers in particular.

    The Present: Fifth Generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong and her lover Cort Wesley Masters both

    Jon Land in his new book, “Strong Rain Falling” Book Five in the Blaine McCracken series published by Forge Books gives us a new adventure with Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong.

    From the back cover: Mexico, 1919: The birth of the Mexican drug trade begins with opium being smuggled across the U.S. border, igniting an all-out battle with American law enforcement in general and the Texas Rangers in particular.

    The Present: Fifth Generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong and her lover Cort Wesley Masters both survive terrifying gun battles. But this time, it turns out, the actual targets were not them, but Masters’ teenage sons.

    That sets Caitlin and Cort Wesley off on a trail winding through the past and present with nothing less than the future of the United States hanging in the balance. Along the way they will confront terrible truths dating all the way back to the Mexican Revolution and the dogged battle Caitlin’s own grandfather and great-grandfather fought against the first generation of Mexican drug dealers.

    At the heart of the storm soon to sweep away America as we know it, lies a mastermind whose abundant power is equaled only by her thirst for vengeance. Ana Callas Guajardo, the last surviving member of the family that founded the Mexican drug trade, has dedicated all of her vast resources to a plot aimed at the U.S.’s technological heart.

    This time out, sabotage proves to be as deadly a weapon as bombs in a battle Caitlin must win in cyberspace as well. Her only chance to prevail is to short-circuit a complex plan based as much on microchips as bullets. Because there’s a strong rain coming and only Caitlin and Cort Wesley can stop the fall before it’s too late.

    I am new to the adventures of Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. The minute I read that she is a modern-day Texas Ranger I knew this was going to be exciting. I just didn’t know how exciting. For me the minute you say Texas Ranger I think of every Western I have ever read or seen and none of them were bad and I knew this would be no exception. ”Strong Rain Falling” is one huge action-packed thriller from page one. A strong rain can overflow highways and destroy property. A high intensity situation can have the same effect as a strong rain. Ana Callas Guajardo wants to get revenge for an event from 1919 and she is just crazy enough to destroy the United States in the process. This is pure excitement. Mr. Land obviously likes to tell a good story,and this one is as good as it gets. You will not be disappointed with “Strong Rain Falling”. It is a roaring adventure from start to finish. Now while I wait for the next Caitlin Strong novel I have four others I need to catch up on.

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    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Partners In Crime. I was not required 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.”

  • Fran

    Strong Rain Falling: Jon Land

    Strong Rain or a heavy downpour can create a flash flood, overflow highways and destroy property. Falling with a strong intensity in excess of 0.30 inches per hour great damage can be done. The intensity of some situations, the fear of death and the result can create the same effect as the strongest rainstorm, the most devastating earthquake or even tornado. Imagine a group of killers whose prime target is boys. Imagine finding ways to butcher these innocent children

    Strong Rain Falling: Jon Land

    Strong Rain or a heavy downpour can create a flash flood, overflow highways and destroy property. Falling with a strong intensity in excess of 0.30 inches per hour great damage can be done. The intensity of some situations, the fear of death and the result can create the same effect as the strongest rainstorm, the most devastating earthquake or even tornado. Imagine a group of killers whose prime target is boys. Imagine finding ways to butcher these innocent children because of something that happened in the past and this person wants to settle it in the present.

    Imagine a small child walking out of the desert alone without anyone to protect him. Picture an environment without any vegetation, a town that has been destroyed and a life that filled with drug dealers, cartels, smugglers, death and human trafficking. One young man would be the link to what will spill over into the present. As he walks out and finds himself dealing with two Texas Rangers, his silence is overwhelming, his unkempt physical appearance, and the fear in his eyes as he forms one word on his lips that would start a chain of events that will take readers into the present and then back to where it all began in 1919 when this young man meets William Ray and Earl strong. Danger permeates the air and the boy’s awareness of the events that transpired are quite vivid as he relates the events to both men. Hoping to stop these dangerous men would be coming up against people that not only wanted money but were prepared to go up against anyone that would place any barriers to stop them. Whether Rangers or anyone from any branch of law enforcement these men dared to defy them and cross any road in order to get what they wanted.

    Willow Creek in the past becomes the same in the present as we hear the voice of Ana Callas Guajardo as he tries to soothe the fears of five young children, taken from their school and hopefully leading them to safety. What does she show them and what causes them fear? What are esos Demonios and why are they real? The screams are deafening. What is her real purpose will terrify more than these innocent boys and the end result will make you cringe, shiver, shake and bring tears to your eyes as the vivid descriptions that will follow will create images within your mind that will make you wonder just what kind of demons there are in the world that would take the lives of the innocent who cannot defend themselves.

    Caitlin Strong is at Brown University College along with Dylan Torres who is like a son to her spending the day together talking about his future. Learning about his thoughts, finding out what he plans to do Caitlin is not happy that he wants to become a member of a frat and tries to explain the dangers. While walking with him, the town Providence, Rhode Island two figures catch her eye but when her focus is returned to them they are gone only to reappear when she and Dylan are about to go to dinner at Paragon. But, the events that follow would change everything as Caitlin’s skills as a Texas Ranger and her own radar save more than just Dylan. Caitlin Strong is related to William and Earl Strong and her abilities are quite prominent and her morals quite high.

    Cort Masters is a feared man who was released from a Mexican prison before his sentence was completed. Cort has two sons Dylan and Luke. He and Luke are spending the day at Great Flags when something happens that would put them both in danger.

    When Caitlin, his colleague Cort Masters, and Cort’s two sons, survive a gun battle with what seems to be a new generation of smugglers, the Rangers gather information that is tied to the past. Although this time the smugglers are not after law enforcement, they are targeting Cort Masters’ boys. Five men would try and take them both out but Cort with some help from a close friend proves that strength is not always in numbers but in skill. Men killed, Cort questioned, Caitlin being questioned and the pieces are still not fitting together as to who was behind the hit but the reason seems obvious to many as Caitlin takes a trip back in time yet in the present to witness the crime scene left behind of our five murdered boys. What does the date April 24, 1919 have to do with the same date in the present? What happened in Willow Creek in 1919 that seems to be being repeated in the present? The author allows readers to understand that what the Texas Rangers endured back then has resurfaced in a more violent and potent way now.

    Getting to know Ana Guarjardo you begin to understand why the President of Mexico is more than on guard, how he got elected and the corruption in his government. The drug traffic is high, the cartels rule and most of all her hate for the United States sounds more violent and powerful than the venom of the most poisonous snake bite. She is out to destroy our country, her hate and true feelings are more than expressed and the end result for this President does not sound too positive. Decisions made, threats meted out and no stale of checkmates in sight. Reenter Caitlin and D.W. Pepper her superior as she relates what she witnessed in Willow Creek today, sees the photos of one young teen killed and the link to the drug cartels becomes more evident. Author Jon Land’s research is extensive as he introduces readers to one man named Esteban Cantu that did exist, ran the drug trade into Mexico since 1916 and did it with the blessing of the Mexican President. When the past becomes the present and a country’s fate is on the line what will these rangers do to stop esos Demonios this time? The author includes within pages 105-106 some history about the Mexican drug trade.

    Issues from the past are related including information about the Mexican Revolution and how it played its part. When the drug cartel’s leaders come face to face with the Rangers just what will happen? So, what are the boys the primary targets? Why kill five? What message were they sending to the one man that was trying to stop them? Opium was smuggled into Mexico and provided great revenue to fund the revolution.

    Revenge is the name of someone’s game added in with a variety of other resourceful games created by a team this person enlisted to do more than just wage a war against the U.S. As the pieces of the puzzle and the past start to filter into the present and the clouds are lifted and the dusty trail becomes a clear path something happens that will change more than just the playing field. Guillermo Paz devoted to Caitlin Strong yet at times on opposite sites. A man named Jones who seems to be at the center of this investigation and bent on sending more than just obstacles in her path. As Paz sits in college classes and often puts the professors more than on the spot for their lack of knowledge related to what is being taught, there are some who would do anything to not only take him down but Caitlin too. Opium, marijuana and more grown on many farms and those involved seemed to be able to skirt around the law. Esteban Cantu did most certainly run the first major drug smuggling ring in Mexico with the help of many others. What part does the man working in Homeland Security play and why was his son killed along with the other four. Just where did this begin and why involve Cort Masters? Sandoval and several men who run drug cartels lost their sons at the hand of one person but why? Just how far will this plot go and what happens when another boy is kidnapped?

    Caitlin’s grandfather and great-grandfather fought back in 1919 along with Emiliano Zapata taking out all of the early drug lords. But, when you read what happened and you learn about the betrayals, who was responsible and the crimes committed you won’t believe just who was involved and why. Throughout the novel the author shares with us information and history about the Texas Rangers as short prefaces before each chapter almost hinting about what to expect next. Ana Callas Guajardo as we get to know her better she hopes you will understand why she is so bent on getting her revenge, what her connection to Cort Masters is and her primary goal. When face to face with Caitlin which one will finally stand down?

    As we hear the voices of the Strong Raiders in 1919 and we meet Pancho Villa a Mexican revolutionary leader who according to history “ advocated for the poor and wanted agrarian reform, learn that he was “ a killer, bandit, revolutionary leader, and many remember him as a folk hero.” Pancho Villa was also responsible for a raid on Columbus, New Mexico in 1916, which was the first attack on U.S. soil since 1812”.

    What part did he play with his men in working with the Strongs you have to read for yourself. Who betrayed Villa, what happens when William Ray faces off with them? What is their primary goal and what really happened in 1919 that reset these events to spiral out of control in the present?

    Now the remnants of that powerful criminal lineage are out for vengeance against Zapata's remaining relatives. An ending so powerful, a plan so diabolical that Caitlin and Cort Masters risk it all to save more than just the U.S. from what Ana has planned. When face to face and truths, lies, betrays and disloyalties are revealed who will come out the victor and who will be plunged into darkness? Strong Rain Falling: Do you want to be there when the storm hits? Author Jon Land really raises the bar with this time with strong characters that handle difficult situations in a way that is not only quite resourceful, unique and quite powerful. What’s next for these two if they survive and what about the spirits that guide them? Will they continue to hover over them? Cort/Caitlin: Just when will they get there?

    Fran Lewis: Reviewer

  • Suspense Magazine

    Jon Land continues his Caitlin Strong series with “Strong Rain Falling.” After reading it, I can assure you of two things: Jon is at his best and there is no chance that this series will end any time soon.

    Caitlin Strong is a fifth generation Texas Ranger and she epitomizes the Ranger code. Like her relatives before her, she is fast becoming a legend in her own right. During her years as a ranger, she managed to forge some rather dubious friendships. Her support system contains two men who were o

    Jon Land continues his Caitlin Strong series with “Strong Rain Falling.” After reading it, I can assure you of two things: Jon is at his best and there is no chance that this series will end any time soon.

    Caitlin Strong is a fifth generation Texas Ranger and she epitomizes the Ranger code. Like her relatives before her, she is fast becoming a legend in her own right. During her years as a ranger, she managed to forge some rather dubious friendships. Her support system contains two men who were once on the other side of the law. Cort Wesley Masters is her closest friend and Paz is the most feared man on either side of the Mexican-American border.

    In a town called Willow Creek, five children are found dead, brutally murdered in a ritualistic manner. The murders are reminiscent of a massacre that occurred in the same town back in 1919—a case that involved her great-grandfather and her grandfather when they were Texas Rangers. At the same time the five children are killed, there is an attempt on the lives of the two teenage sons of Cort Wesley. If not for Caitlin and Cort, they too would be dead.

    In order to prevent further attempts on their lives, Caitlin Strong must face a criminal unlike any other she has faced before…her mirror image. A woman as cunning and smart as she is and who is as evil as Caitlin is just. It will take all of the resources of Caitlin, Cort, and Paz to stop her and a mass genocide of the United States.

    Regardless of whether you are a die-hard fan of Jon Land’s Caitlin Strong series or whether this is your first foray into the Texas Ranger’s story, you will love “Strong Rain Falling.”

    It would be a crime not to read it, and trust me, you do not want to commit a crime as long as Caitlin Strong is wearing a badge.

    Reviewed by J.M. LeDuc, author of “Cursed Days” by Suspense Publishing, an imprint of Suspense Magazine ■

  • Gaby

    Strong Rain Falling: A Caitlin Strong Novel by Jon Land

    ISBN-10: 0765331500 $25.99

    Publisher: Forge Books (August 13, 2013), 368 pages.

    Review copy courtesy of the author.

    I've been following Jon Land's Caitlin Strong character from Strong Enough to Die, the first book in the series. This latest and 5th in the series, Strong Rain Falling, is one of my favorites. If you're new to the series, you can read Strong Enough to Die without having read the earlier novels because Land gives us the backstory o

    Strong Rain Falling: A Caitlin Strong Novel by Jon Land

    ISBN-10: 0765331500 $25.99

    Publisher: Forge Books (August 13, 2013), 368 pages.

    Review copy courtesy of the author.

    I've been following Jon Land's Caitlin Strong character from Strong Enough to Die, the first book in the series. This latest and 5th in the series, Strong Rain Falling, is one of my favorites. If you're new to the series, you can read Strong Enough to Die without having read the earlier novels because Land gives us the backstory of the main characters. Having said that, I'd still recommend reading the novels in order if only because you get a fuller sense of who they are and what drives them.

    For those new to the series, the lead character, Caitlin Strong is a third generation Texas Ranger and one of the only women in her group. Whether her toughness is genetic or environmental, we'll never really know but there is no question that Caitlin Strong has that edge that makes the best Texas Rangers and has caused them to be feared and respected throughout Texas and much of the Southwest and Mexico.

    First, she's tough. Like Lee Child's Jack Reacher and Carol O'Connell's Detective Mallory, Caitlin Strong doesn't react to danger the way normal people do. She's trained to rush into the fray, but she does it with lightning reflexes, almost unnatural strength and grace, and with quick intelligence. Like her father and grandfather before her, she's the sort of person that you want on your side. "One riot, one Ranger" is the often repeated saying but fortunately with Caitlin Strong on your side, it's not just a saying.

    Caitlin's love interest is the prickly Cort Wesley Masters, a man known to be as dangerous and deadly as Caitlin. Cort's life took the opposite direction as he was less fortunate - crime, deadly confrontations, limited options - he'd ended up protecting some of the most notorious criminals in the US and below the border. But Cort mellowed out, turned respectable with his love for Caitlin and the discovery of two young sons. More than anything, fatherhood sobered him up and forced Cort to change his way of life. The scenes where Cort has to pull back and restrain himself are some of the more interesting and fun in the book.

    In Strong Rain Falling, Caitlin takes Cort's elder son, Dylan, to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island to interview for college when they are attacked by armed men. Cort and his younger son, Luke, face similar deadly force in an amusement park in another state. As Caitlin investigates it turns out that the boys are the main targets because of a secret that their mother's family has kept.

    These attacks coincide with the brutal mass murder of five children in Willow Creek, Texas. We discover that these events are tied together somehow. I don't want to give away any of the plot details, so I'll stop here. A historical backstory, further adventures of the early Texas Rangers, a seemingly unbeatable opponent, horrendous odds, a complex and fast-paced plot, and characters that we come to care about all come together in Strong Rain Falling. You'll want to block off a chunk of time when you start Strong Rain Falling - you won't want to put it down!

  • Casee Marie

    For Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, life is never easy. Why should chaperoning a university tour be any different? While getting the lay of the land at Brown with college hopeful and football star Dylan, the son of her lover Cort Wesley Masters, Caitlin finds herself dodging bullets – and shooting a few of her own. Meanwhile, back in Texas, Cort Wesley comes up against an armed brigade of his own with his youngest son, Luke, in tow. While Caitlin and Cort Wesley are no strangers to a shootout – she

    For Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, life is never easy. Why should chaperoning a university tour be any different? While getting the lay of the land at Brown with college hopeful and football star Dylan, the son of her lover Cort Wesley Masters, Caitlin finds herself dodging bullets – and shooting a few of her own. Meanwhile, back in Texas, Cort Wesley comes up against an armed brigade of his own with his youngest son, Luke, in tow. While Caitlin and Cort Wesley are no strangers to a shootout – she a fifth-generation Ranger, he a former outlaw – they’re both surprised to discover that they themselves were not the target of the dual assassination attempts. Coinciding with these deadly happenings, five children have been found murdered in a small, abandoned Texas town that was ravished by death a century before. As Caitlin embroils herself in the mystery of these deaths she’ll unravel a hidden history involving her Ranger ancestors, coming face-to-face with a female terrorist descended from the very founders of the Mexican drug trade; a woman whose path toward vengeance won’t be diverted until she takes America to its knees.

    The fifth in Jon Land’s series following the tenacious Caitlin Strong, Strong Rain Falling delivers a fast-paced contemporary thriller woven between threads of history in the West. Carrying all the hallmarks of its genre, the novel embarks on a refreshingly original storyline bolstered by its cast of richly imagined characters. A fierce study in female independence, Strong is unquestionably one of the most unique heroines of the mystery genre today and her fearless pursuit of justice – on her own terms – seems to leave the reader with no shortage of surprises. She never seems to succumb to the weight of the struggles her job entails, and while her gumption is undeniably a gift handed down by her Ranger ancestors, Caitlin is supported by a cast as unique and determined as she is. From reformed killer Guillermo Paz to the unpredictable Cort Wesley Masters, Caitlin’s unconventional allies are vibrantly entertaining as they endeavor down their separate paths to unravel the mystery and stop a killer made mad with vengeance.

    One of my favorite elements of Strong Rain Falling was how Caitlin’s current mission tied mysteriously into a story hidden in history, when her grandfather and great-grandfather lead a brigade of selfless Rangers right into a war with the founders of Mexico’s drug trade. Seeing the two worlds intertwine was fascinating, it kept me on my toes as I tried to connect the dots, and Land’s depiction of the West in 1919 was a delight to read, rich with well-researched detail. The author also handles some difficult subject matter with a grace and respectfulness that keeps the story from becoming too heavy. With a compelling storyline and one spectacularly nail-biting finale, Land achieves a great success with this new novel. Full of heart and grit, Strong Rain Falling is a smart, electric thriller lead by an unforgettable heroine.

    (Review © Casee Marie, originally published on September 24, 2013 at

    . A copy of the book was provided for the purpose of review.)


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