Publisher: Forge Books
Date of Publication: July 28, 2020
Number of Pages: 368
Caitlin Strong wages her own personal war on drugs against the true power behind the illicit opioid trade in Strong from the Heart, the blistering and relentless 11th installment in Jon Land’s award-winning series.
The drug crisis hits home for fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong when the son of her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters nearly dies from an opioid overdose. On top of that, she’s dealing with the inexplicable tragedy of a small Texas town where all the residents died in a single night.
When Caitlin realizes that these two pursuits are intrinsically connected, she finds herself following a trail that will take her to the truth behind the crisis that claimed 75,000 lives last year. Just in time, since the same force that has taken over the opiate trade has even more deadly intentions in mind, specifically the murder of tens of millions in pursuit of their even more nefarious goals.
The power base she’s up against―comprised of politicians and Big Pharma, along with corrupt doctors and drug distributors―has successfully beaten back all threats in the past. But they’ve never had to deal with the likes of Caitlin Strong before and have no idea what’s in store when the guns of Texas come calling.
At the root of the conspiracy lies a cabal nestled within the highest corridors of power that’s determined to destroy all threats posed to them. Caitlin and Cort Wesley may have finally met their match, finding themselves isolated and ostracized with nowhere to turn, even as they strive to remain strong from the heart.
Clueless Gent’s Rating
Strong from the Heart is the 11th installment in the Caitlin Strong series. Jon Land again demonstrates his amazing talent at being a master storyteller.
In this story, Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong goes head-to-head with the opium epidemic in Texas. She relentlessly follows the investigation, wherever it may lead, and regardless of how big the organization is that she needs to bring down. A consummate professional in all of her duties, the personal element in this investigation just drives her harder.
Although this is my first read from this series, I did not encounter any problems at getting up to speed. In the beginning, there are some relationships from a prior story that need to be explained, but that was all. The author provided just enough backstory to keep the reader from being confused, without piling on needless paragraphs that had no relevance to the current story. For example, when a new character is introduced, if that character’s relationship with the protagonist is not plainly evident, the author will include just enough backstory to fill in the hole.
I can easily compare this series to the Sigma Force series by James Rollins—one of my favorites. This story has the same level of complexity, intrigue and satisfaction as Sigma Force. Further, the dynamics of the character relationships are also similar.
Jon Land creates a wonderful puzzle. One of the things I love is how he can include a number of seemingly unrelated subplots, yet tie them together flawlessly. One of those subplots has to do with Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa and his relationship with one of Caitlin’s ancestors. I don’t think anyone could have blended that into the main storyline better than Jon Land.
The author begins each chapter with a little blurb about a famous or otherwise notable Texas Ranger. The author’s respect for this very unique branch of law enforcement is evident throughout the story. Did you know that one Texas Ranger had a significant role in ending the crime spree of Bonnie and Clyde? (You’ll have to read the story to find out which one.)
The pacing was well done. It’s a difficult thing to keep the pace of the story steady when there are branches to subplots. However, including those subplots enhances the final build to the climax. When I finished the story, I was completely satiated—content that I had ingested a wonderful story.
If you enjoy thrillers, you’ll love this one! I highly recommend it.
Jon Land is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty books, eleven of which feature Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. The critically acclaimed series has won more than a dozen awards, including the 2019 International Book Award for Best Thriller for Strong as Steel and the 2020 American Fiction Award for Best Thriller. He has also authored six books in the MURDER, SHE WROTE series and has recently taken over writing Margaret Truman’s CAPITAL CRIMES series. A 1979 graduate of Brown University, Land lives in Providence, Rhode Island and received the 2019 Rhode Island Authors Legacy Award for his lifetime of literary achievements.
GRAND PRIZE (US only):
5 Autographed copies
Ends midnight, CST, November 8, 2020
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2 thoughts on “Strong from the Heart”
WOW! What a visually delightful post, and your book review is outstanding. Thanks for sharing this book!
I know who that Texas Ranger was! Now I must read this book!