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Strong Enough to Die: A Caitlin Strong Novel
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Product Description

Caitlin Strong is a fifth-generation Texas Ranger, proud to wear the badge of her father and grandfather—until a deadly shoot-out along the Mexican border causes her to question her calling.

Five years later, Caitlin is still trying to purge herself of guilt from the day that ended her Ranger career. But a shattering discovery will reopen old wounds, and Caitlin’s renewed investigation into the truth behind the bloody desert firefight uncovers a terrifying plot that reaches into every home and threatens the very core of the country.

Her only hope for success—and survival—is to team up with Cort Wesley Masters, a deadly outlaw who has every reason to want her dead. But he also holds the key to the truth she desperately seeks in the anguished brain of an amnesiac torture victim.

Caitlin’s tormented quest for redemption takes her to a dark world, ranging from Washington to Bahrain to the wastelands of Mexico, as she finds that the strength to live comes from learning how to die.

Customer Reviews:

  • Confusing start but GREAT after first 24 pages!
    In the first 24 pages, the author, Jon Land, sets the stage for four different character sets. If you can get through that without too much confusion, you will really enjoy this story.

    Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres and Jon Land adds to the story he tells by beginning each part with a snippet from "A Brief History of the Texas Rangers". This really added to the book's story by giving the reader an extra insight into the Texas Rangers and what they did.

    Caitlin Strong is a Texas Ranger as her father, grandfather and three generations before that all were. She is proud of being a Ranger but losing her partner was devastating. Even after five years, she is trying to forgive herself for not being able to save him.

    She quits the Rangers and takes a job in a psychiatric hospital only to discover her patient is her husband who she thought was dead from terrorists when he was sent to Iraq for work.

    Cort Wesley Masters is recently released from jail for a crime he has always said he never did. He is out for revenge against the Ranger that put him in jail --- Caitlin. When he finds her, instead of killing her, he saves her life and from there the two of them become entangled in a plot so huge and far reaching that it will take all the skills they both have as well as a corupt Venezuelan killer for hire to bring it down.

    Once past the first 24 pages, I was unable to put this book down. It held my attention from page to page and I found myself reading far into the night to see what happened next.

    If you are a history buff and love a good mystery, this is a book to add to your reading list....more info
  • This is a heck of a woman
    I have got to say that I loved this book. The lead character is strong-real strong and sure of herself and of right and wrong. She is descended from a long line of Texas Rangers and is living up to dad and grandfather without too much difficulty. I am not going to narrate this story to you but Jon Land has pulled together a wide ranging novel of international proportions salted with a little vinette of Texas Ranger history at the begining of each chapter. As a matter of fact the museum is about 70 miles from here and I now feel the need to visit and find out more about these Texas heroes.
    Jon puts out a novel about Arabs, mexicans, one super bad guy from South America and the worst of the bad guys from the good ole USA. All of this blends together in a gumbo of murder, drug smuggling and other things that pop up late in the book. Just go ahead and pour a big glass of ice tea and sit back and prop up your feet. You will not want to put down the book for any reason. ...more info
  • I hope this becomes a series!
    Jon Land's new book, "Strong Enough to Die" is a solid novel about a Texas Ranger, Caitlin Strong and her family business - the Texas Rangers. I particularly liked the fact that a lot of really bad characters became heroes in the novel, but in a believable way, not too contrived. It was about redemption, and restarting lives after unfortunate circumstances. I don't want to spoil the story line by telling too much of the plot, but this is a solid story with great characters and I do hope that we see more of Caitlin in future stories. If you like crime drama yo uwill really enjoy this book....more info
  • The true power Rangers with a gutsy great heroine
    Add Caitlin Strong to the list of gun-toting complex multilayered heroines. The fifth-generation Texas Ranger has a legacy to live up to, but walks away from it after her partner gets killed in a deadly desert confrontation that sparks off a conspiracy plot to end all conspiracy plots. The plot itself is pure paranoia (and standard Evil Corporations-taking-advantage-of-9/11) at its best. But the real star here is Caitlin Strong, who you'll remember after you read the last page. Tender, sassy, tough and conflicted, Caitlin takes a new job and ends up counseling a torture victim she recognizes, a torture victim who happens to be a genius tied to the conspiracy.

    There's plenty of gunfire, action and good old Texas Ranger bravado (as well as interesting facts about the Rangers), but Caitlin Strong is not just a female version of Chuck Norris. Nor is Cort Wesley Masters, her erstwhile enemy who blames her for putting him in prison, your typical bad-hombre-turned-ally. He does have a weak spot with his two sons, and finds himself attracted, naturally, to the gutsy Caitlin Strong with her quest for justice that's, as she says "about more than me" and is all about those Texas Ranger frontier ideals, but is intensely personal all the same (as the best quests are.)

    The cast of characters is colorful and memorable, from Cort's two sons to Caitlin's dead partner Charlie Weeks, from a mysterious American government employee in Bahrain to a Kierkegaard-reading assassin who finds Caitlin Strong herself a religious experience. Then there's the mysterious genius and torture victim, aptly and ironically named Peter Goodwin, at the heart of the mystery. The book and its heroine live up to its promise, much as Caitlin Strong lives up to the Texas Ranger legacy. ...more info
  • Texas Rangers Meet the 21st Century
    Texas Rangers shooting it out with Mules carrying drugs on the Mexican border - and the same Rangers fighting terrorism in our country today?

    This was a fun read, with lots of action. I enjoyed the fact that none of the main characters was fully good or fully bad. The good ones had their bad side, and even the worst had a trace of good about them.

    My only criticism is that there were too many coincidences, some unnecessary. A quick example involves her running into her husband (which becomes a critical element in the storyline) and the accident "of fate" that made it happen.

    But still, coincidences happen, and the great characters leave you wondering from beginning to end whether they will act the way that you expect them to act.

    This is my first Jon Land book, and I will most likely pick up some others in the future. Other "hardcore" Jon Land fans may want to express your opinions concerning how this book compares to the earlier ones....more info
  • A difficult book to like
    The book opens with a shootout between Texas Rangers, Charlie Weeks and Caitlin Strong, fighting off drug traffickers using an underground tunnel leading between Texas desert and the Mexican border. The book at once has immediacy to it, drawing a reader in. But at the same time, there is a fake sense of danger - you know the character named "Strong" isn't going to be killed off on the first page--and it tries to squeeze too much information in it. When Charlie says, "Your dad be proud of you, your granddad too, first woman Ranger and a damn fine one to boot. I tell you that lately?" I was wondering if maybe he shouldn't be watching where the shots were being fired from, not telling the reader Caitlin's background. Putting the character in this amount of danger before the reader has any interest or sympathy for the character seems to be a risky move. (Even Ludlum let us see Bourne as a vulnerable man before he was in danger.)

    Interestingly, the most sympathetic character is the outlaw Cort Wesley Masters. It turns out, he was framed. Another killer, Guillermo Paz, is also fascinating. Every trip he makes to the church to talk to a priest is worth reading twice to make sure you don't miss any of his literary allusions, especially when he is talking about Kierkegaard and his ideas of religion. Very interesting character.

    This is a difficult book to like. It had a good plot. There were interesting snippets about the Texas Rangers at the beginning of each chapter. That was nice. In the end though, as a reader, I felt no real investment in the outcome of the story nor sympathy for the main character. I could have put this book down any time and forgotten it. Easily. ...more info
  • Another great offering from Land
    Being a longtime Land fan, I was anxious to read his latest. While not as entertaining as some of his Blaine McCracken novels, this one was still a good read that I'd recommend.

    All the elements of his earlier books are there -- a hero, hero with surprising new found friend, large henchman, technological secrets, villain bent on taking over the world. However, unlike his earlier books, there are no real political references, outside of the government being referenced as knowing all/being involved in everything. The central character being a Texas Ranger was a change and it worked.

    The only complaint I had was the convenient death of a character at the end which seemed to be put there to help absolve a character of some things done in their past and to make it easier for them to move forward. It felt awkward, yet convenient, for this to happen....more info
  • Fast-paced with lots of action, but not as good as I expected
    I expected to really enjoy this book; based on the jacket quotes from authors whose books I enjoy, I thought I might turn out to be a great book. But it was just OK for me. However, it's the kind of book that many people will like and think I'm crazy for being lukewarm about it. I'll explain why it disappointed me and what others might like and hope this is enough information for people to decide whether they want to get it or not.

    The Amazon catalog entry gives all the basic plot information you need, so I won't repeat it here. Any more would start giving away too much.

    The biggest disappointment for me was the main character, Caitlin Strong. I love mysteries and thrillers where the protagonist is a woman, especially if she is smart and tough. Caitlin is tough, but she didn't come across as a woman. I got the feeling that without major changes to the plot, her character could have been a guy. Very little about the way Caitlin talked, interacted with people or felt about things made her seem like a woman to me. I didn't believe in the character and because of that I couldn't care about her.

    Character development was overall the weakest part of the book. The several "tough guys" (and I include Caitlin in that category) all spoke very much alike, even though they came from very different backgrounds and English was a second language for several of them. Most were Texans but they didn't "sound" particularly Texan. It seemed like fairly generic tough guy dialogue.

    If character was the book's weakness, action was its strength. You will not be bored while reading this book because the pace is fast and the action is intense with lots of gun battles. I may not have felt a deep connection to the characters, but that doesn't mean I didn't stay up too late and put off doing housework so I could keep reading to see what was going to happen next. If the characters had been written with as much enthusiastic detail as the action, I would have loved this book.

    I also liked a couple of the themes in the book. The first is the idea of changing your life; that the person you have been is not not who you have to stay. The book has two "anti-heroes," one of whom becomes more like a hero: both do heroic things though it often seems they are continuing to do the bad things they've always done but for "right" reasons now. The other, scarier theme, is how technology erodes our concept of personal privacy. Fair warning, you may never look at your television and computer monitor the same way again!

    So if you like lots of action and fast pace and don't care whether or not you identify with Caitlin as a woman, you'll probably enjoy this book more than I did. And the ending is particularly satisfying when the bad guys get their due. ...more info
  • Texas Rangers Meet the 21st Century
    Texas Rangers shooting it out with Mules carrying drugs on the Mexican border - and the same Rangers fighting terrorism in our country today?

    This was a fun read, with lots of action. I enjoyed the fact that none of the main characters was fully good or fully bad. The good ones had their bad side, and even the worst had a trace of good about them.

    My only criticism is that there were too many coincidences, some unnecessary. A quick example involves her running into her husband (which becomes a critical element in the storyline) and the accident "of fate" that made it happen.

    But still, coincidences happen, and the great characters leave you wondering from beginning to end whether they will act the way that you expect them to act.

    This is my first Jon Land book, and I will most likely pick up some others in the future. Other "hardcore" Jon Land fans may want to express your opinions concerning how this book compares to the earlier ones....more info
  • Sign me up for the next one
    Suspend your disbelief, sit back and enjoy a kick butt page-turner. It has its drawbacks. Several bad guys turn good. A good girl goes bad. With less than compelling reasons. But for the most of the time... if you like action and suspense, this is for you....more info
  • Strong Enough to Entertain
    Jon Land's creation, Caitlin Strong, is the kind of protagonist that draws in the reader: She's a fifth-generation Texas Ranger with a missing husband.

    Land's writing propels the reader through the storyline, perhaps at the expense of character development. A certain economy is common in works of crime or suspense fiction in that regard, but given the uniqueness of Caitlin as a protagonist, her character warranted more development, more nuance, more expression of conflicting emotions.

    Minor character development is sometimes inconsistent and contradictory. On a single page, the reader can sometime wonder if two different characters have been given the same name.

    Even for a book of this genre, the suspension of belief asked of the reader teeters on the edge of make-believe credibility.

    A literary snob will find plenty in this book to blast. And yet, I give my qualified recommendation for this novel. It's unlikely to surface in English Lit classes ten years from now, but it is entertaining. I'll probably read the next Caitlin Strong novel. If you're a fan of crime or suspense novels, and your expectations aren't high, you'll likely find this book an enjoyable summertime read.

    However, I'd recommend that you resist the impulse to brag about it to your literary snob friends.

    ...more info
  • Solid Read
    First of all, I have never realized how few main characters are women. It was refreshing to get a new hero who is not one big massive walking ego looking to beat everyone in sight.

    The plot was strong with enough action to keep me going. I was not a fan of the chapters as they went from the present to the past way too much for my liking (it does help with the character backstory). I enjoyed the fact that Cort ends up Cailins ally. I found his character to be the most enjoyable. I dont want to give away any secrets of the book, but there are several surprises.

    All in all I felt the book was a little too wordy for me, and I was not a fan of the flash backs. It was a good read but was not the summer blockbuster that I was hoping for. ...more info