As a teenager, Caitlin Strong witnessed her Texas Ranger father, Jim Strong, end the life of fanatical preacher and child rapist Maxwell Arno in a blazing shootout on a steamy parking lot in Midland, Texas. The "Reverend" Arno had been using his Church of the Redeemer as a sanctuary to abuse youngsters and stockpile weapons and ammunition. The bloody scene in Midland was also witnessed by Arno's teenage son, Malcolm.
Jon Land has penned another bullet-blazing and blood-spilling thriller, complete with political overtones.
Decades later, Caitlin follows in the footsteps of her father and her family's Texas Ranger legacy when she becomes the fifth generation of the family to pin on a Ranger badge. She has never forgotten the gunfight in front of Pearsley's Tackle and Gun Shop on that bloody day in Midland. Neither has Malcolm.
And Caitlin isn't the only witness of the bloody shootout who has followed in their father's footsteps. Now in his 30s, Malcolm is head of an extreme and violent militia movement out to topple the government of the United States, no matter what the cost or number of lives lost. He is also obsessed with destroying Caitlin and has sworn vengeance against her and anyone close to her.
While trying to stop arms and drug smuggling across both U.S. borders, Caitlin is drawn in to assist a Texas soldier and Iraqi war veteran who claims the Army is trying to kill him. With bureaucrats in Austin and Washington breathing down her neck, Caitlin digs deep to get to the bottom of the soldier's claim, while helping former outlaw Cort Wesley Masters rescue his teenage son Dylan, who has been kidnapped while traveling in Mexico.
Caitlin's quest takes her from Quebec, Canada, to a Mohawk Indian Reservation along the Canadian border, across the Lone Star State and into Central Mexico, where she once again crosses paths with reformed sinner and avenging angel Colonel Guillermo Paz.
Jon Land has penned another bullet-blazing and blood-spilling thriller, complete with political overtones. Right-wing military fanatics determined to reclaim "their" America, an Army conspiracy and a cover-up of billions of dollars gone missing, along with Indian reservations being used for drug and arms smuggling, heighten the drama and suspense.
STRONG AT THE BREAK continues the saga of Caitlin Strong, a determined and gritty woman who lives by the Ranger code in a man's world --- in fact, Caitlin is just about the only living female named in the entire novel. Along with the border-to-border action and suspense, Land spins a message of the importance of family, friends and freedom.
Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt on July 3, 2011