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Strong to the Bone: A Caitlin Strong Novel    by Jon Land order for
Strong to the Bone
by Jon Land
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Strong to the Bone follows Strong Cold Dead as the ninth in Jon Land's series starring tough, gun-toting Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, that began with Strong Enough to Die. Other key players in the series are Caitlin's ex-outlaw, ex-Special Forces lover Cort Wesley Masters, Masters' sons Luke and Dylan, and former secret police colonel Guillermo Paz, who seeks redemption as a Guardian Angel to Caitlin and others.

Each episode is enriched by fascinating Texas Ranger lore, and back stories about Caitlin's dad, scattered throughout. In this case, we go back to 1944, when Texas Ranger Jim Strong followed leads on a triple murder inside a Nazi POW camp in Texas - he didn't catch the killer. This ends up being relevant to Caitlin's present day case, which centers on the plot of a gang of neo-Nazis.

Early in the story, Caitlin and associates come upon evidence of a bio-weapon used in Texas, though they don't yet know that that's what they're dealing with - something has stripped a herd of cattle down to the bone. Then a building housing 'the nation's top biosecurity research institute' is blown up. They would work against agroterrorism (a term new to me).

As always there's an uber wealthy corporate villain (who seeks more power and riches and has no compunctions about collateral damage), in this case Calum Dane. He agrees to work with neo-Nazi Armand Fisker, the other villain of the piece. Caitlin survives their assassination attempts, with her Guardian Angel's help, only to end up racing to outrun a deadly storm that Dane and company have unleashed.

Though the series is somewhat formulaic and Guillermo's role usually deus ex machina, each episode is still a fast-paced thrill ride, and the themes the author selects are different and fascinating each time. I always enjoy the over the top antics of Caitlin and crew.

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