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Strong as Steel    by Jon Land order for
Strong as Steel
by Jon Land
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Strong as Steel follows Strong to the Bone as the tenth in Jon Land's improbable but extremely entertaining series starring titanium tough, gun-toting Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. It all began with Strong Enough to Die.

Caitlin's series entourage includes her ex-outlaw, ex-Special Forces lover Cort Wesley Masters, Masters' sons Luke and Dylan, and former secret police colonel Guillermo Paz. The latter seeks redemption from past sins as a Guardian Angel to Caitlin and others. Episodes are enriched by Texas Ranger lore, and back stories about Caitlin's father, scattered throughout. Homeland Security spook Jones drops in stories regularly, causing havoc every time he does.

This time, we learn how in 1994, Jim Strong investigated mass murder on a freight train, with links to Mexican cartel boss Luna Diaz Delgado (dubbed the 'Red Widow') and to a mysterious, deadly, stolen cargo. What he did afterwards resulted in skeletons and shipping crates buried in the desert. When Caitlin gets wind of this story, she's determined to get to the bottom of it, and soon finds herself on the trail of that same cargo.

Of course, others are too, sinister fanatics who would use it to unleash mass destruction. Caitlin's usual helpers (plus a very surprising new one) have her back, though Cort Wesley is faced with a serious health problem that affects his aim. In the explosive conclusion, drones and humans face off for the ultimate shoot-out around a mission chapel

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