Think of Jon Land’s latest Caitlin Strong novel, Strong as Steel (Forge Books), as a tenth-anniversary special. As the author mentions in his final notes, Hollywood often talks about stories that are different but the same. Strong as Steel leans toward different for the Caitlin Strong franchise, but in every way that is good and fun for the reader.

The fifth-generation Texas Ranger returns in a blockbuster blend of the best of Dan Brown, Clive Cussler, and Louis L’Amour.  The opening chapters are a salvo of big-screen imagery—a ghost ship crashing into a 1950s port, a wedding shootout south of the border, and a train heist gone wrong.

In Jon Land’s usual style for the series, the story weaves its way through multiple eras, tracing a single deadly item as it crosses the paths of Caitlin, her father, the enigmatic Jones and a mad religious zealot. These characters, and others spread across time, also follow geographic trails that cover the globe from Rome and Nigeria to Caracas and Mexico. But all paths converge on Texas, as they should.

The tapestry of story and character threads converging on Caitlin Strong add a sense of familiarity in Strong as Steel. Readers will also remember the relentless, bullet-riddled action, the magical realism of the ghost of Leroy Epps and the visions of Colonel Guillermo Paz, the strength of familial bonds and the author’s unique ability to convey the subtleties of human behavior—such as a man scratching his head for want of the cigarette that usually occupies his hand.

The mysterious cargo of the ghost ship leads the story into territory the series has not breached before. Land works deep into questions of religion and the supernatural, including zealots and curses. In bringing readers something new, he takes a significant risk of overstepping his Texas Ranger character’s boundaries. Yet he handles his topics well and makes them a convincing progression for the series. The cargo is a threat to the world both tangible and intangible, and uncovering its truths will reveal new truths about Caitlin and her father as well.

Strong as Steel is a hard-hitting, risk-taking, heart-pounding thriller that opens new roads for Caitlin Strong. Ten novels into the series, Jon Land has proven his femme fatale gunslinger has exceptional staying power and many adventures to come.

Strong as Steel is now available for purchase.


Jon Land is the bestselling author over 25 novels. He graduated from Brown University in 1979 Phi Beta Kappa and Magna cum Laude and continues his association with Brown as an alumni advisor. Jon often bases his novels and scripts on extensive travel and research as well as a twenty-five-year career in martial arts. He is an associate member of the US Special Forces and frequently volunteers in schools to help young people learn to enjoy the process of writing.

Jon is the Vice-President of marketing of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and is often asked to speak on topics regarding writing and research. In addition to writing suspense/thrillers, Jon is also a screenwriter with his first film credit in 2005. Jon works with many industry professionals and has garnered the respect and friendship of many author-colleagues. He loves storytelling in all its forms. Jon currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island and loves hearing from his readers and aspiring writers.

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