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Strong Rain Falling by Jon Land

Strong Rain Falling Reviewed by Russell Ilg

Strong Rain Falling is the new novel by Jon Land in the mega-series featuring Caitlin Strong, a 5th generation Texas Ranger, and her former outlaw boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters. It’s the fifth book in this series, continuing the painstaking, and at times painful, evolution of the characters. As an avid reader who reads close to 4-5 books a week, it’s the one series that I wait for every year because the story has so roped me in thanks to the complex relationships and writing unmatched with any out there today.

Before cracking the book open, I recommend that you strap yourself to a chair because it’s going to turn your world upside down and, otherwise, you may hit the floor between pages. Strong Rain Falling starts out with what has to be the greatest opening of any book I’ve read to the point that I kept saying, no, this cannot be happening; but it was in heart-stopping fashion that sets the stage for a story that hits you from every angle and doesn’t let up for a single second or page. Simply stated, Jon Land has taken an outstanding series to a whole new level and heights I didn’t think possible for a thriller.

But there’s nothing simple about Strong Rain Falling. Before long we learn that the visceral violence contained in that mind-numbing opening has its routes in a past that has also come back to threaten the lives of Cort Wesley’s two teenage sons for whom Caitlin has become a kind of surrogate mother. And it all stems from actions taken a century before by Caitlin’s own grandfather and great-grandfather, Texas Ranger legends themselves who take on the drug war at its very inception in 1919 back in the days of Pancho Villa’s Mexico. It hit home back then but it hits home quite literally in the present with the stakes higher for Caitlin than they’ve ever been before. She’s become known in Ranger circles as “Hurricane” because any time she even gets close to something all hell breaks loose and the body count begins to rise. And that doesn’t even take into account how that count rises even more thanks to her enigmatic protector Guillermo Paz who had ties to the drug cartels before becoming their most sworn and deadly enemy. Paz seems to show up out of nowhere whenever it seems that Caitlin has gotten herself in so deep that there’s no way out. And whenever he appears, know that the rain falling will actually be blood.

Strong Rain Falling is by far the best thriller of the year and one of the best novels as well. Jon Land’s writing is second to none and the thrills and action run non-stop from first page to last. I end up reading all of his books twice because the pace keeps me from grasping everything the first time through. So do yourself a favor and read Strong Rain Falling at least once. Like me you will be enthralled, amazed and left shaking your head in disbelief when you finally undo those straps binding you to your chair.

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