Strong from the Heart (Caitlin Strong #11)
In what Brad Meltzer calls a “savory Tex-Mex tale, seasoned with all the ingredients of a great thriller,” Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong digs for the truth behind the Opioid Crisis in the next installment of Jon Land's critically acclaimed seriesMexico, 1898: Texas Ranger William Ray Strong arrives in the border town of Camino Pass to transport a young Pancho Villa to stand trial, but his plans are waylaid when he learns all of the town’s children have been kidnapped.The Present: The drug crisis hits home for fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong when the son of her outlaw lover, Cort Wesley Masters, nearly dies from an opioid overdose.Determined to make those responsible pay, Caitlin sets out to track down the dealer and pusher, while trying to solve the inexplicable tragedy of a small Texas town where all the residents died in a single night. When she realizes these two pursuits are connected, she finds herself following a trail to the truth of the crisis nestled hard in the center of America’s power base.That power base, comprised of politicians, Big Pharma, along with corrupt doctors and drug distributors, has successfully beaten back all threats in the past. But they have no idea what’s in store when the guns of Texas come calling.

Strong from the Heart (Caitlin Strong #11) Details

TitleStrong from the Heart (Caitlin Strong #11)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 28th, 2020
PublisherForge
ISBN-139780765384706
Rating
GenreThriller, Fiction

Strong from the Heart (Caitlin Strong #11) Review

  • Joan
    January 1, 1970
    Caitlin Strong, Texas Ranger, is certainly a force to be reckoned with. She pulls no punches. And her half sister is even more lethal. Add to the mixture Caitlin's friends Colonel Paz and Cort Wesley and you've got a crime fighting crew like no other. This time they are fighting an opiate pipeline whose leadership goes high up in Washington, DC.I like Land's writing style. The dialogue is brutal and unique. Sometimes it feels stilted but it is very engaging. The characters form a rag tag bunch. Caitlin Strong, Texas Ranger, is certainly a force to be reckoned with. She pulls no punches. And her half sister is even more lethal. Add to the mixture Caitlin's friends Colonel Paz and Cort Wesley and you've got a crime fighting crew like no other. This time they are fighting an opiate pipeline whose leadership goes high up in Washington, DC.I like Land's writing style. The dialogue is brutal and unique. Sometimes it feels stilted but it is very engaging. The characters form a rag tag bunch. Each one is so different and their quirky characters are developed well. There is even a little magical realism thrown in with an imaginary character, or maybe not. I like how Land brings in the history of the Rangers into the plot as well. He does a good job of weaving in historical background into the narrative. Pancho Villa even makes an appearance.I like how Land arranged the plot to explore the opiate issue. The drug running aspect is balanced by Caitlin's use of prescribed pain killers after her injuries from the last novel. Then, for added interest, Land throws in a little secret government activity from years ago, or is it unfounded conspiracy theory?This is another entertaining novel from Land with plenty of action, a high body count, engaging characters, and an interesting plot.I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review.
    more
  • Ella James
    January 1, 1970
    Another action packed, exciting mystery and thriller novel by Jon Land. One of his best!!!
  • Jeanie
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, what a great novel! It is the first time I’ve read one of the Caitlin Strong novels, and I’m looking forward to reading more! I very much enjoyed learning more about a few of the top Texas Rangers in their extraordinary history. Seeing their reach within the state today and the respect they have garnered from the point of view of the fictional Caitlin Strong and the four generations of Strong rangers before her has been fascinating. Caitlin was finishing a situation at an elementary school Wow, what a great novel! It is the first time I’ve read one of the Caitlin Strong novels, and I’m looking forward to reading more! I very much enjoyed learning more about a few of the top Texas Rangers in their extraordinary history. Seeing their reach within the state today and the respect they have garnered from the point of view of the fictional Caitlin Strong and the four generations of Strong rangers before her has been fascinating. Caitlin was finishing a situation at an elementary school when she is called away by Homeland Security for a unique case to be investigated by a special task force she is part of. All residents of Camino Pass, a small town near the Mexican border, are dead, without a clue or a trace of whodunit or how. They find only one of less than 300 residents who survived it, a man closeted in the local clinic while he slept off the drinking he did the night before. Whatever went down was during the night, as evidenced by most residents found in their beds. Their only hope of discovering the source is testing the dead as well as the survivor.Caitlin had vague memories of hearing her great-grandfather having had a case in Camino Pass over 100 years earlier and tries to learn more about it. It seems like everyone except her knows about it, from her captain to a former colleague to the sister she only recently learned she had. Nola is a gunfighter who has taken up protecting Caitlin on tough cases despite her trying to send Nola away. Throughout the novel, Caitlin learns about William Ray Strong’s experience a little at a time. As has occurred in the past, sometimes Caitlin can help solve the current challenges based on lessons her ancestors lived.While this case is her priority, a young man to whom she has been a mother figure to since his mother was murdered years earlier was taken from his school dorm to the hospital due to an opiate overdose. Luke and his brother Dylan are sons of Cort Wesley Masters, a former bad guy who Caitlin has teamed up with for several years. Cort Wesley wants to find where Luke got the drugs from and their ultimate source. He and Caitlin may not be able to take down every drug source in the country, but they can certainly get one source put away.This powerful, compelling read captured my attention from the first page. It sweeps from the Texas desert all the way to Washington DC and back as they try to determine the both how to get one drug source off the street as well as discover what – and who – killed off a small town. This novel includes history that was fascinating and pulse-pounding thrills as the battle against good and evil is waged. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys reading about the Texas Rangers, a bit of Texas and Ranger history, corruption in least-expected places, and characters you won’t soon forget.From a thankful heart: I received a complimentary copy of this novel; a review was not required.
    more
  • Abibliofob
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe not the best book in the series but I still love reading about this Texas Ranger and her escapades. I also like the fact that all stories are related to her ancestors. The legacy of the rangers is probably the best part of the books. Jon Land lets the problem with narcotics hit closer this time when one of her "family" members takes an overdose. I'm starting to like the introduction of her half sister as well and think that Jon Land can get a few great stories out of it. I must thank #Forg Maybe not the best book in the series but I still love reading about this Texas Ranger and her escapades. I also like the fact that all stories are related to her ancestors. The legacy of the rangers is probably the best part of the books. Jon Land lets the problem with narcotics hit closer this time when one of her "family" members takes an overdose. I'm starting to like the introduction of her half sister as well and think that Jon Land can get a few great stories out of it. I must thank #ForgeBooks #Macmillan and #Edelweiss for giving me this Arc.
    more
  • Thomas Bruso
    January 1, 1970
    An opioid crisis leads Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong into a dangerous fray in Jon Land’s exceptional 11th novel, “Strong from the Heart.”Child kidnapping.Drug wars. Backstabbing world of politics.Land weaves together these timely issues as he builds sustainable tension in each chapter, putting his multi-dimensional characters in immediate peril. Skillful plotting, sharp writing and brief chapters keep the story moving at a brisk pace. Shifting points of view and locales and delving into the often An opioid crisis leads Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong into a dangerous fray in Jon Land’s exceptional 11th novel, “Strong from the Heart.”Child kidnapping.Drug wars. Backstabbing world of politics.Land weaves together these timely issues as he builds sustainable tension in each chapter, putting his multi-dimensional characters in immediate peril. Skillful plotting, sharp writing and brief chapters keep the story moving at a brisk pace. Shifting points of view and locales and delving into the often times dark mind of each of his characters, Land offers his readers a glimpse into a crueler, more violent side of humanity.The world of politics and drug companies play heavily into the plot as well, and when the drug crisis hits close to home for Caitlin Strong, she is determined to hold the criminals responsible and make them pay.Strong must deal with the opioid epidemic and child kidnapping, but when both plots fuse, her travels take her to the world of crooked politicians and drug companies, and she discovers that her problems are just beginning.Snappy one-liners, plausible dialogue, and lots of nonstop action, Land delivers another riveting, believable thriller.
    more
  • Vivian
    January 1, 1970
    Since the inception of the Texas Rangers, there has been a member of the Strong family serving as a Ranger. Caitlin Strong is a fifth-generation Texas Ranger and just as fierce and awe-inspiring as her forebears. One of the many things I enjoy about reading the Caitlin Strong series is how Caitlin's present-day adventures often mirror those of her father, grandfather, great-grandfather, or great-great-grandfather. In Strong From the Heart, Caitlin is battling enemies on several fronts, includin Since the inception of the Texas Rangers, there has been a member of the Strong family serving as a Ranger. Caitlin Strong is a fifth-generation Texas Ranger and just as fierce and awe-inspiring as her forebears. One of the many things I enjoy about reading the Caitlin Strong series is how Caitlin's present-day adventures often mirror those of her father, grandfather, great-grandfather, or great-great-grandfather. In Strong From the Heart, Caitlin is battling enemies on several fronts, including one with a very personal link to the children she's helping to raise with her significant other, Cort Wesley Masters. Dylan Torres, Cort Wesley's youngest son, has recently suffered an opioid overdose and the drugs were provided to him at his boarding school. Although Caitlin and Cort Wesley have often battled against enemies that have brought the fight a bit too close to home for comfort, this one has far-reaching ties and may require all of the help they can muster. While Caitlin is trying to reign in Cort Wesley from eliminating all drug dealers from the face of Texas, she must also work to find out who caused the deaths of close to 300 residents of a border town and the subsequent murder of a survivor. Will Caitlin and Cort Wesley be able to find the answers to their family's drug issue before it's too late? Is it possible the deaths of the border town residents due to cyanide gas are linked to the opioid crisis and if so, how and who is responsible? If the deaths aren't linked to the opioid crisis, then what was the reason for the deaths and who is responsible?If you've been following me for any length of time, then you know I enjoy re-reading books. Yes, I often re-read books when I should be reading new books. So of course, I spent the past eight days re-reading the entire Caitlin Strong series in preparation for reading the newest addition, Strong From the Heart. I know, I know, I've told you that I love this series. You probably thought I was exaggerating. I wasn't. I read the newest addition in one day even though I was dealing with a severe migraine AND back spasms. Let me tell you when you can't comfortably sit upright or even recline, your pain medication isn't working, and you can't turn on a light or even have any music playing in the background but you continue to read, then you must enjoy the book you're reading, right?! I recently described Caitlin Strong as a combination of Wonder Woman, Annie Oakley, and the Lone Ranger. She's someone that is always out seeking the truth and fighting for justice no matter what. Caitlin isn't exactly a social advocate, but she does constantly get into "good trouble" by fighting for what's right. She's willing to stand up for the underdog even against seemingly insurmountable odds and she isn't afraid to go up against anyone, including the federal government when necessary. Case in point, she begins in Strong From the Heart by thwarting ICE agents from "taking several school children into custody" by putting them into "protective custody" as "material witnesses" for the Texas Rangers. She stands up against Homeland Security on a regular basis and has even stood up against US Senators. Strong From the Heart brings back a number of cast regulars, including Captain D.W. Tepper - Caitlin's Texas Ranger boss, Colonel Guillermo Paz - a former Venezuelan Colonel/assassin/current guardian anger, Cort Wesley Masters - Caitlin's significant other/former mob enforcer/retired military, Dylan Torres - Cort Wesley's eldest son and current student at Brown University, Luke Torres - Cort Wesley's youngest son and current boarding student at the Village School in Houston, Jones/Smith - former Homeland Security agent, Dr. Whatley - Rangers' pathologist, Nola Delgado - Caitlin's half-sister/assassin/pseudo-pharmaceutical representative, William Ray Strong - Caitlin's great-grandfather and a Texas Ranger, and Pancho Villa (yes, that Pancho Villa). As always with a Caitlin Strong story, there are bad guys and worse guys. One of the bad guys in this story is an "enforcer" that seems to enjoy killing for the sake of killing and suffers from "congenital insensitivity to pain" or an inability to feel physical pain. (You can tell that's not going to end well.) The worse guys, in my estimation, are the ones that have hired the enforcer and are willing to do whatever it takes to protect themselves and their goals, which is ultimately making money and gaining more power. This story has a lot going on, as with all of the Caitlin Strong stories, including family angst and drama, government intrigue, behind-the-scenes power-brokering, prescription pain addiction, legal and illegal drug dealing (on a massive scale), mass murder, intrigue, and more. Yes, I could give you specifics, but if I did you wouldn't want or need to read the book and you really need to read this book! Seriously, if you're into suspense, thrillers, or books filled with twisted action and believable (and unbelievable but in a good way) characters, then you'll want to read this book. For those of you that are just as addicted to Caitlin's exploits as I am, you'll definitely want to grab a copy of Strong From the Heart if you haven't already purchased a copy. For those of you that haven't already started the Caitlin Strong series, spend your staycation by starting with book one in this series, Strong Enough to Die, and read all the way through to Strong From the Heart. Trust me after the first book, you'll be just as hooked as I am. The books are well-written, the stories well researched, the characters realistic, and the action based on real-life scenarios. I look forward to reading more about Caitlin and her exploits accompanied by her band of misfits in the future (okay, they're more like a dysfunctional family than misfits, but you get the point). I really don't want this series to end and am hoping that there were be a few more additions to the Caitlin Strong series before it eventually ends. So, while I wait for the next Caitlin Strong book, I'll probably spend some time re-reading a few books in this series to tide me over.Happy Reading, y'all!I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. This review originally published on 08/18/2020 at https://www.thebookdivasreads.com/202...
    more
  • OpenBookSociety.com
    January 1, 1970
    https://openbooksociety.com/article/s...Strong from the HeartA Caitlin Strong Mystery #11By Jon LandISBN 9780765384706Author’s Website: jonlandbooks.comBrought to you by OBS Reviewer JeanieSynopsis:In what Brad Meltzer calls a “savory Tex-Mex tale, seasoned with all the ingredients of a great thriller,” Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong digs for the truth behind the Opioid Crisis in the next installment of Jon Land’s critically acclaimed seriesMexico, 1898: Texas Ranger William Ray Strong arrives in t https://openbooksociety.com/article/s...Strong from the HeartA Caitlin Strong Mystery #11By Jon LandISBN 9780765384706Author’s Website: jonlandbooks.comBrought to you by OBS Reviewer JeanieSynopsis:In what Brad Meltzer calls a “savory Tex-Mex tale, seasoned with all the ingredients of a great thriller,” Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong digs for the truth behind the Opioid Crisis in the next installment of Jon Land’s critically acclaimed seriesMexico, 1898: Texas Ranger William Ray Strong arrives in the border town of Camino Pass to transport a young Pancho Villa to stand trial, but his plans are waylaid when he learns all of the town’s children have been kidnapped.The Present: The drug crisis hits home for fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong when the son of her outlaw lover, Cort Wesley Masters, nearly dies from an opioid overdose.Determined to make those responsible pay, Caitlin sets out to track down the dealer and pusher, while trying to solve the inexplicable tragedy of a small Texas town where all the residents died in a single night. When she realizes these two pursuits are connected, she finds herself following a trail to the truth of the crisis nestled hard in the center of America’s power base.That power base, comprised of politicians, Big Pharma, along with corrupt doctors and drug distributors, has successfully beaten back all threats in the past. But they have no idea what’s in store when the guns of Texas come calling.Review:This is my first visit with Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, and it won’t be my last! It is a fast-paced thrill ride, from a tiny Texas town to a long-term US government official with many cities of illegal opiate deaths exploding in between. The stakes have never been higher for Caitlin when the life of a loved one is on the line and a killer who has never been bested is after her. The mysteries are challenging, as even when the culprits are identified, proof must be found to take them down. Great-grandfather Texas Ranger William Ray Strong and Caitlin have many parallels in their professional lives, showing that history often repeats itself.There is a rich legacy of Texas Rangers in Caitlin’s family, starting with her great-great grandfather. We get to see great-grandfather William Ray this time. It is 1898, and children in the border town of Camino Pass were kidnapped. A posse that included their fathers left days earlier and no word was heard from them. William Ray was there to pick up a prisoner to take to trial and imminent death for his crime of murder. William Ray and Pancho Villa rode off to look for the missing children before taking Villa to court. What they found was astounding, beyond what he could have ever anticipated.In the present, Luke Torres is the son of former outlaw Cort Wesley Masters, a close friend of Caitlin’s. She had been a surrogate mother to him and his brother since their mother was murdered. Luke was in the hospital from an opiate overdose. Had his boarding school roommate not found him when he did, they would be planning a funeral.Caitlin was in Camino Pass as part of the Surge Capacity Force team that responds to certain emergencies with Homeland Security. All the not quite 300 residents of the town were found dead of unknown causes. While searching the town, they discovered one survivor who had been in the back room of the clinic, sleeping off a drunk. They are to find what killed the residents, and whether it was an accident or a bioweapon attack. They also had to keep it out of the news to avoid an influx of lookie-loos and press before they learn the source.Caitlin is torn, wanting to join forces with Cort Wesley to find who gave Luke the drugs and where they came from. She also has work to do with the team at Camino Pass where national security may be at risk. She is at the hospital where the survivor is being tested when the National Guard members standing guard are killed, along with the medical team in the isolation unit, and the survivor. Caitlin tracked the killer to the sub-basement, where she tried to bring down a huge man and injured him seriously before he got away. She is now in the crosshairs of a killer who fights to the death, has never lost, and has the indirect backing of a high-ranking government official.The characters are very well defined; the protagonist and her friends and associates are very likable. Caitlin’s half-sister Nola is a wildcard, however. They have only known of each other’s existence a short time. Nola is a killer, a psychopath – or sociopath – who seems to enjoy killing those she executes. She has Caitlin’s back, however, and will go the distance to save her sister’s life. Watching the interplay between them is worth seeing. I like Caitlin and appreciate her standards and pride in being a Ranger. What I did learn about Cort Wesley and Colonel Paz is just enough to whet my curiosity for next time.This is an intense, riveting masterpiece that traces some of the history of the Texas Rangers through real and legendary Rangers. It is also a tightly plotted novel of seemingly unrelated situations and challenging crimes for which only Caitlin and her colleagues could find solutions. The incredibly volatile, unpredictable ending is very satisfying, with all loose ends tied up; I highly recommend this, particularly to those who appreciate the history of the Texas-Mexico border and seeing the Texas Rangers in action.*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
    more
  • Ray Palen
    January 1, 1970
    A Ranger is an officer who is able to handle any given situation without definite instructions from his commanding officer or higher authority.Jon Land actually opens up the Epilogue with this statement regarding the Texas Rangers but I felt it was appropriate to get it out there before diving into my review of STRONG FROM THE HEART. The eleventh entry in this stellar series featuring Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong follows a formula that has made each of these novels special and that is the fact th A Ranger is an officer who is able to handle any given situation without definite instructions from his commanding officer or higher authority.Jon Land actually opens up the Epilogue with this statement regarding the Texas Rangers but I felt it was appropriate to get it out there before diving into my review of STRONG FROM THE HEART. The eleventh entry in this stellar series featuring Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong follows a formula that has made each of these novels special and that is the fact that they are grounded in the history and the discipline that makes the Texas Rangers such a proud and special unit. In fact, each of these novels relates what is happening in present-day with Caitlin Strong to events in the late 1800s featuring her grandfather, Texas Ranger William Ray Strong.The characters in these novels seem like old friends each time I read the latest entry. Can a reader jump right in and enjoy STRONG FROM THE HEART without having read any of the prior novels in the series? Most certainly --- but you would have denied yourself the opportunity to spend time with some of the more complex characters and morally driven story-lines that you will find in most modern-day thrillers. The simple solution is to enjoy this tale and then do yourself a favor and catch-up with the prior ten titles.I already referenced the Epilogue, so I will now leap to the front of the book which opens with the quote: 'It is the nature of the strong heart, that like the palm tree it strives ever upwards when it is most burdened.' - Philip Sidney. This speaks directly to our primary protagonist, Caitlin Strong. However, there are several characters who display their strong heart in this tale. There is a town in Southwest Texas known as Camino Pass that plays a role in both the present timeline as well as the trip to the past with William Ray Strong. The current state of Camino Pass is one that has the authorities shaking their heads. You see, in the span of one night, every single resident of this small town seems to have died.Caitlin Strong is handling an ICE case with the assistance of her old friend and one-man cavalry, Colonel Guillermo Paz of Homeland Security. It is then when her boss, Captain Tepper, calls with orders sending her to Camino Pass to find out why all two hundred and eighty-eight of its' citizens have turned up dead. We also learn that William Ray Strong had his own experience with Camino Pass back in the day when all of their children had seemingly disappeared. My immediate thoughts took me to historical cases like the colony of Roanoke which completely disappeared and horror novels like Dean Koontz's PHANTOMS. Jon Land indicates in his acknowledgments that he was inspired by Michael Crichton's THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN. Ironically, like THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, it turns out that two survivors are found in Camino Pass. This then brings about the same questions --- how and why did they survive when everyone else died?The other storyline, that ends up intersecting nicely with Caitlin Strong's case, features her boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters who is shocked when his youngest son, Luke, ends up in the hospital as the victim of an apparent overdose. This comes just hours after Cort watched Luke excel in his High School Soccer game, just another step towards his bright Collegiate future. The good news is that Luke survives. The quizzical part for Cort is when he learns that Luke overdosed on opioids. This country may currently be focused on the global pandemic, but that does not erase the fact that we had already been fighting a battle against the rising abuse of opioids.Cort is committed to getting to the bottom of who was responsible for placing dangerous pain-killers in the hands of High School kids like Luke. Caitlin shares in this battle with Cort while remaining focused on the conundrum that is Camino Pass. One of my favorite parts of STRONG FROM THE HEART are the trips to the past with William Ray Strong especially since we get to see him, partner, up in this one with famous Mexican hero, Pancho Villa. Back in their times, Camino Pass was all about gold prospecting. The investigation Caitlin Strong is involved with features a more contemporary key to the tragedy at Camino Pass.Caitlin has her team that she can count on when things get tough. Cort Wesley finds his support in two unique personalities. The first is the ghost of Leroy Epps --- who has accompanied him throughout this series --- and the second is a nearly ninety-year-old ex-Ranger named Doyle Lodge who is a wealth of information in Cort's one-man battle against the opioid crisis. We all realize there would not be an opioid crisis if some powerful people did not benefit from it. That involves not only Big Pharma but also dirty politicians like Texas Senator Lee Eckles, who eventually gets in the crosshairs of Caitlin Strong. She proves once again that she can take care of business not only in the heat of battle but also in the corridors of Washington D.C.STRONG FROM THE HEART is chock full of timely and pertinent action seemingly ripped from the headlines. There are many series that can say the same thing, but I am sure there are not many that can do so with the deft-plotting and first-rate characterization that has become the earmark of Jon Land's Caitlin Strong series. It is always time well-spent when a 'Strong' novel comes my way and it helps me sleep a little bit better knowing that there may be actual heroes like Texas Ranger Strong out there.Reviewed by Ray Palen for Book Reporter
    more
  • Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
    January 1, 1970
    A Ranger is an officer who is able to handle any given situation without definite instructions from his commanding officer or higher authority.Jon Land actually opens up the epilogue of STRONG FROM THE HEART with this statement regarding the Texas Rangers, but I felt it was appropriate to get it out there before diving into my review. The 11th entry in this stellar series featuring Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong follows a formula that has made each of these novels special: they are grounded in the A Ranger is an officer who is able to handle any given situation without definite instructions from his commanding officer or higher authority.Jon Land actually opens up the epilogue of STRONG FROM THE HEART with this statement regarding the Texas Rangers, but I felt it was appropriate to get it out there before diving into my review. The 11th entry in this stellar series featuring Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong follows a formula that has made each of these novels special: they are grounded in the history and discipline that make the Texas Rangers such a proud and special unit. In fact, they relate what is happening in the present day with Caitlin to events in the late 1800s involving her great-grandfather, Texas Ranger William Ray Strong.Can a reader jump right in and enjoy STRONG FROM THE HEART without having read any of the prior installments? Most certainly --- but you would be denying yourself the opportunity to spend time with some of the more complex characters and morally driven storylines that you will find in most modern-day thrillers. The simple solution is to enjoy this tale, and then do yourself a favor and catch up with the prior 10 titles.I already referenced the epilogue, so I will now leap to the front of the book, which opens with a quote from Philip Sidney: “It is the nature of the strong heart, that like the palm tree it strives ever upwards when it is most burdened.” This speaks directly to our primary protagonist, but several other characters also display their strong heart. There is a town in Southwest Texas, Camino Pass, that plays a role in both the present timeline and the trip to the past with Caitlin’s great-grandfather. The current state of Camino Pass is one that has the authorities shaking their heads. You see, in the span of one night, every single resident of this small town seems to have died.Caitlin is handling an ICE case with the assistance of her old friend and one-man cavalry, Colonel Guillermo Paz of Homeland Security. Her boss, Captain Tepper, calls with orders sending her to Camino Pass to find out why all 288 of its citizens have turned up dead. We also learn that William Ray Strong had his own experience with Camino Pass back in the day when all of their children had seemingly vanished. My immediate thoughts took me to cases like the colony of Roanoke, which completely disappeared, and horror novels such as Dean Koontz's PHANTOMS. Land indicates in his acknowledgments that he was inspired by THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN. Ironically, like Michael Crichton’s classic, it turns out that two survivors are found in Camino Pass, which brings about the same questions: How and why did they survive when everyone else died?The other storyline, which ends up intersecting nicely with Caitlin's case, features her boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters, who is shocked when his youngest son, Luke, ends up in the hospital as the victim of an apparent overdose. This comes just hours after Cort watched him excel in his high school soccer game --- just another step toward his bright collegiate future. The good news is that Luke survives. The quizzical part for Cort is when he learns that his son overdosed on opioids. He is committed to getting to the bottom of who was responsible for placing dangerous painkillers in the hands of high school kids like Luke.Caitlin shares in this battle while remaining focused on the conundrum that is Camino Pass. Among my favorite parts of the book are the trips to the past with William Ray Strong, especially since we get to see him partner up with famous Mexican hero Pancho Villa. Back in their times, Camino Pass was all about gold prospecting. The investigation that Caitlin is working on features a more contemporary key to the tragedy there.Caitlin has her team to count on when things get tough. Cort finds his support in two unique personalities: the ghost of Leroy Epps --- who has accompanied him throughout the series --- and a nearly 90-year-old ex-Ranger, Doyle Lodge, who is a wealth of information in Cort's one-man battle against the opioid crisis. We all realize that there would be no crisis if some powerful people did not benefit from it. That involves not only Big Pharma but also dirty politicians like Texas Senator Lee Eckles, who eventually gets in Caitlin’s crosshairs. Once again she proves that she can take care of business not only in the heat of battle but also in the corridors of Washington, D.C.STRONG FROM THE HEART is full of timely and pertinent action seemingly ripped from the headlines. There are a number of series that can say the same thing, but I am sure there are not many that can do so with the deft plotting and first-rate characterization that has become the hallmark of this series. It is always time well spent when one of these books comes my way, and it helps me sleep a little better knowing that there may be actual heroes like Caitlin Strong out there.Reviewed by Ray Palen
    more
  • Russell
    January 1, 1970
    STRONG FROM THE HEART by Jon LandReviewed by Russ Ilg“Central, we’ve got a potential level one event.”Good thing such things are nothing new for Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. And with that line from the prologue, her latest adventure Strong from the Heart is off and running at a breakneck clip that doesn’t let up until the final page is turned. This is the best thriller of the year, in large part for how it confronts Caitlin and company with challenges that are exceedingly rare for a genre novel. STRONG FROM THE HEART by Jon LandReviewed by Russ Ilg“Central, we’ve got a potential level one event.”Good thing such things are nothing new for Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. And with that line from the prologue, her latest adventure Strong from the Heart is off and running at a breakneck clip that doesn’t let up until the final page is turned. This is the best thriller of the year, in large part for how it confronts Caitlin and company with challenges that are exceedingly rare for a genre novel.I say that because not only does Strong from the Heart place the opioid crisis front and center, but the book does so with the series’ tried and true regulars front and center. Start with Caitlin’s surrogate son, now high school senior Luke Torres, being rushed to the hospital after snorting Oxycontin. Add to that Caitlin’s own dependence on Vicodin to get her through the pain from recent gunfight-related trauma and you’ve got the recipe for a thriller rife with characters at war with themselves as much as the bad guys who’ve hatched a typically nightmarish plot, typical for Caitlin Strong anyway.These particular Washington-based villains have formed a drug cartel of mammoth proportions under the auspices of the government itself. Their dirty dealings are brought to light when an entire town on the Texas-Mexico border is wiped out in minutes. But a Caitlin Strong thriller is far more comfortable in the darkness and Strong from the Heart is no exception there, as we’re treated to a seemingly endless succession of morally challenged types, most notably a monstrous Native American named Yarek Bone who sports a condition that keeps him from feeling any pain.Good thing Caitlin’s trusted protector and sidekick Guillermo Paz is on the job, fired from his job as an elementary school gym teacher (for teaching second graders live fire exercises) just in time to join Caitlin’s oft-bad boy boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters by her side. Masters, for his part, is none too happy about his son Luke’s overdose and seeks to lay waste to the whole of Texas’s drug dealing underbelly.Not surprisingly, that track runs straight into one following the truth behind what killed an entire town of three hundred and holds the potential to kill hundreds of millions more. Being that this is a Caitlin Strong novel, that’s hardly a surprise either. Nor is the aplomb with which author Jon Land unleashes his crack group of gunfighters, that now includes Caitlin’s murderously deadly half-sister Nola Delgado, to shoot first and ask questions later.The addition of Nola provides this series a fresh shot in the arm at a point when many have grown stale. No sign of that here. The eleventh Caitlin Strong novel is as bracing and blistering as the first. Strong from the Heart is a fast and furious tale of the highest order, exploding off the line like a Ferrari even before the afterburner kicks in to sweep us off our feet. So strap yourselves in and come along for the ride.
    more
  • Cheryl Malandrinos
    January 1, 1970
    You better get ready, because Caitlin Strong is back!Strong from the Heart is Jon Land's latest addition to his Caitlin Strong series, and this time it's personal.The opioid crisis hits home when the son of Caitlin's lover Cort Wesley Masters nearly dies of an overdose. She is also investigating how the residents of a small Texas town all died in one night.When this fifth generation Texas Ranger realizes both instances are related, she finds herself following a trail to uncover the truth behind You better get ready, because Caitlin Strong is back!Strong from the Heart is Jon Land's latest addition to his Caitlin Strong series, and this time it's personal.The opioid crisis hits home when the son of Caitlin's lover Cort Wesley Masters nearly dies of an overdose. She is also investigating how the residents of a small Texas town all died in one night.When this fifth generation Texas Ranger realizes both instances are related, she finds herself following a trail to uncover the truth behind a crisis that claimed 75,000 lives in the last year. She doesn't yet know, however, that the same forces have taken over the opiate trade and have even more nefarious goals in mind.Pitted against a cabal nestled within the highest corridors of power that’s determined to destroy all threats posed to them, Caitlin's latest adventure draws the current crisis, the deaths in a small Texas town, and an amazing story from Texas in the late 1800's into one powerful and exciting conclusion.I've been reading Land's Caitlin Strong novels for years. This hard-as-nails Texas Ranger gets the job done every time... but it's not usually easy. As with other novels in the series, the current story is woven alongside a story from the past. In this instance, her great-grandfather, Texas Ranger William Ray Strong, is sent to the border town of Camino Pass to transport Pancho Villa to stand trial, but his plans are waylaid when he learns all the town's children have been kidnapped.Strong from the Heart floats between present and past, drawing the reader deeper into the story with each step. Caitlin is battling some of her own demons in this story and learning to deal with her half-sister Nola on top of everything else going on. She is so profoundly human in Strong from the Heart that you connect with Caitlin in a different way than you might have in the past. Seeing her bring down the bad guys in this one is a great reward.My favorite series regular remains Colonel Paz. He's this strange blend of gentleness and violence, has a strong sense of reason and repentance, and is truly not a force to be reckoned with. He starts off the story in an unusual role--one which I wish would have turned out differently.As I mentioned before, the Caitlin Strong series is overdue to be brought to series TV. I hope you're listening, Netflix.Land's masterful storytelling never ceases to amaze me. As long as he keeps writing Caitlin Strong novels, I will keep reading. Simply put, this is one of the best thrillers you'll ever read.
    more
  • Felicia
    January 1, 1970
    I think I may have a problem.Reading about gun battles, explosions, and illegal drug operations with a grin on my face can’t be normal, but that’s how I read most of Strong From the Heart.Another stellar installment in the Caitlin Strong Series, this four-hundred-page read ended far too quickly for me.Caitlin’s Captain calls her human flypaper because wherever she goes the worst of the worst sticks to her and he nails it in that one comment because only in her world can there be a connection bet I think I may have a problem.Reading about gun battles, explosions, and illegal drug operations with a grin on my face can’t be normal, but that’s how I read most of Strong From the Heart.Another stellar installment in the Caitlin Strong Series, this four-hundred-page read ended far too quickly for me.Caitlin’s Captain calls her human flypaper because wherever she goes the worst of the worst sticks to her and he nails it in that one comment because only in her world can there be a connection between Cort Wesley’s teenage son’s drug overdose, the entire town of Camino Pass killed with no visible means of cause of death, and an illegal drug operation that could lead to some of the highest offices of corporate America and the government.A side story involving Caitlin’s great-grandfather, William Ray Strong, and his connection with the same town… and involvement with Pancho Villa is so engrossing, I’d read it as a standalone book!At one point in the story, Caitlin says she’s “getting the band back together,” and the familiar faces are all accounted for. Besides Cort Wesley and his son’s Luke and Dylan, Colonel Guillermo Paz is back peppering every sentence with philosophical quotes while issuing his brand of justice—and oh, my God, teaching a phys ed class for all of two days. I loved it!D.W. Tepper is still trying to not smoke while smoking… and giving Caitlin “space” more times than not, while Leroy Epps, the ghost of Cort’s friend, shows up to guide him, and drink root beer.Much to Caitlin’s chagrin, her half-sister—and legendary assassin—Nola Delgado is always closer than she likes, but Nola’s skills will come in handy. She may or may not be a psychopath… okay, she is, but I love Nola’s character.Caitlin truly is up against the worst of the worst this time as someone with money and power is trying to stop her investigation and they will take as many lives as necessary with no remorse.Timely themes enhanced the story not only with Luke’s overdose while partying with friends, but Caitlin’s use of prescription pain meds since a job-related injury several months ago. She’ll have a reckoning of her own while trying to deal with a drug operation in the midst of the opioid epidemic.The Ranger’s reputation proceeds her as everyone expects bullets to fly and people to die when she shows up. In her defense, Caitlin never fires the first shot, but she always fires the last one.And I love that!You will too.Enjoy!
    more
  • Jewel Hart
    January 1, 1970
    In Jon Land’s gripping mystery, Strong from the Heart: A Caitlin Strong Novel, the quests of a deadly drug baron, a determined outlaw, and an undeterred Texas Ranger all culminate into an exhilarating thriller.When his son Luke almost dies of a drug overdose, Cort Wesley Masters embarks on a murderous trail fueled by rage, retribution, and the anguish of almost losing Luke. But the Opioid Crisis rummaging the country is backed by powerful figures whose influence is greater than the will power of In Jon Land’s gripping mystery, Strong from the Heart: A Caitlin Strong Novel, the quests of a deadly drug baron, a determined outlaw, and an undeterred Texas Ranger all culminate into an exhilarating thriller.When his son Luke almost dies of a drug overdose, Cort Wesley Masters embarks on a murderous trail fueled by rage, retribution, and the anguish of almost losing Luke. But the Opioid Crisis rummaging the country is backed by powerful figures whose influence is greater than the will power of a fierce outlaw like Wesley. Caitlin Strong, a fearless clever Texas Ranger and Wesley’s lover, joins Cort in tracking down the criminals. In addition, Caitlin works to solve a baffling case about the sudden deaths of a town’s residents. As she fits more pieces into the puzzle, Caitlin discovers a link between the two cases, unearthing a deadly drug operation protected by lethal rivals, equally determined to destroy her and everyone around her.The characters in Strong from the Heart, are anything but cliché. Jon Land creates uncompromising, loyal, and complex characters, resolute on achieving their missions. When Cort Wesley identifies the place and people responsible for the unauthorized opioids prescriptions associated with his son’s overdose, he walks in and torches the clinic. The novel also pays tribute to legendary Texas Rangers who left their mark in history. Their exciting stories introduce sections of the book. As a descendant of notable Texas rangers, Caitlin’s admirable heritage is also interlaced with current events in the novel. Within its electrifying plot, Strong from the Heart discusses important topics, relevant to today’s society. It brings attention to America’s Opioids crisis revealing the tragic stories of the victims and their families. The plight of immigrants, corruption in high places, and the relentless efforts of protagonists in the continuous struggle against drug trafficking are also explored.Jon Land’s superlative writing creates entertaining dialogue, exciting action scenes, incredible characters and important themes, resulting in yet another unforgettable thriller!!!
    more
  • Carol Crigger
    January 1, 1970
    Strong From the Heart is the 11th novel featuring female Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. She comes from a long line of Texas Rangers, dating back to her great-grandfather’s day. Caitlin is every bit as tough and handy with a gun as any of her forebears, and while she may not have to fight old time Comanches, when she meets up with a modern day one who has no pain receptors, she’s just about met her match. Thank goodness Colonel Guillermo Paz, formerly of the Venezuelan secret police, considers her Strong From the Heart is the 11th novel featuring female Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. She comes from a long line of Texas Rangers, dating back to her great-grandfather’s day. Caitlin is every bit as tough and handy with a gun as any of her forebears, and while she may not have to fight old time Comanches, when she meets up with a modern day one who has no pain receptors, she’s just about met her match. Thank goodness Colonel Guillermo Paz, formerly of the Venezuelan secret police, considers her his angel to guard.Caitlin’s lover, Cort Wesley Masters, is back in action when his teenage son barely survives an overdose of opioids. The two war against the massive—and lethal—amounts of the drug pervading not only Texas, but all of the United States. And when an entire town of over 300 people die in their sleep, there somehow seems to be a connection. Caitlin and the Rangers are determined to discover what it is, while Cort Wesley concentrates on finding who supplied his son. All of this ties in with a case when her great-grandfather, aided by Pancho Villa, ran up against a similar problem a hundred or so years ago. If you’ve read any of the Strong novels, you’ll know they’re action-packed and you can rely on them to provide a new take on a crime that could be ripped from the headlines. In this case, Jon Land sets the corruption out in front and rubs your nose in it as he takes on crooked politicians and big Pharma. The Strong novels are filled with intriguing characters, most flawed, and while some are over-the-top bad, other will do anything to protect the people and the country. Fortunately, Guillermo Paz, my favorite crime-busting character, is back with quotes and bits of advice gleaned from an array of sages. Recommended.
    more
  • Sharon Grow
    January 1, 1970
    An entire town is wiped out. Each person died in their home as if they just fell asleep. What could have killed over three hundred people? Caitlin Strong, Texas Ranger, is on the case. When two survivors are found, perhaps an answer can be found as to why they didn’t die. The opioid explosion has hit Texas and becomes personal when Cort Wesley Masters’ younger son almost dies from an overdose. Cort, in his own take charge manner works to uncover who supplied the pills. With the help of the conti An entire town is wiped out. Each person died in their home as if they just fell asleep. What could have killed over three hundred people? Caitlin Strong, Texas Ranger, is on the case. When two survivors are found, perhaps an answer can be found as to why they didn’t die. The opioid explosion has hit Texas and becomes personal when Cort Wesley Masters’ younger son almost dies from an overdose. Cort, in his own take charge manner works to uncover who supplied the pills. With the help of the continuing secondary characters, can Caitlin and Cort solve both complex cases that seem to be connected in this thrilling story? Woven through each amazing Caitlin Strong story is the history of her past family members in the Texas Rangers. I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)
    more
  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    Ranger Strong is tough. All the Strong family rangers were tough.But tough doesn’t mean without vulnerabilities. The ways she remains tough in spite of them will keep readers on their toes.She has help from some surprising allies who aid in supplying the action in this book. And there is plenty of action here.This is the first Caitlin Strong novel I’ve read. It definitely won’t be the last. I really like that woman.Thank you, Mr. Land, for contributing to my lack of sleep. I enjoyed the bit of C Ranger Strong is tough. All the Strong family rangers were tough.But tough doesn’t mean without vulnerabilities. The ways she remains tough in spite of them will keep readers on their toes.She has help from some surprising allies who aid in supplying the action in this book. And there is plenty of action here.This is the first Caitlin Strong novel I’ve read. It definitely won’t be the last. I really like that woman.Thank you, Mr. Land, for contributing to my lack of sleep. I enjoyed the bit of Caitlin’s family history as well as the history of some of the early Texas Rangers.***Book provided without charge by PICT.***
    more
  • BookTrib.com
    January 1, 1970
    STRONG FROM THE HEART takes the gunslinging action that Caitlin and her outlaw friends are known for and adds in the stakes of a traditional thriller, the mystery of a locked-room murder puzzle, and the heart of a crisis that hits close to home for Caitlin Strong and for millions of Americans. Thriller lovers can’t go wrong placing this book at the top of their late summer reads.Read our full review here:https://booktrib.com/2020/07/27/myste... STRONG FROM THE HEART takes the gunslinging action that Caitlin and her outlaw friends are known for and adds in the stakes of a traditional thriller, the mystery of a locked-room murder puzzle, and the heart of a crisis that hits close to home for Caitlin Strong and for millions of Americans. Thriller lovers can’t go wrong placing this book at the top of their late summer reads.Read our full review here:https://booktrib.com/2020/07/27/myste...
    more
  • Doug Yonce
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! So many strands woven together bringing the past into the present and today’s opioid epidemic. Above-the-law politicians need to learn that nobody is beyond the reach of a Texas Ranger. Ranger Strong gets moving when her high school “son” overdoses. This starts the action which builds with so many characters joining the action, all with their own agendas and demons. I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Deborah Hughes
    January 1, 1970
    Some things keep coming back.As always enjoy these books about Caitlin Strong. I love the story that Jon Land builds and the history he enlightens us between chapters. He has built a great cast of characters fighting the war on drugs.
  • Ellery Bloom
    January 1, 1970
    Strong from the Heart is a gripping thriller filled with action, mystery and intrigue. This a is 5 star must read novel by award winning author, Jon Land. Highly recommended.
  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    i may be done with this series. there is a lot of violence and it strains credibility. and reading about violence from the rangers towards indigenous people and mexican people is a hard sell in these times
  • Robert
    January 1, 1970
    Reading a thriller by Jon Land is like getting a visit from an old friend. This book is no exception. Caitlin and company still know how to kick butt without bothering to take names. I usually enjoy the history lesson that Caitlin gets about one of the members of her family. But this time, it felt little forced. In this book, three different people told her the story. But without knowing where the other people left off, they all seemed to know exactly where the story should be picked up. I still Reading a thriller by Jon Land is like getting a visit from an old friend. This book is no exception. Caitlin and company still know how to kick butt without bothering to take names. I usually enjoy the history lesson that Caitlin gets about one of the members of her family. But this time, it felt little forced. In this book, three different people told her the story. But without knowing where the other people left off, they all seemed to know exactly where the story should be picked up. I still say that Mr. Land just needs to write a full on Western novel…
    more
Write a review