Strong Light of Day
A Caitlin Strong Novel #7
Forge, October 2015
Author Jon Land, in the seventh adventure featuring Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, once more takes the reader on a breathless thrill ride of a story. As is his method, Land ties Caitlin’s present day case to an operation her father began years ago. Strong Light of Day has its roots in the 1980s–the historical aspect more recent than most of the series, and the enemy, aside from a home-grown psychopath who just might scare you to death, are Russian.
Caitlin is drawn into the story when thirty high school students disappear while on a camping trip. One of the students is Luke Masters, the son of her lover, Cort Wesley Masters. At the same time, not far from the campers last position, a herd of cattle die, with only bones left to tell the tale.
Where are the kids? What happened to the cattle? Why are there dead fields? And why is billionaire oilman Calum Dane and his conglomerate buying the land up? This is the mystery Caitlin has to solve, and she’d better do it quickly because when the Russians join Dane and close in, time is about to run out.
This is a Caitlin Strong novel. Expect a mile-a-minute pace and a high body count. Not that the bad guys don’t deserve it. Expect Caitlin to get a lot of help from a recurring cast of characters, including Cort Wesley Masters, Captain Depper, and especially, Colonel Paz, a seemingly indestructible giant of a man who, through a sort of supernatural tie, has appointed himself her guardian. And thank goodness for that!
With the historical ties played down in this outing, I appreciate the short excerpts from Texas Ranger archives and some of the best researched non-fiction that Land always includes at the front of the chapters.
Reviewed by Carol Crigger, August 2015.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.
Lord of the Wings
A Meg Langslow Mystery #19
Minotaur Books, August 2015
It’s Halloween in Caerphilly. Meg, who heads the Goblin Patrol, AKA the Visitor Relations and Police Liaison Patrol, is mildly puzzled to hear that Dr. Smoot’s Haunted House has been burgled. What is there to steal? She’s more upset when a fake body part turns up in her grandfather’s alligator exhibit during her six-year-old twins’ school visit. But when two Goblin Patrollers find a real body, she goes into full investigative mode. Is the body connected to her brother Rob’s latest computer game release? Or to one of the “treasures” in Dr. Smoot’s local history museum? Or to one of the many, many costumed tourists who have flocked into Caerphilly’s town-wide Halloween bash?
Strange occurrences abound, stranger friends and relatives dive in to help out (or not), and Meg copes with everything with her usual humor and competence. Not even a horde of LARPers and the Rancid Dreads, a truly awful rock band, can get her down.
I’m so glad I got to review this book. Despite other glowing reviews, I’d avoided the series because I have a thing about overbearing families. I hate seeing a heroine pushed around. Boy, was I wrong. Meg’s wildly eccentric family is a delight–to read about, anyway, and seeing Meg deal with their antics is enormously entertaining. I rushed to the library for Murder with Peacocks and devoured it. I’m just about done with We’ll Always Have Parrots now, and I have the next two right by my comfy-chair, ready to go. Thank you, Donna Andrews, for writing such cheerful, funny, fascinating books.
I highly recommend Lord of the Wings.
Reviewed by Marilyn Nulman, September 2015.