In Strong Darkness, Jon Land’s sixth thriller in the Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong series of novels, fifth generation Texas Range Caitlin Strong faces perhaps the most deadly adversaries of her entire career. She must find out what a Chinese billionaire is up to and why he should want to be involved with hurting the son of her boyfriend, Cort Masters. Also, she is on the trail of a twisted serial killer, beginning to wonder if the two cases are related.
As always in Jon Land’s Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong novels, he interweaves the past with the present, tying the two together, and relating a bit of Texas Ranger history along the way. Jon Land is a master at crafting taut and suspenseful novels and with Strong Darkness, he might have topped himself by writing his best novel to date.
In 1883, Caitlin Strong’s great-grandfather, Texas Ranger William Ray Strong, teams up with the unlikely historical personage, Judge Roy Bean. It is an unlikely team up, as Judge Roy Bean is noted for his drinking and he also let go a murderer whose last name was Varney that Strong had captured. Varney killed a Chinese man who had been working on the railroad.
Judge Roy Bean, in Strong Darkness, sets Varney free, saying:
“I’ve researched this matter from the best resources available and have concluded that there ain’t no law in Texas against killing a Chink. So with that in mind, this court finds the defendant not guilty.”
Texas Ranger William Ray Strong is not happy at all with the verdict, as Varney is clearly guilty; however, after Strong gets a promise from Bean that he will prosecute a murderer that has been killing Chinese women from a railroad camp, the duo team up to track down the first serial killer of the Old West. The murderer cuts off the heads of his victims and then stitches them back on, facing the other way, before he violates their dead bodies.
In the present, Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong has traveled to Rhode Island with Cort Masters, where his oldest son, Dylan, attends Brown University on a football scholarship. They travel there because Dylan has been beaten to within an inch of his life and is in a coma at a local hospital.
Both Caitlin and Cort want to seek retribution upon whoever put Dylan in the hospital. They are both surprised when they learn that Dylan was seen with a beautiful Chinese woman, who was in pornographic movies being circulated around the fraternities of the university.
Before the mystery of who beat up Dylan can be solved, Caitlin Strong is called back to Texas because history seems to be repeating itself in a nasty way. Once again, Chinese women are being murdered, and whoever is committing the crimes is following the same method of killing them, cutting off their heads and stitching them on backwards.
Clues point Texas Ranger Strong toward a Chinese high-tech company owned by billionaire Chinese businessman, Li Zhen, that has been awarded a contract to build the nation’s 5G network. Li Zhen is a member of the Chinese Triad, and he has plans to use the technology to bring America, and the world, to its knees.
In Jon Land’s thriller, Strong Darkness, Chinese billionaire Li Zhen has a veritable army at his disposal. In tracking down the serial killer and putting a stop to Li Zhen’s nefarious plans, Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong must try her best to prevent a possible “strong darkness” that will economically devastate the United States. She leaves behind bodies in her wake as she uncovers clues from the past to help her capture a serial killer in the present, and put an end to the maniacal Li Zhen’s, plans of China dominating the United States. Check out the video below to hear author Jon Land speaking about his latest Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong thriller, Strong Darkness!
Written By Douglas Cobb
Jon Land talking about Strong Darkness/YouTube