June 8 – Happy Birthday, Sara Paretsky, author and creator of the award-winning V I Warshawski detective novels. Paretsky was born on this date in 1947.
Oh, and on this date in 1948, a not-famous-except-to-her-family-and-friends writer was born to James and Katherine Duly in St. Louis, Missouri — that would be yours truly. Happy birthday to me!
Reading well written thrillers is one of my guilty pleasures and favorite escapes. I love getting swept away by serpentine plots and skillfully formed characters. Last year I was introduced to Jon Land’s writing when I read and reviewed THE SEVEN SINS: THE TYRANT ASCENDING. Since then I’ve come to enjoy Land’s writing style.
The central characters in STRONG ENOUGH TO DIE, Land’s latest suspense novel, are Caitlin Strong, a damaged Texas Ranger seeking redemption, and Cort Wesley Masters, an outlaw exonerated of the murder conviction of Caitlin’s partner, who is seeking revenge. Another notable and intriguing character is an assassin ironically named Guillermo Paz.
The story takes place in border towns in Texas, board rooms in Washington, D.C, marketplaces in Bahrain, slums in Venezuela and crime-plagued cities in Mexico. Beyond the fast-paced action and complex characters, the novel presents a message of mercy, understanding and redemption.
What I really like about Land’s novels is the way he subtly nudges the reader to ponder larger questions about human behavior. His latest novel broaches free will and the influence of parents, especially fathers, on shaping the lives of their children.
STRONG ENOUGH TO DIE is an inventive thriller with memorable characters, surprising plot twists and fast-paced action, but it also gets you think while enjoying the ride. Donna Volkenannt