Strong Rain Falling: Jon Land
Strong Rain or a heavy downpour can create a flash flood, overflow highways and destroy property. Falling with a strong intensity in excess of 0.30 inches per hour great damage can be done. The intensity of some situations, the fear of death and the result can create the same effect as the strongest rainstorm, the most devastating earthquake or even tornado. Imagine a group of killers whose prime target is boys. Imagine finding ways to butcher these innocent children because of something that happened in the past and this person wants to settle it in the present.
Imagine a small child walking out of the desert alone without anyone to protect him. Picture an environment without any vegetation, a town that has been destroyed and a life that filled with drug dealers, cartels, smugglers, death and human trafficking. One young man would be the link to what will spill over into the present. As he walks out and finds himself dealing with two Texas Rangers, his silence is overwhelming, his unkempt physical appearance, and the fear in his eyes as he forms one word on his lips that would start a chain of events that will take readers into the present and then back to where it all began in 1919 when this young man meets William Ray and Earl strong. Danger permeates the air and the boy’s awareness of the events that transpired are quite vivid as he relates the events to both men. Hoping to stop these dangerous men would be coming up against people that not only wanted money but were prepared to go up against anyone that would place any barriers to stop them. Whether Rangers or anyone from any branch of law enforcement these men dared to defy them and cross any road in order to get what they wanted.
Willow Creek in the past becomes the same in the present as we hear the voice of Ana Callas Guajardo as he tries to soothe the fears of five young children, taken from their school and hopefully leading them to safety. What does she show them and what causes them fear? What are esos Demonios and why are they real? The screams are deafening. What is her real purpose will terrify more than these innocent boys and the end result will make you cringe, shiver, shake and bring tears to your eyes as the vivid descriptions that will follow will create images within your mind that will make you wonder just what kind of demons there are in the world that would take the lives of the innocent who cannot defend themselves.
Caitlin Strong is at Brown University College along with Dylan Torres who is like a son to her spending the day together talking about his future. Learning about his thoughts, finding out what he plans to do Caitlin is not happy that he wants to become a member of a frat and tries to explain the dangers. While walking with him, the town Providence, Rhode Island two figures catch her eye but when her focus is returned to them they are gone only to reappear when she and Dylan are about to go to dinner at Paragon. But, the events that follow would change everything as Caitlin’s skills as a Texas Ranger and her own radar save more than just Dylan. Caitlin Strong is related to William and Earl Strong and her abilities are quite prominent and her morals quite high.
Cort Masters is a feared man who was released from a Mexican prison before his sentence was completed. Cort has two sons Dylan and Luke. He and Luke are spending the day at Great Flags when something happens that would put them both in danger.
When Caitlin, his colleague Cort Masters, and Cort’s two sons, survive a gun battle with what seems to be a new generation of smugglers, the Rangers gather information that is tied to the past. Although this time the smugglers are not after law enforcement, they are targeting Cort Masters’ boys. Five men would try and take them both out but Cort with some help from a close friend proves that strength is not always in numbers but in skill. Men killed, Cort questioned, Caitlin being questioned and the pieces are still not fitting together as to who was behind the hit but the reason seems obvious to many as Caitlin takes a trip back in time yet in the present to witness the crime scene left behind of our five murdered boys. What does the date April 24, 1919 have to do with the same date in the present? What happened in Willow Creek in 1919 that seems to be being repeated in the present? The author allows readers to understand that what the Texas Rangers endured back then has resurfaced in a more violent and potent way now.
Getting to know Ana Guarjardo you begin to understand why the President of Mexico is more than on guard, how he got elected and the corruption in his government. The drug traffic is high, the cartels rule and most of all her hate for the United States sounds more violent and powerful than the venom of the most poisonous snake bite. She is out to destroy our country, her hate and true feelings are more than expressed and the end result for this President does not sound too positive. Decisions made, threats meted out and no stale of checkmates in sight. Reenter Caitlin and D.W. Pepper her superior as she relates what she witnessed in Willow Creek today, sees the photos of one young teen killed and the link to the drug cartels becomes more evident. Author Jon Land’s research is extensive as he introduces readers to one man named Esteban Cantu that did exist, ran the drug trade into Mexico since 1916 and did it with the blessing of the Mexican President. When the past becomes the present and a country’s fate is on the line what will these rangers do to stop esos Demonios this time? The author includes within pages 105-106 some history about the Mexican drug trade.
Issues from the past are related including information about the Mexican Revolution and how it played its part. When the drug cartel’s leaders come face to face with the Rangers just what will happen? So, what are the boys the primary targets? Why kill five? What message were they sending to the one man that was trying to stop them? Opium was smuggled into Mexico and provided great revenue to fund the revolution.
Revenge is the name of someone’s game added in with a variety of other resourceful games created by a team this person enlisted to do more than just wage a war against the U.S. As the pieces of the puzzle and the past start to filter into the present and the clouds are lifted and the dusty trail becomes a clear path something happens that will change more than just the playing field. Guillermo Paz devoted to Caitlin Strong yet at times on opposite sites. A man named Jones who seems to be at the center of this investigation and bent on sending more than just obstacles in her path. As Paz sits in college classes and often puts the professors more than on the spot for their lack of knowledge related to what is being taught, there are some who would do anything to not only take him down but Caitlin too. Opium, marijuana and more grown on many farms and those involved seemed to be able to skirt around the law. Esteban Cantu did most certainly run the first major drug smuggling ring in Mexico with the help of many others. What part does the man working in Homeland Security play and why was his son killed along with the other four. Just where did this begin and why involve Cort Masters? Sandoval and several men who run drug cartels lost their sons at the hand of one person but why? Just how far will this plot go and what happens when another boy is kidnapped?
Caitlin’s grandfather and great-grandfather fought back in 1919 along with Emiliano Zapata taking out all of the early drug lords. But, when you read what happened and you learn about the betrayals, who was responsible and the crimes committed you won’t believe just who was involved and why. Throughout the novel the author shares with us information and history about the Texas Rangers as short prefaces before each chapter almost hinting about what to expect next. Ana Callas Guajardo as we get to know her better she hopes you will understand why she is so bent on getting her revenge, what her connection to Cort Masters is and her primary goal. When face to face with Caitlin which one will finally stand down?
As we hear the voices of the Strong Raiders in 1919 and we meet Pancho Villa a Mexican revolutionary leader who according to history “ advocated for the poor and wanted agrarian reform, learn that he was “ a killer, bandit, revolutionary leader, and many remember him as a folk hero.” Pancho Villa was also responsible for a raid on Columbus, New Mexico in 1916, which was the first attack on U.S. soil since 1812”. http://history1900s.about.com/cs/panchovilla/p/panchovilla.htm
What part did he play with his men in working with the Strongs you have to read for yourself. Who betrayed Villa, what happens when William Ray faces off with them? What is their primary goal and what really happened in 1919 that reset these events to spiral out of control in the present?
Now the remnants of that powerful criminal lineage are out for vengeance against Zapata’s remaining relatives. An ending so powerful, a plan so diabolical that Caitlin and Cort Masters risk it all to save more than just the U.S. from what Ana has planned. When face to face and truths, lies, betrays and disloyalties are revealed who will come out the victor and who will be plunged into darkness? Strong Rain Falling: Do you want to be there when the storm hits? Author Jon Land really raises the bar with this time with strong characters that handle difficult situations in a way that is not only quite resourceful, unique and quite powerful. What’s next for these two if they survive and what about the spirits that guide them? Will they continue to hover over them? Cort/Caitlin: Just when will they get there?
Fran Lewis: Reviewer