Strong to the Bone: Jon Land
This novel brings to light many important issues that young girls face today when going to a bar to have a drink with friends or a date. Caitlin Strong innocently went to a bar and met a guy who called himself Frank. Thinking that she could trust him she accepts a drink from him in a paper cup. Told it was just fruit punch the only punch was the impact it had on her as she wakes up not knowing what happened to her and finally realizing she was raped. In the present Caitlin and her boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters find themselves dealing with a group of rowdy men and Caitlin winds up finding a young girl that looked like she was attacked and wrongly shoots the guy she’s with thinking he was the rapist. But, although she took the heat from DW her captain, he realizes that there is much more to what happened and he’s about to find out. They don’t call her Hurricane for nothing and I can assure you that both Jose and Maria pale in comparison to Caitlin and they were Category 4 and 5 Hurricanes.
In the past we meet Earl Strong her grandfather that is called in to investigate the death of three men who were killed by their bunk mate and had their throats slit but why? J. Edgar Hoover was the Director of the FBI and wanted no part of Earl Strong. But, if you think Caitlin is a force to be reckoned with so were he and even more. Caitlin speaks with the young girl in question and learns something odd about the rapist. Flashing back to her own incident and sending off DNA samples to the lab, the ME found that the DNA from her rape was the same as the victim’s in the present. Was it the same person? Why does the young girl think it was a girl and not a guy? Caitlin will deal with this and much more as Jones who is part of Homeland Security wants her off the case and their interactions are brutal and her responses you can only imagine what she says and ignores whatever he requests.
In the past Earl is once again asked to investigate the murder of a man whose death matches that of the three men killed on their bunks. How does this relate to the present author Jon Land will connect the past and the present and definitely tie it all in.
Dylan Masters is a young, smart hot head like his father, Cort, and working as a mechanic for a Spanish man who employs illegals, does not worry him until a group of hot heads who dislike the illegals come after them and he as his father would takes it out on them and tries to protect his fellow workers. But, the man whose son started it all is Ryan Fisker and his father Armand is dangerous as you will learn when you hear him threaten his son’s life and explains why he is expendable like his mother who he killed. Fisker is the epitome of evil and his goal is to teach his son to be his carbon copy or suffer his cruelties. In the past Earl strong investigates the triple murder inside a Nazi POW camp in Texas. While Caitlin a Texas Ranger like Earl, finds herself pursuing the killer her father never caught in a case that as you will read becomes quite personal and she will stop at nothing to find the man the defiled her. As we learn more about the Nazi POW camp to a modern day neo-Nazi gang that Dylan comes up against. Someone is determined to bring it all back and Armand Fisker who has a total arsenal and army at his beckon call and creating a deadly bio-weapon and he never backs down. But, what happens when he and Cort Wesley Masters and Caitlin take him on?
When Ryan Fisker and his friends go after Dylan the end result will shock his father and having to deal with Caitlin and Cort Wesley should teach these boys a serious lesson. But, it’s not over yet. Armand is guilty of abuse of his employee who is helping him to create his wonder drug and even worse that he’s done to debase his own son. His act of repenting is probably temporary and his anger with the world enormous.
Things get out of control when Ryan and his friends come to attack or kill Dylan but the tables are turned and the end result causes Dylan to react in a way the no one expected but saving his father’s life was important to him but the way he did it would play in his mind for a long time.
Flashing back to 1944 and Earl Strong and Captain Druce who are bent on finding out more about the escapee from one of the many camps in Texas, why he managed to kill three inmates and why when checking records in the present there was no record of Gunther Haut. Coming into the present Caitlin meets with a waitress and realizes that man working there might be the one who raped her and Kelly Ann Beasley and what she does could get her more than suspended as a Ranger. Guilt, remorse, retribution, hate, war crimes, and someone creating a drug in the present that would literally kill anyone that received an organ transplant but who and why?
Every step of the way in the past J. Edgar Hoover interferes with Earl’s investigations wanting him out of his way but the final result is startling as Caitlin and Dr. Wheatley talk about this drug, the fact that Redfern Pharmaceuticals is producing it but how does this link to Armand Fisker and why is he hoping that production increases? Drugs, arms and much more turning the poor into the rich just why hasn’t anyone stopped him?
Caitlin went to visit Frank Doyle the man she realized was behind her rape but even more he was involved with Fisker and Stoll in creating this drug to kill those who had organ transplants. But, there is much more before all is said and done as we experience what happens when Earl Strong learns the true identity of Gunther Haut and his link to the present and the deadly man who is behind another neo-Nazi movement in the present.
Once again author Jon Land’s research is impeccable as we relive the moments of terror in the faces of those that dared to cross Earl Strong and the final realization of J. Edgar Hoover that backing off might be his salvation to ending what was right in front of him.
But, Dylan Masters is having a difficult time and his brother had to be brought home from school, Paz was on the job protecting them all but Fisker is not done yet and wants revenge for what Dylan did to his son but in his father’s defense.
Paz and Cort Wesley had their own plan devised while Caitlin learned the name of the man who raped her and dealt with him in her own way. Two explosive endings that will shock readers as author Jon Land delivers justice in his own way through Cort Wesley and Caitlin. In the past we learn just how Earl deals with the escape of Gunther Haut, who he really was and how he ties into the present. Betrayals, lies, conspiracies, revenge, a plot to change the course of medical science and six countries that bought into the sadistic power of one man who convinced them that what he planned with Axiol his wonder drug would make them all rich and what it would deliver would like Hitler create their own special perfect race and rid the world of the inferior.
Boone Masters, Cort Wesley’s father spent time in prison with Fisker’s father who started the Aryan Brotherhood from his jail cell. Things got dangerous and out of hand and murders happen in prison leaving Armand to take over and create his own network. Cruelties do not faze him and mistreatments of anyone justified in his mind as the issues of child abuse, verbal slurs, drug wars, money laundering, revenge, retribution, guilt and self recrimination and WWII link to Hitler all come to light within this strong and powerful novel. While Caitlin deals with her own demons and shooting Willie Arble the man who had a cell phone in his hand when she approached Kelly Ann Beasley trying to help her. Some secrets remain in tact and some families hidden away for their own safety as Jones from Homeland and Caitlin face off in many verbal battles each seeming to end in a stalemate. What will the final verdicts be: Will Fisker get revenge on Cort Wesley? Will Caitlin finally get closure about the man who defiled her and Kelly? Will Dylan realize that what happened just happened and not his fault? What about this horrific drug will it go on the market? These and many other questions will be answered when you the reader realize when you read this complex multi-plot novel but you do not want to learn the real definition of STRONG TO THE BONE!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine