With a serial killer loose whose signature resembles that of a man her great-grandfather hunted, Caitlin Strong finds herself distracted when her boyfriend’s son is brutally attacked. While one investigation leads Caitlin into the bloody history of Texas, the other leads her into its future, as the Chinese company behind the U.S.’s new 5G network falls into Caitlin’s crosshairs. As history and homicide collide, can Caitlin and her allies solve murders more than a century apart and prevent a catastrophe?
Strong Darkness is the sixth Caitlin Strong novel, and it’s arguably the most ambitious one to date. Combining Land’s patented quick scenes and riveting action with the rich tapestry of Texas history has spawned an enjoyable thriller with style to burn. Land’s curious knack for adding a touch of historical pathos to what is essentially an action movie in novel form would be clumsy in lesser hands, but proves to be suitable seasoning to a spicy dish.
While Caitlin and Cort Wesley are immensely capable, Land is careful to ensure they’re not omniscient or unstoppable – a mistake too many thriller authors seem to make as their series prosper – often leaving the reader one or two steps ahead of the heroes, which simply makes you root for them more. The only world-breaking aspect of the books continues to be the character Guillermo Paz, whose visions and prowess with killing are so ridiculous that he defies even Hollywood-level luck. But honestly, the character is so damn charming and funny that the reader simply suspends disbelief a little bit further for him.
Considering the scope of both this novel and his previous effort Strong Rain Falling – each of which spanned continents and decades, shedding light on the dark underbelly of Mexico, China, and the U.S. government – it’s hard to imagine Land topping this paired two-set. But I suspect he’s more than up to the challenge.
|Page Count||368 pages|
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|Category||Mystery, Crime, Thriller|