Saturday, April 11, 2015


I'm a loyal fan of Jon Land's Caitlin Strong series, in which the descendant of a close-knit family of Texas Rangers shows the guys she can live up to the legend and the skills demanded in modern-day law enforcement, while Land simultaneously reveals details of the long-ago Rangers, as far back as the frontier skirmishes along the Texas/Mexico border. There's a hint of the paranormal in the series, as one of Caitlin Strong's most important defenders has an eerie sense of when she needs him.

BLACK SCORPION is the sequel to The Seven Sins and provides a fast-paced, intent, multi-point-of-view thrill ride that starts with a powerful symbolic item that belongs to Solomon, son of the great King David, in northern Israel more than three thousand years ago. Then the narrative races among various times and locations, gradually revealing a pattern of competition for that power, among Jewish descendants and those who want them crushed -- yes, even a Nazi element here. But there's Julius Caesar as well, and a fascinating strand invoking the Gypsies of northern Europe, too. Can you resist Romania? Transylvania??

Tying it all together is Michael Tiranno, who five years earlier saved the entire city of Las Vegas from a terrorist attack and now owns the palatial Seven Sins resort there. His expansion plans suddenly suffer attack from a group with ties to European terrorists, the Black Scorpion forces. And the archaeologist who has become his beloved, Scarlett Swan, falls into the hands of those enemies. Michael's efforts to gain her freedom require painful alliances, violent action, and incisive decision making.

I won't add more, since this is probably enough for most readers to recognize the type of international and multiple-timeline thriller Land provides in this series (which by the way is headed for both Hollywood and DC Comics plus graphic novels). But I should probably add a "warning label": If you devour Land's new "Tyrant Reborn" thriller, you may become an addict to the series!

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