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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A story with Texas hot sauce
While I was trying to earn an honest dollar, I spent 10 years in South Texas. I lived in a small town of 2300 south of San Antonio. While I was there I met two Texas Rangers. I can still see them with the big grey Stetson and a .45 on their belt with their star on the other side. I got to know them and I have to say that Mr. Land is dead on with his ficticous Texas...
Published on April 20, 2009 by Lost In Kansas

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars. Action Packed Read
I'll start with what I really liked about this book...

There is plenty of action. It starts out with a gunfight and that isn't the last in the book. Plenty of guns and blood in this one. It moves along fairly quick from one big scene to the next.

The author obviously did plenty of research on the Texas Rangers and did an excellent job describing...
Published on May 16, 2009 by Laura B


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A story with Texas hot sauce, April 20, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While I was trying to earn an honest dollar, I spent 10 years in South Texas. I lived in a small town of 2300 south of San Antonio. While I was there I met two Texas Rangers. I can still see them with the big grey Stetson and a .45 on their belt with their star on the other side. I got to know them and I have to say that Mr. Land is dead on with his ficticous Texas Rangers, right down to the way they talk. In Texas, the two most feared men are the game wardens and the Texas Rangers. The city of San Antonio has played a big part in my life and here too Mr. Land is spot on with his discriptions of the city.

Now the first thing you have to get use to is that this book is not one of Oprah's book of the month winners. No, this is a lazy afternoon read. A book you can pick up and read and then set down go about your business and pick it up later type of book. If you accept this, then you have terrific read.

Let's do this the easy way:
You have one Ranger who is a woman. Who has emotional issues and baggage. Whoa! Some people say that this character could easily be a man. NO WAY! The lady ranger has a profound affect on the two bad guys that a man could not have. Besides the sex scenes would be really weird.

Next you have a Texas Outlaw who is a killer,but wants to change.

You have a crazed killer, Paz, who reads Kierkegaard and also is trying to find himself.

Finally you have a very very bad man with no redeeming qualities.

Let's see, yea that is about right. The plot starts out good and then turns into way out sifi with the use of lasers as murder weapons.

The strong point of this book is the action. Here the moto is simple: shoot straight and kill as many of the f___kers as possible. All in the name of frontier justice. The ending battle is writen for the movie that this book will make. Talk about over the top! The "good" guys can't miss and the bad guys can't hit the side of a barn. But what the hell.. it is entertaining.

The weak area is the plot and "oh this just happened" and this "just sort of appeared" and "out of the blue this happened." Well you get the point.
Look this is a fun book and it is not boring and the atmosphere is great.

Time out! There is one point that I have to complain about and those of you who may have read some of my reviews know I know my guns. In the first chapter the lady ranger, about 5'8" and around 150-165 lbs, puts a wounded male ranger,about 6' and 180-190 lbs., on her back. The wound ranger is shooting his pistol around her ear, she is stumbling toward and SUV with a 12 gauge shotgun in ONE hand and a Mini 14 rifle in her other hand AND she is shooting both of these at the same time. NO WAY JOSE! I tried it and you can't do it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loud and strong, this book goes at it hard, April 18, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
William Shatner once commented that the results of his directorial efforts in Star Trek V were "loud". One could easily say the same thing about Jon Land's "Strong Enough to Die."

"Strong Enough To Die" comes at you with a gunfight on the first page, has lots of gunfights throughout and ends up with guns and explosions as well.

Does it work?

Well, yeah.

This is not fine literature, mind you. It is loud, lock and load, over-the-top Texas Ranger action. There's some attempts at trying to tie in Bush administration anti-terrorist policies and discussions about living with the aftermath of violence but those get overwhelmed by the gunfire. But, that's okay because too much thinking about the internal incongruities of the text on these matters just spoils the fun.

It's the famed Texas Rangers and a bad guy who might be a good guy against the Mexican Mafia and an evil American super-corporation. Don't think too much, just enjoy the show.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-Written, Enjoyable Thriller, May 23, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The accusations of those who have rated this story poorly are accurate, there are a large number of highly improbable scenes and coincidences that line up just so. Still, the story's good, dare I say strong enough to stand against naysayers? It read pretty smoothly, though the uncorrected proof still had a few typos they should iron out. This is by far one of the better books I've gotten out of the vine program.

Caitlin Strong's a likable character, appropriately named. Some will probably complain she could have been a man in most instances, and that's just because most people associate things like gun-toting and shooting as male things. (Right or wrong, it happens.) The book reads like the whole thing could have been one long, complicated video game. There's plenty of opportunities for the hero and heroine to get into and out of scraps, sometimes with words and sometimes with guns.

The strong language use is kept to a minimum, which maximizes its effect. I get tired of books that drop curse words almost as frequently as the word "and" becuase it loses all impact. Select use gives the words more meaning. Dialogue's decent and believable; the characters' voice have subtle but detectable differences. By far, the most noteworthy writing tool the author has in his arsenal is a keen sense of transitions. They are well done, so that the story weaves in and out like a tapestry of words.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars. Action Packed Read, May 16, 2009
By 
Laura B (San Jose, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'll start with what I really liked about this book...

There is plenty of action. It starts out with a gunfight and that isn't the last in the book. Plenty of guns and blood in this one. It moves along fairly quick from one big scene to the next.

The author obviously did plenty of research on the Texas Rangers and did an excellent job describing them and Caitlin's desire to be one and follow in the footsteps of her father, grandfather, and so on...They were all well described and easy to picture.

The plot was well-developed and thought out. All the little details were intertwined together. All the different characters and their separate stories came together well. The topic is timely and an interesting concept.

What I didn't like about this book (why it isn't 5 stars):

Cort Wesley was a good character, but his dialogue drove me crazy. The way he talked made him sound like an idiot. I am assuming the author changed the spelling of words to make them more phonetic to how the character would say them, but they looked stupid. I lived in Texas for 1/3 of my life (and spent a lot of time outside of that there also as well as having brothers who still live there) and have never heard anyone say partner the way it was written in the book (podner). It started to bug me so much that I would skim over the word and change the dialogue in my head.

I got a little confused on the time lines...it seemed like one character would be in Huntsville and then in San Antonio and then in Juarez in the matter of one day. That is a lot of driving. There weren't any actual dates in the book, so I can't say exactly if it was off, but it made me wonder and started to distract me from the story. I've done the drive across Texas on more than one occasion and I know that is one LONG drive. I wouldn't be doing anything but sleeping after getting to my destination.

My big pet peeve (please note this is my peeve and may not bother others)--The author obviously did research on the Texas Rangers, but failed miserably when it comes to fertility treatments. He had glaring inaccuracies when it comes to treatment plans and how they work. I've been through them and it really ticks me off when authors write about it, but don't even come close to reality. I almost stopped reading the book right there (about 50 pages from the end) because I was so irritated. This is a pet peeve of mine, so this is just me...if you don't know about it, it won't bother you.

This book was written like it would be a movie. I could see this being easily developed into a screenplay and doing very well as a movie. It had all the elements of a great action-packed movie. The characters were developed just enough and the plot was well developed--the topic was also very timely.

One more note of something that confused me...at one point characters were discussing technology and they said something like, "by 2009 or 2010." I was a little lost at that since this is 2009 and the book is being published now. Maybe it was an error since this was an uncorrected ARC? Just wondering.

So, if you like action-packed books that read like a good blockbuster movie, this would be the book for you.

If you are from Texas (or know it well) and are bothered by small details (like me), this might not be the book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Amazing Thriller, January 25, 2012
Strong Enough to Die written by Jon Land is an amazing thriller comprised of suspense and lots of action, especially gunfights. The characters of Caitlin Strong and Cort Wesley Majors are well-rounded, very likeable, and yet, complex. Caitlin is a 5th generation Texas Ranger who is both beautiful and kick-ass tough as nails. There are wonderful reviews that outlines the story so I won't repeat them. I will say that if you enjoy a fast-paced, action book with lots of gunfighting, this is the book. Brilliant storyline. I loved it so much that I read it twice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Texas Rangers in Terrific Techno Thriller!, May 19, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A "western" flavor with great historical information and action from the Texas Rangers is merged within an exciting techno thriller, in Jon Land's Strong Enough To Die. In my opinion, it's a must-read out this month!

Caitlin Strong, a fifth-generation Ranger, has had one too many close calls--the last one resulting in the death of a dear friend and partner. Leaving the Rangers, she goes back to school to get her degree for counseling and gets a job at the Survivor Center for Victims of Torture. Although the director is unsure about her working with victims, when Caitlin is brought in to see one of her potential patients, and recognizes him, she is pulled into an experience to be faced like no other she has ever known and assures the director that she will work hard to handle the job in order to be able to care for the man.

As she begins her new job, she learns that Cort Wesley Masters, the man who had been the leader at the ambush where her partner was killed, has been released due to a new test for the DNA that had proved him not guilty, and he was coming after her for revenge. They meet when he finds out where she is working and goes to the Survivor Center, only to find that the facility is under attack and Caitlin is the only staff member left alive and she is fighting to save her patient. In a split-second decision, Cort forgets his original plan and works along with Caitlin to eliminate the attackers!

Reclaiming her Ranger's badge is one part of Caitlin's first acts after this massacre. As Caitlin discovers that Cort was set up and wants to find out who falsely accused him, she also learns that, by protecting her patient, who others are trying to kidnap, she, Cort, and his two children, are now all under attack. Cort and Caitlin are forced into an uneasy alliance as they discover more and more about everything happening.

Caitlin and Cort are terrific characters and I hope they will be in future books; however, one minor character, Guillermo Paz, stole a lead role for me--a mercenary/hit man, Paz visits various churches and confesses his actions to the dismay of local priests. His latest job has brought him from South America by the "head man" and is told to get rid of all witnesses. However, when he finds Caitlin, protecting the sons of Cort Wesley, he leaves without killing them--and later revisits a local church. Paz has found his role in life!

Strong Enough To Die by Jon Land is refreshingly different as the role of Texas Rangers is blended with hi-tech murder. One of the best I've read!

G. A. Bixler
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 1/2 Stars -- Filled With Action But Not Much Else!, April 9, 2009
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As can be read in the product description above, Strong Enough To Die is a story about Caitlin Strong, a fifth-generation Texas Ranger, who is on quest for redemption that takes her to a dark world ranging from Washington to Behrain and to Mexico. If you are in the mood for a book laden with action that you can lose yourself in while on a long plane ride or during a relaxing weekend at the beach, than Jon Land's Strong Enough To Die will most likely satisfy your craving. For me, however, my early pleasure in reading this book eventually turned to dissapointment as I became increasingly bothered by: (a) having to deal with a series of coincidences that stretched my credulity to the breaking point; (b) one-dimensional characters that seemed more like action/adventure comic book heroes than real-world people, and (c) Land's use of unrealistic prose that I haven't read outside of in "grade B" pulp fiction. Further, Land's main character, Texas Ranger, Caitlin Strong, is written in such a way that it is almost easy to forget that she is a woman. As another reviewer pointed out, "I got the feeling that without major changes to the plot, her character could have been a guy." As such, I (as well as the other reviewer) had difficulty in finding Caitlin Strong to be a believable character and thus stopped caring much about what happens to her. Overall, I wouldn't say that you should NOT read Strong Enough To Die; only that you understand its limitations before deciding to do so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some of the best characterization I have seen in a thriller, August 19, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
What do you do when you come to a trauma center and discover your deceased husband is really alive? If you're Caitlin Strong, former Texas Ranger now trauma therapist, you don't tell your boss you're related to the patient and you try to find out what happened to him. When you find out it was Americans who tortured him to the point of breakage, you're going after them and bring them to justice.

What do you do when you've been imprisoned falsely by a Texas Ranger, a female no less, and you finally are free after five years? If you're Cort Wayne Masters, you're going after the woman and kill her.

Masters arrives just in time to save Strong and her husband from a MIB style death squad. Their interests mesh when they realize the same company may have tortured the former husband and set up Masters for false imprisonment.

This big-enough-for-Texas pairing is going up against MacArthur Rains, a corporation led by Houston based Harmon "Harm" Delladone, who's setting out to grab a huge chunk of US power. While the story is somewhat formulaic, the characterization raises this spiced-up thriller to a cut above. Jon Land's brave to write a protagonist of the opposite sex in a very non-traditional role. Caitlin's a great heroine, but who really pulls you into this story are the two bad guys--Cort Wayne and Guillermo Paz, a Venezuelan terrorist. I've seen a lot of elements of this same story before, but Land's definitely a USDA prime cut above the crowd.

Rebecca Kyle, August 2009
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong woman, strong read, July 17, 2009
By 
Paula (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
Strong Enough to Die is an amazing thriller filled with action, suspense, and intrigue. The end of each chapter leaves you wanting more; a real page turner. Jon Land's characters are three-dimensional, complex and believable. Caitlin Strong is a dynamo of a Texas Ranger, someone you would want on your side when the stuff hits the fan. Just picture a protective mother with a 12-gauge shotgun who isn't going to take any prisoners. Cort Wesley scared the hell out of me. He's the kind of guy you hope you never have to meet, but if you did, you hope he's on your side of the fight. Guillermo Paz was a nice surprise, a man whose inner thoughts are filled with twists and turns, backed up by philosophy and religion. Harmon Delladonne is another character that scares me, but is also believable, given our paranoia after 9/11. I enjoyed the tidbits of Texas Rangers history throughout the book. I'm looking forward to the next Strong installment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A difficult book to like, May 26, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The book opens with a shootout between Texas Rangers, Charlie Weeks and Caitlin Strong, fighting off drug traffickers using an underground tunnel leading between Texas desert and the Mexican border. The book at once has immediacy to it, drawing a reader in. But at the same time, there is a fake sense of danger - you know the character named "Strong" isn't going to be killed off on the first page--and it tries to squeeze too much information in it. When Charlie says, "Your dad be proud of you, your granddad too, first woman Ranger and a damn fine one to boot. I tell you that lately?" I was wondering if maybe he shouldn't be watching where the shots were being fired from, not telling the reader Caitlin's background. Putting the character in this amount of danger before the reader has any interest or sympathy for the character seems to be a risky move. (Even Ludlum let us see Bourne as a vulnerable man before he was in danger.)

Interestingly, the most sympathetic character is the outlaw Cort Wesley Masters. It turns out, he was framed. Another killer, Guillermo Paz, is also fascinating. Every trip he makes to the church to talk to a priest is worth reading twice to make sure you don't miss any of his literary allusions, especially when he is talking about Kierkegaard and his ideas of religion. Very interesting character.

This is a difficult book to like. It had a good plot. There were interesting snippets about the Texas Rangers at the beginning of each chapter. That was nice. In the end though, as a reader, I felt no real investment in the outcome of the story nor sympathy for the main character. I could have put this book down any time and forgotten it. Easily.
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Strong Enough to Die: A Caitlin Strong Novel
Strong Enough to Die: A Caitlin Strong Novel by Jon Land (Hardcover - May 12, 2009)
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