Just a couple of reviews from Harriet. Two really good books.
STRONG ENOUGH TO DIE
Forge, May 2009, $24.95
A fifth generation Texas Ranger, Caitlin Strong knows law enforcement is part of her DNA makeup. That is until the border incident near El Paso in 2004 left Caitlin with doubts about law enforcement after her sixty year old partner and family friend Charlie Weeks died and she barely made it in a nasty shootout with mules. She was so traumatized by the episode she becomes the first member of her proud family to quit.
Five years later, Caitlin remains haunted by the border ambush. She feels guilt for letting down her family and for simply surviving. Finally seeking closure, she investigates the incident that destroyed her life. The first stunner she uncovers is her spouse Peter Goodwin is alive living in a special hospital that treats only torture victims. She soon begins to uncover a sinister diabolical plot involving super-patriot Harmon Delladonne and his security firm MacArthur-Rain. When her efforts place her on Delladonne’s endangered species list, she turns to her former enemy, outlaw Cort Wesley Masters as Delladonne has ties to Mexican Mafiosi chief Emiliato Valdez Garza.
This is a strong thriller that cleverly ties the Global War on Terrorism in the Middle East with the human, drugs, and weapons smuggling back and forth between the USA and Mexico. The story line is fast-paced and Caitlin makes a remarkable heroine. Although the climax seems to have too many purposes besides tying up this tale like setting up a sequel, fans will enjoy Jon Land who always provides an entertaining thriller.
Enemies and Allies
Kevin J. Anderson
Morrow, May 5 2009, $26.99
In the 1950s, the Red Menace could be defined two ways: Communists or Martians. In that Cold War environs that could turn hot in a nanosecond, Clark Kent works as a reporter for the Daily Planet while patrolling the skies as his alter-ego Superman.
He meets wealthy playboy Bruce Wayne when he interviews Gotham’s finest for a feature article; Bruce uses a James Bond like image to hide his identity of crime fighting Caped Crusader Batman.
Soon after meeting one another as civilians, Superman encounters Batman when both are working on the same threat from within the country. Brilliant sociopath scientist Lex Luther has collaborated with Soviet General Anatoly Ceridov to take over the world by setting up a nuclear confrontation followed by his firm selling the counter defense, which will enable him to do what Ike would one day fear, control the military-industrial complex.
This is an over the top of Wayne Manor and the Daily Planet tale that is fun as Kevin J. Anderson cleverly brings 1950s symbols together including silver age superheroes struggling with a schizoid culture of post war optimism and cold war pessimism. The support cast is comic book thin even the icons like Alfred and Miss Lane while the two heroes travel the world to prevent Luther’s scheme from succeeding. Silver Age fans especially will enjoy the seemingly zillionth “first” team up of Superman and Batman as they seem one step behind diabolically brilliant super villain Lex.