<i>Date with Malice</i>: Excerpt Date with Malice: Excerpt Julia Chapman The second book in the Samson and Delilah Mystery series. Discount: <i>The Nearest Exit</i> by Olen Steinhauer Discount: The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer Crime HQ Get a digital copy for only $2.99! Review: <i>The Silent Companions</i> by Laura Purcell Review: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell Gabino Iglesias Read Gabino Iglesias's review! Review: <i>Last Ferry Home</i> by Kent Harrington Review: Last Ferry Home by Kent Harrington Kristin Centorcelli Read Kristin Centorcelli's review!
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Showing posts by: Jon Land click to see Jon Land's profile
Dec 2 2017 1:00pm

Jon Land Excerpt: Strong to the Bone

Jon Land

Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong takes on a gang of neo-Nazis in Strong to the Bone, an action-packed novel of the critically acclaimed Caitlin Strong series by Jon Land (available December 5, 2017).

1944: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a triple murder inside a Nazi POW camp in Texas.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself pursuing the killer her father never caught in the most personal case of her career―a conspiracy stretching from that Nazi POW camp to a modern-day neo-Nazi gang.

A sinister movement has emerged from the shadows of history, determined to undermine the American way of life. Its leader, Armand Fisker, has an army at his disposal, a deadly bio-weapon, and a reputation for being unbeatable. But he’s never taken on the likes of Caitlin Strong and her outlaw lover, Cort Wesley Masters.

To prevent an unspeakable cataclysm, Caitlin and Cort Wesley must win a war the world thought was over.

[Read an excerpt from Strong to the Bone...]

Jul 30 2017 10:05am

Jon Land Excerpt: Dark Light: Dawn

Jon Land

Dark Light: Dawn by Jon LandDark Light: Dawn by Jon Land is a heart-pounding supernatural thriller about a deadly, global epidemic and the man who holds the power to either save the world or destroy it (available August 1, 2017).

Since the dawn of time good and evil have challenged the free will of man. Now the time has come for one man to choose for all human kind.

With an uncanny ability to survive any combat situation, Max Younger has built a heroic life for himself as a Navy SEAL. That is, until a rogue rescue operation plunges him back into a past he thought he’d escaped forever.

Waiting for him back home in New York are terrible, long-hidden truths rooted in the tragic death of his father. But the origin of those truths lie even further back than that, and Max finds himself ensnared in a sinister plot involving nothing less than the biblical apocalypse.

The explosive conflagration of events reunites him with the only woman he ever loved: Victoria Tanoury a brilliant infectious disease specialist working for the World Health Organization, who’s on the front lines in a battle to stop the spread of a deadly pestilence threatening the planet. Max’s reunion with Vicky comes amid a combat mission, in which their dual quests merge in a desperate fight for survival against forces of unspeakable evil.

Across the globe, inexplicably diabolic events are rising, sparked by a fearsome plan to visit the End of Days upon civilization in horrific form, as the lines between science and superstition become increasingly blurred. Max finds himself mired in a titanic struggle within his own soul, between love and hate, unsure whether his ultimate fate is to help fight the evil. . . or embrace it in the shadow of the Dawn of a Dark Light.

[Read an excerpt from Dark Light: Dawn...]

Jan 11 2017 11:00am

The Rising: New Excerpt

Heather Graham and Jon Land

The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon LandThe Rising by acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land is a story of action, mystery, and the endurance of young love (available January 17, 2017).

Twenty-four hours. That's all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever.

Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career.

When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it's after him.

Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex's attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.

[Read an excerpt from The Rising...]

Sep 30 2016 1:30pm

The 12 Best Book to Film Adaptations

Read this exclusive guest post from Jon Land, author of Strong Cold Dead, and make sure you're signed in and comment below for a chance to win the latest Caitlin Strong novel, a bookmark, and a beverage coozy!

Since this is Criminal Element, after all, let’s confine our list to thrillers: action, crime, psychological, political, and horror.

[See what made the list!]

Sep 27 2016 10:00am

Strong Cold Dead: New Excerpt

Jon Land

Strong Cold Dead by Jon LandTexas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in Jon Land's Strong Cold Dead, a thriller with heart-stopping action and a high-stakes terrorist plot (Available October 4, 2016).

The terrorist organization ISIS is after a deadly toxin that could be the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. The same toxin holds the potential to eradicate cancer. There is a frantic race to see who can get to it first, even as Caitlin Strong begins to assemble the disparate pieces of a deadly puzzle.

At the center of that puzzle is an Indian reservation where a vengeful tycoon is mining the toxin, disguising his effort as an oil-drilling operation. This is the same reservation where Caitlin’s great-great-grandfather, also a Texas Ranger, once waged a similar battle against the forces of John D. Rockefeller.

In her highest-stakes adventure yet, Caitlin Strong faces off against a host of adversaries that just might include the beautiful Comanche girl with whom the son of her ex-outlaw boyfriend Cort Wesley Masters has fallen in love, along with a mythic monster culled from Native American folklore that the tribe believes has risen to protect its land. The lives of those Caitlin loves most are threatened by the villains she’s pursuing; her own moral code is challenged. The fate of both the country and the state she loves are dangling on the precipice of a strong cold death.



“What ’xactly you make of this, Ranger?”

Texas Ranger Steeldust Jack Strong looked up from the body he was crouched alongside of—or what was left of it. “Well, he’s dead all right.”

The male victim’s suit coat had been shredded, much of the skin beneath it hanging off the bone. He’d worn his holster low on his hip, gunfighter style, and his pearl-handled Samuel Walker Colt was the latest model, updated from the one Jack Strong had used since joining the Texas Rangers after the Civil War.

[Read the full excerpt from Strong Cold Dead...]

Mar 7 2016 1:30pm

Takedown: New Excerpt

Jeff Buck, Jon Land and Lindsay Preston

Takedown: A Small-Town Cop's Battle Against the Hells Angels and the Nation's Biggest Drug Gang by Jeff Buck, with Jon Land and Lindsay Preston, is the harrowing account of one cop's work to uncover a complex chain linking the Hells Angels biker gang to the Russian Mafia in a plot to use Native American tribal land to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs (Available March 8, 2016).

Jeff Buck thought he'd seen it all. Twenty years working undercover in the netherworld of drugs had left him burned out and grateful to assume the quiet job of police chief in the small town of Reminderville, Ohio. That is, until a simple domestic assault case turns out to have links to the murder of a drug runner in upstate New York and a syndicate smuggling billions of dollars in drugs across the U.S.-Canada border.

As Buck reluctantly plunges back into his old world of death and deceit, he uncovers a complex chain linking the Hells Angels to the Russian Mafia in a plot to use Native American tribal land to smuggle their deadly wares into the United States. From grow houses set ablaze in Quebec to the insular St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation, from board rooms and biker wars to the frozen rivers that serve as private turnpikes for the drug gangs, Buck opposes a serpentine criminal enterprise that has every reason to want to end his crusade in violence and bloodshed.

Ultimately, his efforts lead to an unprecedented slew of indictments on both sides of the border and prison terms for even the kingpins, toppling an empire once deemed invincible. Takedown spans the period of December 2007 to June 2009.

[Read an excerpt from Takedown here...]

Oct 13 2015 11:00am

Strong Light of Day: New Excerpt

Jon Land

Strong Light of Day by Jon LandTexas ranger Caitlin Strong is involved in an international plot rooted in secrets from the Cold War in Strong Light of Day, the seventh installment of Jon Land's New York Times bestselling Caitlin Strong series.

Caitlin Strong is a fifth generation Texas Ranger as quick with her wits as she is with her gun. Over the years she's taken on all manner of criminals and miscreants, thwarting the plans of villains to do vast damage to the country and state she loves. But none of that has prepared Caitlin for an investigation that pits her against ruthless billionaire oilman Calum Dane, whose genetically engineered pesticide may have poisoned a large swath of the state.

How that poisoning is connected to the disappearance of thirty high school students from a Houston prep school, including the son of her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters, presents Caitlin with the greatest and most desperate challenge of her career. As if that wasn't enough, she also has to deal with a crazed rancher whose entire herd of cattle has been picked clean to the bone by something science can't explain.

The common denominator between these apparently disparate events is a new and deadly enemy capable of destroying the US economy and killing millions, a foe it will take far more than bullets to bring down. There's yet another player in the deadly game Caitlin finds herself playing: Russian extremists prepared to seize an opportunity to win a war they never stopped fighting.

Caitlin's race to save the United States weaves through the present and the past, confronting her and Cort Wesley with the most powerful and dangerous enemies they've ever faced, human and otherwise. The Cold War hasn't just heated up; it's boiling over under the spill of a strong light only Caitlin can extinguish before it's too late.



Caitlin Strong stopped her SUV at the checkpoint on Route 83 heading toward Crystal City. The sheriff’s deputy approaching her vehicle seemed to recognize her as soon as she slid down her window, well before he could see her Texas Ranger badge. He was an older man, long and lean, with legs crimped inward from too much side-to-side stress on his knees while riding horses.

“You got no call to be here, Ranger,” the deputy said, having clearly been warned to expect her, his light complexion a rosy pink shade from the sun and heat.

[Continue reading Strong Light of Day by Jon Land!]

Oct 8 2015 4:00pm

11 Must-See Thrilling Movie Scenes

Join author Jon Land for his 11 must-see thrilling movie scenes, and after you've read and watched, comment for a chance to win a finished copy of Strong Light of Day, Jon's 7th mystery featuring Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, which is due in stores on October 13, 2015! 

1) True Romance: How can a scene that opens with Christopher Walken deadpanning “I’m the anti-Christ and you got me in a vendetta kind of mood” not be brilliant? But what follows is actually classic, one of a kind stuff. Two great actors going head to head with as drop-dead great dialogue as Quentin Tarantino has ever written, trading barbs until Dennis Hopper goes one up on the man he knows who is going to kill him no matter what. He wins by losing, turning the tables on his tormenter in a scene that feels fresh no matter how many times to watch it. 

[What's next?]

Apr 1 2015 11:30am

Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn: New Excerpt

Jon Land

Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn by Jon Land picks up five years after Michael Tiranno saved Las Vegas, and now he's tasked with bringing down a international human trafficking organization (available April 7, 2015).

Five years have passed since Michael Tiranno saved the city of Las Vegas from a terrorist attack. And now a new enemy has surfaced in Eastern Europe in the form of an all-powerful organization called Black Scorpion. Once a victim of human trafficking himself, the shadowy group's crazed leader, Vladimir Dracu, has become the mastermind behind the scourge's infestation on a global scale. And now he's set his sights on Michael Tiranno for reasons birthed in a painful secret past that have scarred both men.

Already facing a myriad of problems, Michael once more must rise to the challenge of confronting an all-powerful enemy who is exploiting and ravaging innocents all across the globe and has set nothing less than all of America as its new victim. Black Scorpion has also taken the woman Michael loves hostage: Scarlett Swan, a beautiful archaeologist who was following the dangerous trail of the origins of the ancient relic that both defines and empowers Michael, a discovery that could change history and the perception of mankind's very origins.

With the deck and the odds stacked against him, Michael must come to learn and embrace his true destiny in becoming the Tyrant reborn as a dark knight to triumph over ultimate evil and stop the sting of Black Scorpion from undermining all of the United States and plunging Las Vegas into chaos and anarchy.

[Start reading Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn...]

Oct 3 2014 10:00am

Villains in Fact and Fiction

The world changed seismically for thrillers on 9/11.  All of a sudden, the dastardly plots and cunning villains that had been a staple of the genre dating back to Ian Fleming had been outdone by reality. Although both Thomas Harris and Tom Clancy had written books foreshadowing that fateful day, nothing could prepare for us the actual sight of watching the Twin Towers fall. Other factors surely contributed to the genre’s decline in popularity (that was reversed abruptly with the publication of The Da Vinci Code in 2003), but watching what had previously been confined to our imaginations in fiction unfold as fact certainly played a major role. 

Reality, after all, is a tough act to follow.

And now another set of villains of the type normally confined to our imaginations has surfaced in the form of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), a terrorist army whose brutality knows absolutely no bounds and whose appetite for depravity is utterly startling. ISIS and their shadowy leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, encapsulate our worst fears while maintaining the kind of ironic hypocrisy more typical of fictional villains. Al-Baghdadi’s thugs proudly behead American journalists to punish the much-hated West, while al-Baghdadi himself preaches to the faithful wearing a Rolex watch.

So what’s a thriller writer to do? How do we match in fiction what has become the daily lead story in fact?

[How can we stand out and also blend in?]

Aug 2 2013 1:45pm

Bad Boys as Rock Stars

Parody Cover of Rolling StoneSo the latest issue of Rolling Stone arrived in the mail not too long ago.  You know the one I’m talking about—it’s the issue with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing brother, on the cover looking like a rock star because, well, maybe he is.

And he’s not alone.

“Bad boys, bad boys, watcha gonna do, watcha gonna do when they come for you?”

When he wrote that, Bob Marley might well have been thinking of our society’s endless fascination with, and attraction to, bad guys. We turn them into folk heroes, pop culture icons. I was already thinking about this in the wake of the tragic passing of James Gandolfini. His portrayal of Tony Soprano is one for the ages and will be with us forever. Tony will be admired, envied, looked up to and even deified, in spite of the fact that he’s a brutal, two-timing, wife-cheating thug. 

[Why do we (and Carmela) keep forgiving him?]

Jul 15 2012 1:00pm

Strong Vengeance: New Excerpt

Jon Land

Strong Vengeance by Jon LandStrong Vengeance by Jon Land is the fourth Caitlin Strong, Texas Ranger thriller (available July 17, 2012).

1818: In the Gulf waters off the Texas coast, the pirate Jean Lafitte and his partner Jim Bowie launch an attack on the Mother Mary, a slave ship carrying an invaluable treasure.

The Present: Fifth-generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong finds herself investigating the murder of the oil rig crew that had found the long-lost wreckage of the Mother Mary. The crew also uncovered something else beneath the surface of the sea—something connected to a terrorist attack about to be launched by a mad American-born cleric who has recruited an army of homegrown terrorists.

Gulf waters off the coast of Texas, 1821

“Give me our bearings, Mr. Jeffreys,” Alfred Neal, captain of the Mother Mary, asked his first officer.

Jeffreys met Neal’s gaze with his hooded eyes, then once more con­sulted his map in the light shed by a lantern hanging from a pole. “The fog’s waylaid my direction, but  we’re steering on course, Captain.”

The massive four-masted schooner creaked through the murky night, clumsily negotiating the Texas coast’s swampy channels. Low-hanging cypress branches scraped at the multidecked galleon’s sails, as gators darted back up on sodden land to avoid her lumbering menace. The fetid heat and stagnant air left the sweat to soak through the woolen jackets and cotton breeches of the men standing on the bridge, further attracting hungry mosquitoes fat with blood. The buzzing, blood-crazed swarms hung over the deck, thickening as the night wore on, perhaps having summoned more of their hungry brethren from the nearby shores.

“We’d best hope so,” Captain Neal grunted and rotated his spyglass again. But the night yielded nothing through the dense fog other than stagnant water the color of tea from fallen leaves both clinging to the surface and lining the bottom. Besides the gators, packs of swimming nutria, and an occasional night heron, the only signs of life the Mother Mary had encountered since nearing the Texas shores was an Indian paddling an old pirogue carved out of a tree trunk. And that was precisely the point, given the nature of the cargo now contained in the hold be­low. That much Neal had fully expected; it was the passenger who had boarded at the same port that had taken the ship’s captain by surprise.

“This is the right channel, sir,” Jeffreys resumed, returning his map to his belt pouch. “I’m sure of it.”

“You’d better be,” came the voice of that passenger from the other side of the bridge. Both Neal and Jeffreys watched the squat bulbous form of the man who said his name was Quentin Cusp step into the thin light cast by the lantern. “It’ll mark the end of your days on the seas if you’re wrong. Both of you.”

[Read the full excerpt of Strong Vengeance by Jon Land]

Jan 6 2012 10:30am

Whitey Bulger: The Most Notorious Gangster Ever

James Special Agent Bob Fitzpatrick was appointed ASAC (Assistant Special Agent in Charge) of the Boston office of the FBI in late 1980 with a clear mandate: “Kick ass and take names,” according to his superior Roy McKinnon in Washington. And the ass he really needed to kick was that of an Irish gangster named Whitey Bulger. But what Fitzpatrick, one of the most celebrated agents of his time, didn’t know, couldn’t know, was that the adversary he was about to confront was fast becoming the most notorious gangster in all the annals of American crime history. Bigger than Al Capone, bigger than any of the infamous heads of the Five Families in New York, bigger than John Gotti and every other name of criminal legend. Why?

[Yeah, why?]

Jan 3 2012 10:30am

Betrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought To Bring Him Down: New Excerpt

Jon Land

Betrayal by Jon Land and Robert FitzpatrickA poor kid from the slums, Robert Fitzpatrick grew up to become a stellar FBI agent and to challenge the country’s deadliest gangsters. Relentless in his desire to catch, prosecute, and convict Whitey Bulger, Fitzpatrick fought the nation’s most determined cop-gangster battle since Melvin Purvis hunted, confronted, and killed John Dillinger.

In his crusade to bring Bulger to justice, Fitzpatrick faced not only Whitey but also corrupt FBI agents, along with political cronies and enablers from Boston to Washington who, in one way or another, blocked his efforts at every step. Even when Fitzpatrick discovered the very organization to which he had sworn allegiance was his biggest obstacle, the agent continued to pursue Whitey and his gang . . . knowing that they were prepared to murder anyone who got in their way.

South Boston, 1984

A few hours before he was murdered on a raw November night in 1984, John McIntyre thought he’d been invited to a party. At least that’s what drew him to a South Boston house owned by Pat Nee, a top associate of Boston’s Irish crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger.

Two weeks earlier, McIntyre had been aboard a ship called the Ramsland when it sailed into Boston Harbor carrying thirty tons of marijuana that would have netted Whitey somewhere between one and three million dollars. But the cargo was seized, putting a sizable dent in whitey’s pocketbook. And it was seized because McIntyre had told federal authorities about the shipment to keep himself out of jail. Believing his informant status still to be safe and secure, McIntyre agreed to go to the party, figuring he’d be able to strengthen his hand with law enforcement even further. Only when he arrived at the house, Bulger stepped out of the shadows and stuck a machine gun in his gut.

[Read the full excerpt of chapters 1-3 of Betrayal by Jon Land and Robert Fitzpatrick]