Forge, Jul 17 2012, $24.99
In 1820 off the Texas Gulf Coast, Captain Neal of the Mother Mary slave ship carries valuable cargo when they run aground in one of the swampy channels. Due to his cousin Mother Mary First Mate Mr. Jeffreys, Captain Jean Lafitte and Jim Bowe lead their pirates to take control of the Mother Mary. They take the slaves onto the Goelette la Dilidente. The pirates next steal a pouch from a “guest” Quentin Cusp who warns them his employer will come for them before sinking the vessel.
In the present, an oil rig crew finds the lost Mother Mary and apparently something else; but they are slaughtered. Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong investigates the massacre with help from her lover Cort Wesley Masters, who was recently freed from a Mexican prison. As the pair seeks a motive for the mass murders, they are unaware that Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, assumed dead in a drone attack, killed the crew to keep his deep water plot secret until he deploys a scheme to kill several hundred thousand Americans.
The latest Caitlin Strong thriller (see Strong at the Break) is a terrific action-packed tale starring a courageous fifth generation Texas Ranger. The good (the brave heroine and her loyal partner) fight the bad (unscrupulous business moguls and corrupt officials – these are not oxymoron) and the ugly (Muslim and homegrown terrorists, and deadly sexual predators). Fast-paced to include fascinating Ranger history and mythos interwoven into the super complex storyline, fans will relish this strong entry.