"We don’t get to choose the evil we fight,” she told him. “You might even say it chooses us."

This is the ninth novel in Land’s series about female Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong. The book’s plot seems to have almost as many tributaries as the Rio Grande—and they all run red because this is a tale of multiple bloodlines. There’s Caitlin’s clan running backward to her father and grandfather who were both Texas Rangers. There’s her longtime beau plus his two sons, his father, and a ghostly apparition who drinks root beer. There’s a badass villain with a father who was worse, a grandfather who may have been worst of all, and a son who is trying but failing to live up to the family’s exceptional capacity for evil.

These family trees make up a forest of conflicts that intertwine mostly through different tales from different decades. The first details the escape of a German from one of the many camps in Texas that housed Axis prisoners in World War II. The second revolves around a rape that happens today but bears striking similarities to a sexual assault Caitlin suffered eighteen years previously. Then both of those story streams flow into a narrative of empire building, drug running, revenge, and retribution. There’s certainly no lack of intricacy for readers who get a kick out of putting puzzle pieces together.

Land knows the Texas terrain well—both the landmarks his characters frequent and the language they speak. His dialogue bites with authenticity whether it’s a crusty old Ranger putting J. Edgar Hoover in his place or a modern female law officer trading taunts with a sinister sleazebag. If you like your shootouts and suspense spiced with wit and wiliness, chances are you’ll find this Lone Star literary stew quite a tasty dish.

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