Jon Land, Lee Child, Andrew Grant Wonderful Heroes — Tough Guys and a Tough Gal

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Looks like I won’t be going to work for at least the next 2 months. Just discovered that one of Grit-Lit’s all time favorite authors, Jon “The Legend” Land, has written 28 novels. TWENTY-EIGHT! And I’ve only read 9 of ‘em.

That’s 19 books I’ve gotta read RIGHT NOW! And no, you can’t have my copies when I’m done. They are going to their place of honor on my bookshelf next to the other superlative tough guy novels by John D. MacDonald, Randy Wayne White, Robert Parker, James W. Hall, Andrew Vachss, Stephen Hunter, Ian Fleming, David Morrell …
Sleep was all ready pretty much back burnered anyway.

What with the NBA play-offs–40 Games In 40 Nights–which of our country’s enemies came up with that? Forty days of nonstop basketball could bring the American economy to its knees faster than a whole new round of sub-prime loans.
But wait, there’s more good news–more up-all-night books including an outstanding new Jack Reacher by Lee Child and a great new tough guy novel by Andrew Grant. Plus the 19 new-to-me-books by Jon Land.

Strong enough to Die

“Strong Enough To Die” by Jon Land. (Forge $24.95, 352 pages. Hard cover.)

Land’s books are so good, his last book “The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending” is on its way to being a blockbuster. Movie guys from “Terminator” snapped up the rights.
Now don’t get all mad when you discover that technically “Strong Enough” is not a tough guy book. That’s only because on special occasions, Land’s hero can look mighty good in a dress. His new star, Caitlin Strong, is the first female Texas Ranger. So, she’s tough. Plenty tough.
“You ever shot anybody before today?” he asked her.
“Kill anybody?”
“Yup. Not that I’m proud of it.”
“You proud of what you did today?”
“Figured.” Dylan sighed, leaning back with arms crossed. “Why?”
“’Cause I was too late to save your mom.”

“Strong Enough” is a wonderful complex story that touches on several real life issues: torture recovery centers, border control, high tech computer weapons … In “Strong Enough To Die” Land has create a complex and wildly enjoyable thriller.

gone tomorow

“Gone Tomorrow” Lee Child. (Delacorte Press $27, 421 pages. Hard cover.)
“Gone Tomorrow” is Reacher at his finest. For those of you who don’t know, Reacher is the classic lone wolf. He travels light. Sleeps where he can. And when he needs a weapon he usually just steals it from a crook.
In “Gone” Reacher sees a New York subway suicide. And he knows that something is not right. BAM! He’s in the middle of a mess that both the feds and Al-Queda want to keep secret.

Reacher winds up being hunted by both sides. Which, typical Reacher, is exactly what he wants.

Even by Andrew Grant

“Even” by Andrew Grant. (Minotaur Books $24.95, 352 pages. Hard cover.)
The first in what Grit-Lit hopes will be an ongoing series. David Trevellyan has survived the byzantine world of British Royal Navy Intelligence. He’s worked undercover, on both sides of the line. Sucked into a huge international conspiracy (details of which you will not learn here because we are not going to spoil the excellent plot) Trevellyan is in trouble and suddenly his superiors forget he exists.
Here are the opening lines.
“When I saw the body, my first thought was to just keep on walking. This one had nothing to do with me. There was no logical reason to get involved.”
“I managed two more steps. If the alleyway had been a little cleaner, there’s a chance I might have kept on going. Or if the guy had been left with a little more dignity, the scene might not have bothered me so much. But the way he’d been discarded—dumped like a piece of garbage—I couldn’t let it pass.”
“Even” starts out great and keeps getting better and better.
So here’s how I see the future—it’s gonna be two+ months of maximum strength No-Doze and lots of missed work. I’m gonna need some new excuses for calling in sick.

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