“Strong Justice” by Jon Land and “Blue-Eyed Devil” by Robert Parker

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There’s a lot to talk about this month. Gritty new movies. The “A Team,” “Karate Kid,” and –Wowzer–a new movie, “Salt,” with Angelina Jolie running around in her undies. At least that’s what your typical red blooded American male is hoping for. Though none of them will tell you that. Just like hockey fans aren’t there for the fights, NASCAR fans don’t DVR the races for the wrecks and teenage boys don’t read Playboy for the pictures.

As much as I’m a fan of these reruns, retreads and Angelina Jolie wearing darn near anything, I can’t understand why Hollywood isn’t all over the best female heroine thriller series I’ve ever read.

Hey movie dudes! Stop searching the comic book stores and yard sales trying to find another super hero franchise to resuscitate. None of them will sell as many tickets as a trilogy based on Jon Land’s Caitlin Strong books.

“Strong Justice” by Jon Land (Macmillan Books, $24.99, 352 pages, http://us.macmillan.com/author/jonland).

“Justice” is the second in Land’s series about Caitlin Strong a fifth generation Texas Ranger. She’s tough as nails. A great shot. And pretty, too. The entire series is great. First came “Strong Enough To Die” and in 2011, I’ll be standing in line to buy “Strong At The Break” the day it comes out.

There’s never been a female action hero who could carry a thriller series. I’ve always wonder why there isn’t an estrogen driven, sometimes skirt wearing female competitor to James Bond, Jack Reacher, Mike Hammer, Spenser … Well ladies and gentlemen, now there is and her name is Caitlin Strong.

So, Mr. Producer/Director man, this is the book that should be on your bedside table, the one you should be pitching and the movie you should be making with Angelina Jolie or Halle Berry, and me – as the bad guy, of course.

“Blue-Eyed Devil” by Robert Parker (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, $25.95, 276 pages, www.penguin.com).

Sadly, Parker recently passed away, but not before adding yet another wonderful story to his incredible string. Best known for his series about Boston P I, Spenser, Parker has another winner here.

In “Blue-Eyed,” Parker’s hero, Virgil Cole, brings the old west to life, complete with gun fighters, slimy politicos, women of ill-repute, saloons, cowboys and Indians. Those of you old enough to remember and enjoy classic westerns like “Have Gun Will Travel,”  “Gunsmoke,” and “Bonanza” will have a pleasant evening or two with “Blue-Eyed Devil.”

With over 50 books to his credit, Parker is one of the most prolific authors of all time. He’s the master of crisp dialog. Here’s an example. The town’s new Sheriff, Callico, has just offered Virgil a job.

“Pay you fifty a month,” Callico said.

“Nope,” Virgil said.

“Make you a sergeant,” Callico said.


“You speakin’ for Hitch, too?” Callico said.


“Why the *&^% not?” Callico said.

Virgil looked at me.

“You think you’re important,” I said to Callico. “Virgil don’t think anybody’s important. Bad match.”

“That right, Cole?” Callico said.

“’Tis,” Virgil said.

If you’ve got a hankerin’ for hand tooled boots, big belt buckles and tough hombres, you’ll enjoy “Blue-Eyed.”

And now a breaking news story for thriller readers, wanna be thriller writers and thriller groupies of both sexes. ThrillerFest 2010 is the place to meet your favorite authors and learn what it takes to write a book. Heck you might even learn secret facts about your favorite hero, secrets that even Grit-Lit doesn’t know.

ThrillerFest is the annual celebration of all things thriller. It is like summer camp where thriller readers, fans, writers and industry professionals come together to learn and share amazing experiences.

AT ThrillerFest you can meet world famous authors like 2009 ThrillerMaster, David Morrell and this year’s ThrillerMaster, Ken Follett. Everything happens July 6-11 in New York City. www.ThrillerFest.com.

Other attendees famous attendees will include Jon Land, local author and ThrillerFest Vice President, Kathleen Antrim, Harlan Coben, Clive Cussler, Brad Meltzer and of course, me.

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