Critical Mass

( 19 )

Overview

What would we do if a nuclear weapon was detonated in Washington, and the US government suddenly disappeared? What would we do if a terrorist organization announced that it had concealed nuclear weapons in ever major western city and then demanded that the entire planet embrace its twisted brand of Muslin fundamentalism?

In Critcal Mass, nuclear interdiction expert James Deutsh and his tormented Muslim wife, Nabila, struggle to stop an impending nuclear attack on an American ...

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Critical Mass

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Overview

What would we do if a nuclear weapon was detonated in Washington, and the US government suddenly disappeared? What would we do if a terrorist organization announced that it had concealed nuclear weapons in ever major western city and then demanded that the entire planet embrace its twisted brand of Muslin fundamentalism?

In Critcal Mass, nuclear interdiction expert James Deutsh and his tormented Muslim wife, Nabila, struggle to stop an impending nuclear attack on an American city. Along the way, they delve deep into the hidden world of nuclear terrorism and the experts who strive to contain it, and get a compelling look at the titanic battle within Islam over its own future—fundamentalist and rejecting, or compassionate and life-embracing?

Like Whitley Strieber's classics Warday and The Coming Global Superstorm, Critical Mass is torn straight from the dark pages of a very dangerous and very possible future.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this overheated thriller about nuclear terrorism from bestseller Strieber (2012: The War for Souls), Jim Deutsch, a CIA contract employee whose expertise is counterproliferation, has the world's fate in his hands as he races to foil the Islamic master-terrorist known as the Madhi. When Deutsch learns that some plutonium has been smuggled over the U.S. border from Mexico, he begins to suspect that America's elaborate homeland security apparatus has been compromised. His valiant efforts, alas, aren't enough to prevent the destruction of Las Vegas. As U.S. president William Fitzgerald ponders whether to launch devastating counterattacks aimed at much of the Muslim world, the tension rises, but the impact is undercut by some uneven prose ("She looked back at him as if from another dimension, her gaze resplendent with the unquenchable hope of youth, her mother's proud lips, determined, supremely confident that her dad was the great man she believed him to be"). (Feb.)

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From the Publisher
"Whitley Strieber's Critical Mass is one hell of a book—a frighteningly plausible conspiracy-thriller that is so real it sometimes feels like an expose. Nuclear killers, lovers on the run, all-knowing, omnipresent listening and seeing devices - Critical Mass conjures up a world that is terrifying in its technological plausibility - if not probability."—Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of Blasphemy

"Nothing less than a certifiable page-turner. As I was reading it, I kept seeing the story unfolding on the big screen, just like The Day After Tomorrow. The threat of a nuclear strike against the U.S. is very real and very chilling, as are the kinds of people Strieber has conjured up in this really exciting yarn."—David Hagberg, USA Today bestselling author of Dance with the Dragon

"Engrossing . . . A first rate exercise in literary paranoia."—Publisher's Weekly on The Grays

"[A] truly spooky sci-fi tale."—People on The Grays

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765322531
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/17/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 305,037
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Whitley Strieber

WHITLEY STRIEBER is the bestselling author of more than 25 books, including the legendary Warday, Nature’s End, and Superstorm, the basis of the movie “The Day After Tomorrow.” His most recent books, The Grays and 2012: the War for Souls, are both being made into films.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 14, 2010

    An Interesting Take on a Modern-Day Plausibility

    I would consider Whitley Strieber rather bold for taking on a such a heavily dramatic scenario as he does in Critical Mass. The book ripples with intensity vis-a-vis politics and religion, those two no-no topics for day-to-day conversations. Even though this is a fictional work, the state of international affairs is quite real, and consequently, created a heaviness in my heart and mind as I read the book. The situation played out in Critical Mass is plausible to me, and I think that's why I read the whole thing with a voracious appetite. That, and I couldn't help but picture Harrison Ford as the book's main character-- a character who, I believe, closely resembles Ford's Jack Ryan. Needless to say, the pace and action are intense, and I'm glad to have had Striber give the reader the perspectives of all the many players in the game, not just American government official and operatives but also other world leaders, the terrorists, and the Average Joe. If you're ready for a strong dose of heavy drama and globe-spanning intelligence operations, then this Thriller is a read for you.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Whitley Strieber provides an exciting thriller

    Contractor Jim Deutsch works for the CIA as a NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) expert whose prime specialty is nukes though he has been involved in preventing the sale or development of the other weapons of mass destruction. He learns that Islamic terrorist Madhi has obtained weapons graded plutonium that he has smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico and concludes homeland security has failed to protect the border. Mahdi announces he has nukes planted throughout the western United States.<BR/><BR/>To prove his assertion, he nukes Las Vegas. A stunned President William Fitzgerald considers nuking the Muslim world back into the stone age, globalized tension rises as the crisis seems out of control with Middle East governments considering their options and Mahdi ready to destroy another city if his demands for a Muslim fundamentalist world, Mahdi style is not met.<BR/><BR/>CRITICAL MASS is a fascinating look at efforts to counter the flow of nuclear weapons around the globe. The story line is action-packed with dedicated Jim and his Muslim wife struggling to prevent further tragedy from happening. Although the language turns oddly poetic at crisis moments which jars the reader, Whitley Strieber provides an exciting thriller based on the very plausible concept of nukes ending up in the hands of a fanatic.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

    Predictble fare

    This was an only OK book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2009

    Not credible

    Critical Mass by Whitley Strieber is not a credible story.
    It is impossible to introduce a nuclear weapon on US soil because of NEST, the Nuclear Emergency Search Team. The difficulty in smuggling a nuclear weapon or nuclear components into the United States was researched while I wrote my novel The Cruise, ISBN 9781438914718, thru Author House under the pen name Edouard DesLauriers. The Cruise is a novel about nuclear terrorism on a cruise ship.
    The technologies used by NEST would unmask any nuclear material brought into the United States in very quick order. A lot of research went into The Cruise to include some cloaking methods the terrorists used which, frankly, I don't think would work against NEST capabilities. But even my cloaking methods were based on science, and a good fiction story must have solid roots in fact.
    Critical Mass is on very shaky ground based on what NEST can do. It protects the United States against a nuclear attack with classified overflights monitoring the United States 24/7. Satellite surveillance is also included.
    Without NEST Critical Mass is a good read; but with the existing technologies used by NEST, Critical Mass falls short.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It was very fast

    It's hard to me to say... I really liked most of the book (i will not give away much) but there were things I thought were really stupid. I felt toward the end a little impatient.... but overall it held my attention.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Did not put it down until I finished the last page. An entertaining read!

    Possible scenario but almost a stretch. Good entertainment.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    Plausible Page Turner

    Both my wife and I were grabbed by this story. I was up a couple of late nights because I was so hooked on the story. It is similar to other terrorist themes but well put together and gripping. We can only hope it never happens.

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  • Posted February 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Kyrie Eleison

    There is a blurb on the cover of Critical Mass by Douglas Preston, whose book Blasphemy I liked so much. When he tells me that I am holding in my hands "a frighteningly plausible conspiracy thriller" it gets my attention, so I bought the book. What I got was a little different, or so I think.
    Whitley Streiber has a grand idea for a thriller, with nukes being hidden in large cities and the world scared out of its mind. It's Muslims v. Christians again, but this book does not read like a classic thriller. It's no page turner. Rather, Streiber takes the time to put some intelligence of the brain kind in the story, so he often interrupts the thrill to explain this or that on behalf of the character, or the situation. Well, I can't fault that. I found the book to be more interesting than thrilling, and, even in the last 30 pages I had no trouble putting the book down to do something else. But it is a good book, worthy of buying.

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    Posted August 20, 2010

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