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Critical Reaction: a novel
     

Critical Reaction: a novel

4.2 16
by Todd M. Johnson
 

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When a Warning Siren Screams in the Desert Night,
the Worst Has Happened

After turning out plutonium for the Cold War, the shuttered Hanford Nuclear Facility's poisoned buildings may be a bigger risk than ever. The men who guard the facility from sabotage or monitor its buildings are told the dangers are under control. But then the worst happens--a

Overview

When a Warning Siren Screams in the Desert Night,
the Worst Has Happened

After turning out plutonium for the Cold War, the shuttered Hanford Nuclear Facility's poisoned buildings may be a bigger risk than ever. The men who guard the facility from sabotage or monitor its buildings are told the dangers are under control. But then the worst happens--a thunderous explosion in the dead of night.

Kieran Mullaney survived the blast, but when threats and silence meet his attempts to discover what really happened, he reconnects with an old friend--inexperienced lawyer Emily Hart. Convinced Hanford is hiding something, they also realize their case is sunk without more help.

Emily's estranged father, Ryan, has the courtroom experience they need, but he's grown jaded and weary of the profession. Still, it's a chance to rebuild ties to Emily, and the deeper he digs, the stranger--and more dangerous--the case gets.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781441261502
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/19/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
235,987
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Todd M. Johnson has practiced law for over 30 years, specializing as a trial lawyer. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, he has also served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong. He lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and daughter. Learn more at www.authortoddjohnson.com.
Todd M. Johnson has practiced as an attorney for over 30 years, specializing as a trial lawyer. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, he also taught for two years as adjunct professor of International Law and served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong. He lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and daughter. Visit his website at www.authortoddjohnson.com.

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Critical Reaction 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very good read. Great characters and plot. I would compare this book to some of the better known legel thrillers. I would have liked the ending to have been a little more tidy. Still a very good book. ...mc
nanamckenzie More than 1 year ago
Edge of my seat. Didn't want to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CRITICAL REACTION BY : TODD M. JOHNSON WHEN A WARNING SIREN (FINALLY) SCREAMS IN THE DESERT NIGHT, THE WORST HAS HAPPENED. Atfer turning out plutonium for the cold war, the shuttered Hanford Nuclear Facility's poisoned buildings may be a bigger risk than ever. the men who guard the facility from sabatage or monitor its buildings are told the dangers are under control. But are they really? Then the worst happens - a thunderous explosion in the dead of night. Kieran Mullaney survived the blast, but when threats and silence meet his attemps to discover what really happened, he reconnects with an old friend - inexperienced lawyer Emily Hart. Convinced Hanford is hiding something, they also realize the case is sunk without more help. Emily's estranged father, Ryan, has the courtroom experience they need, but he's grown jaded and weary of the profession. Still, it's a chance to rebuild ties to Emily, and the deeper he digs, the stranger - and more dangerous - the case gets. This is the first of Todd M. Johnson's books I've ever read and also the first legal thriller I've read but I didn't really like it. Most of the book was boring, I think it was because I never really connected with the characters. It was told more from the perspective of Emily's father than Kieran or Emily and I couldn't identify with him very much. I wish they would've been more suspense, and more development to the romance. There wasn't much to the spiritual aspect either, other than the mention of praying. One thing I did like in the book was a quote from Emily's mother, she said "never sue a teacher, or a farmer. and only take on the fights truly worth fighting," maybe someone who likes lawyer stuff etc would enjoy this book. But I just couldn't seem to get into it. Book has been provided courtesy of Bethany House a division of Baker
rkokes More than 1 year ago
Critical Reaction was written by Todd M. Johnson and takes place in a remote section of Washington State which houses a shutdown nuclear facility run by Covington Nuclear. One night, an explosion rocks the facility.  Soon after, a few of the guards begin experiencing health issues, but when they search for answers, all they get is the runaround from Covington.  Desperate for answers, one guard, Kieran, decides to sue the company-just to find out what he has been exposed to.  It isn’t easy to find an empathetic lawyer in a company-run town like Hanford though, and just a few months before the trial his lawyer backs out.  Desperate for help, Kieran reaches out to an old college friend turned fledgling lawyer-Emily.  She agrees to take the case, but knows that she needs more resources and support than she has available.  She reluctantly approaches her estranged father-a burnt out lawyer looking to close down his well-established practice and quit law for good after the death of his wife (Emily’s mother.)  He agrees to help finance the case for Emily-but only so that he can spend more time with her.  He believes the case to be un-winnable, but the more time he spends reviewing the evidence, the more inconsistencies he finds.  Maybe there is something to Kieran’s claims after all.  What really did happen that night at Covington Nuclear? My Thoughts: I previously reviewed Todd M. Johnson’s book A Deposit Slip, which was just OK (I thought it really dragged out in the middle.)  This book, however, although similar in the fact that there was an estranged family situation and a seemingly hopeless case, was MUCH better.  The action continued throughout the book (no lags), and I was rooting for the characters to discover the truth the whole time.  This book had good suspense, drama, action, and I wasn’t sure what would happen until the very end-the makings of a good thriller.  It will be going on my shelf as a keeper, and I thank Bethany House for the complimentary copy of this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this book free from Bethany House. This book is a great book! If you are looking for a book that keeps your attention and wanting to read then this should be read! It is a longer book but well worth the time it takes to finish it! You never know what is going to happens to Kieran and his old friend Emily! The first part of the book will seem a bit boring but keep reading will get better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
11/28/2013 Review CRITICAL REACTION By: Todd Johnson Kieran Mullaney is one of the people that guarded the Hanford Nuclear Facility. They are told that danger is under control. That is until one quite night---a thunderous explosion erupted during a silent night in the Desert and caused a horse to take off like a blot with it's rider hanging on for dear life. Kieran survived the blast--- he wants to find the cause and what really happened but someone doesn't want anything discovered so silence and threats are all he is getting-- he finds an old friend, a lawyer inexperienced Emily Hart, but they need more help who? Emily's estranged Father Ryan has experience in the courtroom. Will he help his daughter or will Emily and Kieran do it without her father's help and experience? Will her father come through for them or is the fact that he has grown weary of the profession going to get in the way? will this help them build their love for each other and start a new life as Father and daughter? What's God's plans in all of this will we see it played out? I received this book from Bethany House for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review just an honest one. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own and no one else's. I think you'll enjoy this book. So go grab it and see what happens to Emily, her father and Kieran. HAPPY READING!!!!!!!!!!! 4 1/2 Stars ISBN 978-0-7642-1015-0
LisetteRue More than 1 year ago
Things are not always as they appear. Kieran Mullaney survived a blast at the defunct Hanford Nuclear Reservation. In its days of operation, Hanford Nuclear was used for plutonium production. Why would a place that’s supposed to be shut down rock from explosions? Kieran was on the “dark side” of Lab Building 5 (a.k.a. LB5) when it happened and is now concerned about the amount of radiation he may have been exposed to. He’s tried to get answers, only to be ignored. He turns to college friend and inexperienced lawyer Emily Hart after his own lawyer backs out on him. Emily knows she’s in over her head on the case. Her dad has the courtroom experience their team needs, but they’re not close. Hanford is hiding something. Something very big and very dangerous. These characters all want to find the truth of what’s going on, but their searching for answers doesn’t go unnoticed. If they keep searching, will their lives be in danger from more than potential radiation poisoning? I don’t read a lot of legal thrillers and was pleasantly surprised by the quick pace of Johnson’s writing and the winding plot. There is legal jargon to give this legal thriller credence, but not so much that your brain goes on information-overload. “Critical Reaction” is smart, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well-written legal thriller. -- Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are expressly my own.
UpstateNYReader More than 1 year ago
Written 15 years in the future, this would be an historical novel.  But being written in the present, it stands as a warning to what is possible if access to the very real Hanford Nuclear Reservation is abused.    The first chapter made me a bit leery of the novel that was being developed.  But the book ended up being a legal thriller parallel to those written by John Grisham, et al.  The explosions in Lab Building 5 rocked the Eastern hills of Washington State - registering on seismographs as far away as Seatlle.  But, according to the Covington Nuclear Corporation it was a minor mishap - with no real dangerous consequences.  Their scientific reports all seemed to indicate that it was so.  They, however, made no mention of the missing security guard or the radiation warning that had been issued, or the gunshot heard on that fateful night.   How were Emily and Ryan Hart, the father daughter team (almost, anyhow) that had been handed the case weeks before it went to trial,  to handle the highly paid attorneys representing Covington Nuclear and its employees before a judge that had his back pockets being filled with the profits of Covington Nuclear.  They could not do so without some legal magic, some illegal searches, and putting their lives on the line on more than one occasion.  The result is a finely tuned, well-written, legal thriller that will hold the reader’s attention - especially after getting through the opening chapter.   Both the courtroom drama and the action in and out of town would not let this reader put the book down.  With a free day ahead, I kept reading till nearly 4:00 AM in order to reach the books end.   The book, as written, was not disappointing in the least.  However, being published by a Christian publisher, Bethany House, I found it surprising that there were no direct or implicit spiritual lessons in the book.  I am still uncertain whether this was a good or bad thing.  There was nothing in the story that would offend the Christian reader, but there was also nothing in the book that would draw the Christian reader into the story that would not also appeal to the secular reader.   This does not prevent the book from getting a five-star review from this reviewer. _____________ This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone
BasingstoneBook More than 1 year ago
We all know about the Fukushima disaster following the tsunami and how it clearly shows how dangerous the nuclear industry can be. Now go back a few decades and imagine the mess left by the Cold War and it's race to have weapon superiority. Covington Nuclear is charged with clear up of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in north west of USA, the site of US Defence Department's plutonium production facility. One of the staff on site Kieran Mullaney believes he has been overexposed to radiation and resorts to litigation for the truth. At the last minute he has to find a replacement lawyer and calls on his old college friend Emily Hart to help. The author has done an excellent job, in explaining nuclear physics part very clearly and in simple terms, allowing you to concentrate on the thrilling story as it unfolds. Emily must try and mend her relationship with her father, if she is to succeed and win the battle against the corporate giant and uncover the truth of Kieran's exposure. As the story is told familiar problems arise in the shape of greed and corruption. This is Todd Johnson's second novel with the legal profession as his subject matter however, the court room scenes have been minimised but they do add greatly to overall effect of the book. Overall I think this is an excellent thriller. I will be looking out for his first book and adding to my reading list.
TheParisCarter More than 1 year ago
After an explosion at Hanford Nuclear Facility, security guard Kieran Mullaney survives the blast and goes on to build a court case against the company to fully understand if they are holding back any secretes about the chemicals he was exposed to. He needs help if he’s ever going to win the case, so he goes to recently law graduate and old friend Emily Hart. Emily, having very little experience in a court room, goes to her father Ryan who is a long term lawyer to get to the bottom of the secrets that happened during the explosions. The last time I read a legal thriller (or anything close to one) was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and I hated every second of the slow rising climax, not to mention my English teacher playing the dull audio track to accompany to novel. Todd M. Johnson’s legal thriller Critical Reaction pace is fast and action packed like you would think of any other thriller. It mixes fear, action, and mystery together well into a single novel. The characters are wonderful each having amazing back story that adds to their depth and believability.  On one side of the novel you have the thriller, where you have the fast pace scenes filled with action and scenes leaving you with questions. The thriller side of the novel thrives the plot of the novel forward leaving the reader with on the edge of their seats, bed, chair, or wherever you’re reading at.  On the other side of the novel you have all of the sub plots that interconnect through head swapping from character to charter every few chapters. This is the side of novel where you see the characters start to gain their depth and fell more realistic, realistic to the point where you feel as if the characters are real and you can feel them.  Critical Reaction, is another wonderful novel from Todd M. Johnson, who has captured fans young and old with his legal thrillers. I recommend this novel to anyone who loves legal thrillers, fans of Johnson’s previous novel Deposit Slip, and anybody interested in reading this novel. This novel will not be for everyone since some people find reading a novel set around building a legal case to take to court boring.
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
Attention, Hollywood . . . what an action film this would make! This legal thriller keeps the reader taking deep breathes while flipping pages. Short chapters keep the pace. I'm so glad it is a work of fiction, but even so, it could be true! (shudder) The characters are believable. A father and daughter's strained relationship is nicely woven into the plot. This alone would make the book a worthwhile read. My favorite character is Poppy Martin, a blue collar family man who experiences the explosion. I enjoyed the courtroom scenes. The author is an attorney and knows how to bring courtroom drama to life. I noticed one small error on page 331, the recused judge's name is used. However, with such a compelling story, most readers will not let it hinder their reading. Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Bethany House for my copy.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Kieran Mullaney wasn't even supposed to be working at LB5 but with the shortage of staff recently, he was one of two employees that were assigned clean up in the Hanford Nuclear Facility. As long as the radiation sensors remained green, the environment was considered clean. When walking past a door that seemed to register some abnormal heat levels, Kieran pushed past the security doors to investigate. He found the the containers inside the room were literally on the verge of exploding and he had just enough time to warn his partner. Now racing against time and the sensors that were now changing to red indicating a radiation leak was spreading fast. If only he could get out in time. Thankfully Kieran survived the nuclear blast but not without side effects. Plagued with chronic headaches and deep violent coughs every couple of days. They seem to build up. Yet it seems that Hanford Nuclear Facility is harboring more secrets than what Kieran has been told. Being told he wasn't exposed to any radiation despite what he saw just before the explosion with the radiation sensors, he has no choice but to sue Covington Nuclear which operates the Hanford Nuclear Facility. He doesn't want what happened to his father to be the same outcome for him. Only when his attorney pulls out at the last moment, Kieran contacts Emily Hart, an old friend of his who has recently practiced law. It's really her father that offers his only hope but lately Ryan has more on his mind than practicing law. He's struggling to find a connection with his daughter Emily, now since losing his wife. He only hopes that despite the odds stacked against him of winning this case with Emily, that they can find a way to heal the rift that has only grown between them. It seems however that Hanford may be truly hiding evidence that would prove Kieran's case but until they can find the right witnesses and evidence that is literally disappearing before their eyes at every bend, Hanford may in fact win. I received Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are strictly my own. The beginning of the novel is a bit confusing and I found myself struggling to get my bearings to continue. Having LOVED Todd's previous novel, The Deposit Slip, I was hoping it was just a rough beginning. I am glad I dug deep and persevered. There are a few storylines that open the book and once those are sorted out, you start rolling right along with the mystery and intrigue Todd was going for. This conveys the scary details you have to consider after the recent nuclear power plant meltdown in Japan recently. But once again Todd puts a unique spin on this one. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and look forward to more novels like this one. A must read for fans of John Grisham and James Patterson.
LVandercook More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. The plot was intriguing and kept you wondering what was going to happen next from start to finish. The story starts with Kieran working in an old plutonium facility when the regular workers are gone for training. There is an explosion with a big cover-up. Kieran works with his old college friend, Emily, and her father to find out what really happened on that night. The author did a great job with this novel, it was hard to put down. I read it in two days.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Perhaps this would be enjoyed by teens?
VicG More than 1 year ago
Todd M. Johnson in her new book, “Critical Reaction” published by Bethany House Publishers takes us into the life of Kieran Mullaney. From the Back Cover:  When a Warning Siren Screams in the Desert Night, the Worst Has Happened After turning out plutonium for the Cold War, the shuttered Hanford Nuclear Facility’s poisoned buildings may be a bigger risk than ever. The men who guard the facility from sabotage or monitor its buildings are told the dangers are under control. But then the worst happens–a thunderous explosion in the dead of night. Kieran Mullaney survived the blast, but when threats and silence meet his attempts to discover what really happened, he reconnects with an old friend–inexperienced lawyer Emily Hart. Convinced Hanford is hiding something, they also realize their case is sunk without more help. Emily’s estranged father, Ryan, has the courtroom experience they need, but he’s grown jaded and weary of the profession. Still, it’s a chance to rebuild ties to Emily, and the deeper he digs, the stranger–and more dangerous–the case gets. Considering what is happening in Japan with their nuclear power plant and the amount of power plants that are, supposedly, closing across the U.S., especially in California, the story portrayed in this book might just as well be tomorrow’s headlines.   What happens when a corporation is no longer interested in the people they are supposed to serve but solely in lining their own pockets?  What happens when a small group of individuals decide to clash with that corporation to find the truth of their involvement?  ”Critical Reaction” is a page-turner, action, suspense thriller.  Kieran and his friends lives are in deadly danger as they try to sort out the lies and deceptions and stay one step ahead of being killed.  Don’t start this book late at night because it will be very difficult to put it down.  I recommend this book highly and am greatly looking forward to more from this highly talented author. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Jani417 More than 1 year ago
Readers who have been eagerly awaiting Todd M. Johnson’s second legal thriller will not be disappointed.  Anyone who has read his first novel, “The Deposit Slip” knows that Johnson is a master of white-knuckled, down to the wire suspense.  “Critical Reaction” is an action-packed, page-turning, eye-burning, midnight oil thrill ride. Following an explosion at a nuclear production site, employee Kieren Mullaney sues to determine the truth about his radiation exposure.  Conspiracies, plots, cover-ups and mystery plague the civil case of Mullaney v. Covington Nuclear.  Father-daughter legal team, Ryan and Emily Hart work against the clock, trying to find evidence to prove the case.  Can they uncover the truth in time?  What other illegal and suspicious activities are being carried out on the site? Filled with twists and turns and a variety of surprises, obstacles and reversals, “Critical Reaction” is sure to please readers of legal thrillers and action-adventure.   After reading this book, anyone who has not yet read Johnson’s first novel, “The Deposit Slip”, will run out to get a copy. I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of honest review.  I am pleased to recommend it to adult and teenage suspense readers.