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Customer Reviews for Bethany House Critical Reaction

Bethany House Critical Reaction

After decades of turning out plutonium for the arms race, the Hanford Nuclear Facility has long been shuttered, though its deadly legacy cannot be fully contained. The men who guard the facility from sabotage or monitor its buildings for radiation leaks are told the risks are under control. They believe it, until the worst happens: a thunderous explosion in the dead of night.

Two workers, lifer Poppy Martin and new hire Kieran Mullaney, believe themselves lucky to survive the blast. But as the debris is cleared, they discover their safety is not assured. Dead ends and closed doors halt their efforts to discover what really happened--and what radiation may have poisoned them. When stalling and threats force them into the hands of experienced trial lawyer Ryan Hart, they learn that theirs is no ordinary lawsuit. There is something still hidden in the desert of eastern Washington, and someone is willing to go to extreme lengths to make sure it never sees the light of day.

Average Customer Rating:
4.355 out of 5
4.4
 out of 
5
(31 Reviews) 31
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5 stars
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28 out of 3190%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Critical Reaction
Review 1 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Not Great

Date:February 12, 2014
Customer Avatar
Jess88
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
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
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Review 2 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

What a page turner!

Date:January 29, 2014
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Pam Barry
Location:Plainfield, IN
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
What a page turner! The book started out with a bang – literally – and I was fearful it might get a little slow going during the trial scenes. However, this book was exciting from beginning to end!
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Review 3 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Enjoyable Legal Thriller

Date:December 15, 2013
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Sqwiggles
Location:California
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I typically read historical romance novels, so this book was a new genre for me. This book is categorized as a legal thriller, so I was not sure how I would like it. It took a few chapters for me to get into it, but I did and I really enjoyed it. The plot was really interesting. We were given information from both sides in the story (Kieran and Hanford), but at the same there was enough mystery where I would want to keep on reading to find out what would happen next. I was glad that as the reader we weren't completely in the dark, but we were able to see what was going on through other character's perspectives. Even though this was not a romance novel, there was a small love story intertwined with the main plot, which I enjoyed. This story also had depth to it, dealing with the different personal relationships the characters had with each other. It was more than just the legal matters. The only negative I had was that there were many characters being introduced in the beginning. There would be a chapter about one character and the next chapter would be about someone else and I didn't know what was going on at first. Once the story started to fall into place and everything made sense I truly enjoyed it. This was a book that I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next. I would definitely read another book by the author and I would recommend this book as well.
I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review.
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Review 4 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 15, 2013
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MoriahN
Location:Maine
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I enjoyed reading this book. It was really interesting and had some very intriguing elements to it. I liked how some parts were like a mystery but not all of the book was. There was enough suspense to keep it a page-turner and the plot/story was realistic. I liked how there was also a focus on rebuilding/restoring relationships between Emily and her dad and Emily and Kieran that gave an emotional side to the story. I enjoyed reading Critical Reaction, and I would recommend it. I think that people who like reading books that have good, solid plots with a bit of mystery would enjoy reading this book.
Thank you to Bethany House for sending me a free copy of Critical Reaction in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 5 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

"Critical Reaction" by Todd M. Johnson

Date:December 11, 2013
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tickmenot
Location:Kansas City
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a great book. The action starts on the first page and keeps you reeled in until the finish. This is the story of an accident at an old nuclear facility. People are hurt and in the aftermath, the company in charge denies the extent and damage that actually occurred. This tail takes the reader through a court trial, an investigation of what really happened and down the paths of possible conspiracy theories.
This book was well-written, the characters are very believable, and they are developed enough that the reader really cares about outcome of the different people as the story progresses. Along with the main story line, there is the story of the two attorneys in the case which are a father-daughter team. Those two have a past with a lot of baggage to work through while, at the same time, trying to work together. That feature adds even more interest to the story. There is also a bit of a romance involved. Everything about this book rings so true that it would be easy to believe that this story actually took place.
This was a real page turner. There wasn't an overt Christian message, but the book was a definite "David and Goliath" tale, that was family friendly. I wouldn't be ashamed to recommend it to my grandmother. This fast-paced tale had suspense, complex cover-ups and all of my attention. It was very refreshing to read a well-crafted story that was clean--no profanity, sex scenes or grisly descriptions. I enjoyed it immensely and highly recommend it to anyone who wants an exciting five star story that is a pleasure to read.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishing for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.
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Review 6 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:December 9, 2013
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Sara
Location:Iowa
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
This book started out a little slow, but wanting to give it a fair chance, I continued reading, and I'm glad I did. This book does get much better.
I enjoyed getting drawn in to the characters of this book and found myself feeling sympathetic and nervous for them while reading. The courtroom scenes and the prep of the father/daughter team pulls you into the story.
I was a little disappointed in the "Christian" fiction label of this book. I didn't find much Christianity reference, nor was I able to find reference to God while reading this book. The father/daughter team does portray the forgiveness and morally good characteristics that could be considered Christian, but the author does not focus on those qualities of the characters.
This book is a decent read, and I would encourage others to give this book a chance.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for my honest opinion. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.
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Review 7 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Overall good

Date:December 9, 2013
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Danni
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
I think Johnson's book started off a bit slow but by the second half of the book it made up for it. Although the ending was a bit abrupt and some might not like the fact that it wasn't wrapped up in a pretty bow, I actually liked it. It isn't easy writing modern fiction in the Christian Fiction genre.
I like the relationships between Emily and her father Ryan. I thought it was realistic without being over dramatic. It worked well even with them building back their relationship after Emily's mother died. How also liked how Emily was willing to go out on a limb for her friend Kieran.
I like the legal aspect of it. It was good but not overwhelming for someone who doesn't understand legal drama. This book could/ could have happened. I also liked Johnson's writing style. Not a lot of fluff, just good clean writing.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 8 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Disappointed with the Christian aspect of the book

Date:December 7, 2013
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Peaches
Location:Colorado
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
I believe this is a book you will either thoroughly enjoy or it will remain on your shelf collecting dust after reading it. Unfortunately for me, it would be the latter... Todd M. Johnson does a good job with his writing and weaves a fairly interesting tale with good details, but to be quite honest, I was disappointed with this book and I will tell you my reason. I was disappointed with the fact that this is a "Christian" fiction book because when I was done reading it I thought back and realized that the Lord is hardly mentioned. In the beginning chapters there is a moment when the explosion takes place at Hanford and Poppy, a security guard, realizes he may die and as he is laying there he thinks maybe this is his time to meet God. I was also disappointed with the settings in the book; a few times a character would be in a bar. Also, there wasn't any bad language, but there was reference to swear words. For example, in the book a sentence was used like this, "We'll catch that little Aussie son of -" My problem is that even though the cuss word is not there your mind automatically puts it there, if you know what I mean. This is supposed to be a "Christian" book and one of the things I love about Christian fiction is that most times I can rest in the fact that it will be clean. Maybe I am being too "nit-picky" about it, but this is just my personal taste. Would I recommend this book to someone? Probably not.
** I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received. **
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Review 9 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent Thriller

Date:December 5, 2013
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Vicky
Location:Lafayette, Indiana
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Critical Reaction by Todd Johnson is a winner!. I read his first book Deposit Slip and was amazed by his writing and was thrilled to get this book to review.
Could this storyline really happen in the United States? A shuttered Hanford Nuclear Facility building that is poisoned from plutonium from the Cold War is at risk and is kept guarded from sabotage. Then the worst happens-and explosion in the middle of the night. There is a survivor Kiernan Mullaney, who attempts to find out what happened and threats start impeding his progress. He connects with an old friend, Emily Hart who is and inexperienced lawyer and they both think Hanford is hiding something but how will they find out the truth. Emily enlists the help of her estranged father, Ryan, who has courtroom experience they need. They set out to find out the truth, but the deeper they dig, the danger escalates. This is just a snippet of what the story has to offer.
This book has it all: legal thriller, drama, intrigue, complicated plot, corruption, cover-ups, which make this book a real page turner. There are very few books that keep you guessing throughout the book and this definitely did. I loved the characters and their unique personalities. You can tell the author is a lawyer and his craft is writing legal thrillers and I look forward to his next book.
Thanks to Bethany House for my free copy just for my honest opinion of this book
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Review 10 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Rogue project at a nuclear reactor site

Date:December 5, 2013
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bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
As a Washingtonian, I was really interested in reading this book. As a child, that the Hanford Nuclear Reactor was just across the Cascade Mountains was a constant reminder of the reality of the Cold War.
The first part of the novel is a little slow. We find out that there has been an accident at the Hanford site. The reactor had long been shut down but there were still contractors there maintaining and cleaning up the site. Before long we find out that there appears to be a cover up regarding the accident. Something strange is going on.
Kieran is a contracted worker who was in the midst of the explosion. Months later, he is still suffering serious health issues. He brings a suit against the contractor but his small town lawyer bows out as the trial nears. Emily, with the prosecutor's office in Seattle, is approached. She wants to take the case and convinces her father, a powerful lawyer, to help her out.
The action picks up in the middle of the novel as the lawyers work on discovery and find they are being outmaneuvered by the contract company. The tension increases when it looks like there is much more going on at the Hanford site than mere maintenance.
This was a fun book for me to read, even though it was not a page turner until well into the second half. The possibility of a company going rogue at the nuclear site was exciting. There was plenty of action toward the end as the contractor wanted to keep the rogue project secret – at any cost. I did feel the ending was abrupt and a little unrealistic. And there was a loose end that was not tied up – after all, they were lawyers trespassing yet with no ultimate consequences. That would probably happen only in a novel.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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Review 11 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An Overall Good Read

Date:December 4, 2013
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Wman4JC
Location:miami, fl
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
My Comments
Kieran and his supervisor, Taylor, have to complete one more night in “the dark side” of Lab Building 5 (LB5) as stand-ins for the regular sampling crew. It’s supposed to be a routine job and they’re both looking forward to finishing it well. Kieran is given one last set of instruction for the night from his boss, “Go check out room 369. It used to be a storage locker. Should be clean. Take air and dust samples then come back to me. I’ll be here in room 301,” he said, gesturing across the hallway. “Seems like a waste of time for our last night. The permanent crew should be able to handle sampling these corners of the building when they’re back tomorrow. But there you are. And let’s move it along. This is our last night here, so if we get the checklist done, I’m sending us home early.” Kieran and Taylor do not get to leave early, they barely survive what happens next.
***LAB BUILDING 5***
The explosion impacts the entire community, but there are two workers that are mostly affected by the investigation afterwards. Then when Kieran sues the company with the interest of finding out whether he has radiation poisoning, it becomes a civil suit with surprising results.
Both Poppy and Kieran are racked with coughing spasms and headaches, are not able to function the same at their jobs, and become targets by Covington Nuclear. The more answers they attempt at getting, the riskier the story becomes for them.
The two movies this book reminded me of are Chain Reaction with Keanu Reeves and Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts.
From the summary: “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….” Ryan is conflicted about helping the case, but every time he decides to walk away, he has a change of heart knowing his daughter needs him. It was frustrating seeing that conflict within him, but towards the middle of the story his involvement becomes more concrete.
I enjoyed Poppy the most from the characters. It’s an intense story and he’s an enhancement to all that goes on. He also doesn’t back down under pressure and I loved that about him. I didn’t agree that he kept his wife and family out of the loop for so long, but he finally fixes that and gets their total support. He spends most of the story tracking down his former partner who was mysteriously transferred after the explosion with no explanation. I enjoyed the part in the story when Poppy meets Kieran, even though that wasn’t pleasant.
I thought this book was more fast paced, but it didn’t feel that way for me. An overall good read, but it took most of the plot before I felt “grabbed” by the story, probably not until about the last 100 pages. It was interesting reading about lawyers and how to get the system working for you instead of against you. Even though there is violence in the story, there’s nothing inappropriate. There is plenty of corruption, betrayal, and injustice within, but there is also friendship and exposing said injustice. The best part was reading how Ryan and Emily work together through the trial.
I want to thank Bethany House for the review copy provided. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Review 12 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Well written!

Date:December 4, 2013
Customer Avatar
daischop
Location:Chattanooga, TN
Age:35-44
Gender:female
I have to admit, when I initially selected this book I was uncertain on how much I would enjoy the book. However, I started on it and was immediately sucked into it. Some books are slow to start but this one was not. It had me interested from chapter one. I stayed up beyond my bedtime just to finish this book, and a day later it is still on my mind. Admittedly, I hurried thru the last part of the book just to get finished with it, but it also means it will be remaining on my bookshelf for future reads.
Essentially, there was enough drama, intrigue to keep the story going. There were some parts where it had me wondering the purpose in the story. Also, for this to be a "Christian" book, I was left wondering the next day where God was in the story.
But all in all, this was a really good book, one I'd put on par with the fiction books in the general marketplace, just minus the sex and language.
I received this book complimentary from Bethany House in return for an honest review of the book.
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Review 13 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson

Date:November 30, 2013
Customer Avatar
LeAnne
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
When the old Hanford Nuclear Facility exploded one night it may be worse than it seems. Kieran Mullaney survived the explosion. But when he try's to find out what really happened that night, he may be in for more danger and trouble than he would have thought.
When he needs a lawyer to help he calls his old friend, Emily Hart a inexperienced lawyer. But when Emily and her Father, Ryan, come to meet with Kieran, Ryan is not sure about taking the case. But it could help Ryan rebuild ties with Emily. And he has the courtroom experience the case needs. Plus there were some odd things about this case, that just seem to keep coming.
Let me just start by saying this was a very exciting book! It had a great story and the clues that turn up can be very surprising! It had a lot of courtroom parts and it fit in really good I thought. I don't think I have ever read a book about a Nuclear Facility or anything like that before, but I really enjoyed the book! The ending was so exciting it almost had me falling off from where I was curled up reading!
I received this book free from Bethany House for my honest review. The opinions are my own.
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Review 14 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Nuclear Industry vs. Legal System

Date:November 29, 2013
Customer Avatar
Floyd Johnson
Location:Upstate NY
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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 leary of the novel that was being developed. But the book end up being a legal thriller parallel to those written by John Grisham. 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 Covingting Nuclear and its employees before a judge that had his back pockets being with the profits of Coving 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.
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Review 15 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Thriller Dealing with the Legal System!

Date:November 29, 2013
Customer Avatar
Foster3
Location:Ontario, Canada
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
For those of who enjoy a "sit on the edge of your seat", "can't put it down", kind of book, search no more!!! I have found an author, to whom I have never been introduced, and I am definitely impressed!! I will be eagerly awaiting Todd's next new book.
A warning siren screams in the desert night , the worst has happened!!! (taken from back cover) This alone caught my attention, even before I opened this novel! This book is very different from those that I usually choose to read, so I was totally unprepared for the excitement, worries and tension that I felt while reading it.
After turning out plutonium for the Cold War, the Hanford Nuclear Facility's poisoned buildings were a far greater risk than anyone had ever imagined. The guards who stood firm at the entrance, to protect the facility from sabotage and monitor its buildings had been told that the dangers are under control! But were they??? Why were the guards placed there, if there were no worries?? THEN, the worst happens!! A thunderous explosion in the middle of the night!
Keiran Mullaney survived the blast , but when threats and silence are met when he attempts to discover the cause and what really had happened, he is able to reconnect with an old friend, lawyer Emily Hart. Although she is inexperienced in this field, she is convinced that she should take this case and help this innocent man. BUT , she also realizes that without help, her case is lost before she even gets started.
Emily's father, with whom she has cut all ties, has the experience in the courtroom that they need. Due to tragedies in his personal life, he has grown negative, withdrawing from his profession as a highly sought after lawyer. BUT, this is a chance to rebuild a relationship with his daughter, so he takes the case- on the condition that Emily follows through in the courtroom. The deeper these two lawyers dig, the more dangerous the case gets!!
These characters and the intricate plot kept me glued to my chair!! Each person had definitely different personalities, with quirks and differences. I became so engrossed in the deep actions in the story, that I started to try to think of solutions to this case. The characters appealed to me in a very emotional way. The problems and seriousness of the situation was felt deeply. The complicated plot keeps the reader guessing throughout the book. Totally unexpected twists and turns appeared in each chapter. Suspense was running deep within me!! My heart beat faster, my breathing became shallow, I was ENTIRELY involved !!
This is an author to watch!! His ability to make a thriller so compelling and exciting, is outstanding!!
Definitely a five star book! Mystery lovers MUST read this book!!
This book was provided by Bethany House in exchange for an honest and fair review.
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Review 16 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Nuclear Disaster

Date:November 25, 2013
Customer Avatar
Katrina
Location:Western Ky
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Todd Johnson brings us a spine tingling thriller that could be ripped from newspaper headlines. I have never read this genre before, so this was quiet an experience and one I look forward to repeating from this author. The first part of the story was difficult to get through as he gives us a background of the facility Hanford Nuclear, but this was essential as it connects everything The plot flows effortlessly and the imagery will readily pull the reader in and keep them turning the pages until the end. This is a story about a fight against injustice with lots of complications.
He brings us well developed characters that you find yourself cheering for through the story. Kieran Mullaney is a young guard at Hanford Nuclear that produces plutonium during the cold war located in Washington state. The facility has been shut for many years and employee guards to protect it from sabotage. The employees are readily assured that the facility has been cleaned of all traces of plutonium. During a routine check Kieran finds a vat full of material that looks about to explode, but before he can escape unharmed an explosion rocks the night. The explosion injures and kills many, but some are still missing. Kieran survives and begins asking questions and after being stone walled he goes in search for answers. Finally after seeing no recourse, he hires an attorney and files a lawsuit. 2 months until the trial, his lawyer suddenly withdraws. Kieran reaches out to an old college friend, Emily Hart, who is an attorney for help.
Emily hasn't seen Kieran since he left college to help his family, but feels his case has merit. As she digs into the case, she finds it littered with cover ups and bribes. Feeling this was way over her head, she feels her only alternative is to turn to her estranged father, Ryan, who has the experience they need to win the case. Ryan wants to advise Emily not to get involved, but with their estrangement knows she won't listen. Ryan agrees to help in hopes that working together might help their relationship. Suddenly they find things are more complicated than they had ever imagined. More and more inconsistencies keep coming up and they begin to wonder if this is all a massive cover up.
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Review 17 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Lively

Date:November 23, 2013
Customer Avatar
Gabrielle
Location:London, Ontario
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
When I first started "Critical Reaction" by Todd M. Johnson, I couldn't picture the places he was trying to describe and thought, "Ah man, I've chosen a dud." But, another chapter or two and I found myself really enjoying this book. The character exposition could have been a little deeper (I didn't find myself loving or hating anyone the way I usually do in books) but, nonetheless, I managed to accidentally read for a couple of hours before putting this courtroom fiction down. The best parts of this novel were all in the courtroom. Mr. Johnson does a great job of painting the drama associated with such a place. I just wish he had carried it over into the other parts of the story.
This book was good but not great.
BTW, I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 18 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fantastic Read!

Date:November 22, 2013
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cmwinner
Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
You can tell by reading this book the author is well versed in the law. I don't want to say to much in my review as I don't want to give away any spoilers!
For a debut book, this author did a remarkable job! He draws you in from the very start and keeps you wanting to read on and find out what happens. It was all I could do to keep myself from skipping to the last chapter to find out what happens! As you get closer to the end I found myself unable to put the book down, which resulted in some very late nights!
I felt drawn into the book and could easily see the characters in the book and the situations and areas they found themselves in.
I very highly recommend this book to anyone! It will make a great Christmas present for that avid reader you know.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers for purpose of this review, I was not required to write a positive review, the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 19 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 21, 2013
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lcjohnson1988
Location:Indiana
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Do you enjoy reading about conspiracy theories, intrigue, courtroom/legal proceedings? Then, this legal suspense novel is for you. The story is set on a Native American reservation in the state of Washington. The time is present day, and the action is nonstop. Get ready for an intense read!
Kieran Mullaney works at the local nuclear power plant on the security/maintenance crew. The plant he is assigned to has been out of commission for over 20 years, but there are still a few workers employed and safety is still checked every day to ensure no radiation leaks and the remaining equipment is working properly. On a routine check, he discovers a vat of something…he doesn’t know what, getting ready to explode. He barely escapes with his life. After he is released from the hospital, he wonders how much radiation he was exposed to. He begins asking questions and is stonewalled. Finally, he is left with no alternative but to bring a law suit against the power plant. His first lawyer drops his case two months before his trial is due to start. How can he possibly obtain a new lawyer at this late date? Will he ever find out the truth of that explosion and what he was exposed to?
Emily Hart is at odds with her dad and has been since her mother died a few years ago of cancer. Her dad has withdrawn from his law practice and pretty much from everything else as well. Emily is a lawyer in the public defender’s office. She has two years of experience trying cases. She receives a phone call from an old college friend who is desperate for a lawyer in a civil case. Emily hasn’t heard from Kieran in three years, but still feels the connection they had while in college before Kieran had to drop out to take care of his family when his father died. Emily reaches out to her father to see if he will meet with Kieran to hear his case. Emily’s father, Ryan, used to be a stellar lawyer in the civil arena and his experience is telling him to advise Emily not to take this case. He knows she is going to ignore that advice, so he says he will help her prep for the trial as a way to ease his guilty conscience that has been constantly reminding him of the years he has neglected his only child.
As their investigation proceeds, more and more inconsistencies come to Ryan and Emily’s attention. Could this fantastic story of a massive cover-up really be true? Ryan finally fully hops on board in believing his client’s story and the search for truth ramps up another notch. There is a lot of goings on and the story is fast-paced. The tension created kept me glued to my chair, reading as fast as I could to find out what was going to happen next. This is a story that will engage, enthrall and entertain. I’ve read the author’s previous book, The Deposit Slip, which was another great legal drama so I have been looking forward to this next entry into this genre. Don’t miss this one! I highly recommend this book as well as the author’s prior work mentioned above. This would be a great as a Christmas gift!
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Review 20 for Critical Reaction
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Action Book

Date:November 20, 2013
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Sally
Location:Tampa, FL
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.
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