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.
December 9, 2013
Disappointed with the Christian aspect of the book
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. **
December 7, 2013
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
December 5, 2013
Rogue project at a nuclear reactor site
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 Ã¢ÂÂ 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 Ã¢ÂÂ 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.
December 5, 2013