This is the story of a town built by a business and dependent on that business... the kind of town that would die without the business.
This is the story of several workers who unwitting found themselves on the trail to discovering an ugly truth about a very powerful industry.
This is the story of worker turning on worker because they want and need those jobs so badly, and they don't believe their company would lie to them.
This is the story of two brave lawyers who agree to go up against the industry to represent the pain and suffering of a blue collar worker who thinks he may have been exposed to a radiation leak at a plant that was supposed to be closing down.
And all the signs are pointing to a cover up.
This is the story of Critical Reaction.
If you know someone who reads and appreciates serious, suspenseful, tense, tightly written novels, then you need to know that Critical Reaction is all of that!
Critical Reaction is one of those really cool books that you can give to a man or a woman and still get rave reviews.
This is a woman's book because we have a strong female lead in young lawyer Emily. You really come to like her as you hear her story and watch how she lives her life and the choices she makes.
She's the sort of woman who will risk her whole career by taking a case that most people think is impossible to win, just to help a good friend whom she owes nothing to.
And she's the sort of woman who is grieving her mother's death and who wants to understand her also bereft father and restore her relationship with him.
And this is a man's book because of the good male characters we find in Poppy, Ryan, Kieran and Ted.
Kieran knows that something terrible happened the night he went to check on LB5.
The plant was supposed to be shutting down, non-active, just being guarded and maintained until it was cleaned up and closed, so then what he did experience?
What did he see, and what happened to him?
His lungs feel seared and he has pounding headaches, and he hasn't gotten an explanation for the explosion or for his symptoms.
Poppy is the man whose whole life has been marked by loyalty.
Loyalty to one beloved wife, and his family, and his work, work for a company his father had served before him.
And now the work that he did, the mission served, and the corporation that he trusted, it's all changed before his very eyes. His life is forever altered by one event that officially didn't happen, his health is destroyed, and his questions are unanswered. He feels betrayed.
Ryan is a successful lawyer, and so is his daughter Emily.
Like her mother, she tries to understand both the heart and the mind of a case, and her father respects this, even though his own heart feels dead now that his wife has died. When Emily decides she wants to take Kieran's case, Ryan determines to help her. Two strong willed, smart lawyers will take the case and expose the truth.
The burning question: What happened at Hanford Nuclear Facility that night in LB5?
In other words, read this one. Lots of action, lots of surprises, lots of courtroom intrigue, lots of cover-ups and corruption, lots of brotherly love between Poppy and Kieran and family love between Ryan and Emily.
Thank you Bethany House for my review copy!
Todd M. Johnson has practiced as an attorney for over 30 years, specializing as a trial lawyer. Todd's career experience blends with his passion for writing in his novels published through Bethany House.
A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, he also taught for two years as an adjunct professor of International Law, and served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong.
The Deposit Slip, Mr. Johnson's first novel, debuted in 2012. Todd's second novel, Critical Reaction, will be released in November 2013.
Todd lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife Cathy and children Ian and Libby.