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Todd M. Johnson’s Critical Reaction


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.


Let me just start off first by saying that this isn’t the kind of novel that I usually read. But I liked it. Crictical Reaction is kind of like the film A Civil Action. You’ve got this town Hanford where you just know something shady is going on, but proving it is almost impossible. With odds like these, I was very much excited to see how it would all go down. 

First off, there was definite suspense. I will admit to being lost in some of the details of nuclear physics, but I got the points. It’s not quite a mystery because you know who the bad guys are, but watching Emily, Poppy, Kieran, and Ryan unravel it still keeps you on the edge of your seat. 

I really liked the father-daughter angle of the novel. To see Ryan’s love and protectiveness of Emily and to watch her get to know her father again really worked well in this book. I’m generally a romance only reader, but I liked seeing the growth in their relationship and I found it to be something that kept the pages turning.

The best part of the novel? the trial. Though it helps that I’m a lawyer, I think people just love a good legal novel with motions being filed, objections raised, and interesting witnesses. This one really delivers. I really honed in on that trial and it was probably the best part of the book for me.

I will say that there were a lot of characters and at times, some were more interesting then others, but overall a this book was a very enjoyable read, exceeding my expectations. 

Romantic Scale: 4

**I received this novel from BethanyHouse. My opinion was not affected in any way.**

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