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Critical Mass

Steve Martini

2,238 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0613213866 / ISBN 13: 9780613213868
Published by San Val
Condition: VERY GOOD
From OwlsBooks (Toledo, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Very Good copy, cover and pages show some wear from reading and storage. Binding may have light creases. Lots of life left in these pages. Bookseller Inventory # 2635758430

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Critical Mass

Publisher: San Val

Binding: School & Library Binding

Book Condition:VERY GOOD

About this title


The United States is fat and happy -- and on the eve of the deadliest act of mass terrorism in history. From the embers of Oklahoma City comes the specter of Critical Mass.

Jocelyn Cole, a burned-out public defender from L.A., has opted for a quieter life in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. Jocelyn has no significant clients other than a group of commercial fisherman suffering from a strange and serious illness; a condition doctors cannot diagnose, which Jocelyn believes has an industrial cause. Then into her office comes Dean Belden, a well-heeled client in search of a lawyer to help him set up a business in the islands. Within days Belden is subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury. Before he can testify, and before Jocelyn can discover what happened in the secrecy of the grand jury room, Belden dies in the fiery explosion on his floatplane on Seattle's Lake Union.

Gideon Van Ry is a nuclear fission expert and a scholar in residence at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California. One of his duties is to update the Center's database, an extensive catalogue of fissionable materials and weapons of mass destruction. Gideon is troubled by the apparent failure in accounting for two small tactical nuclear devices missing from a storage facility in the former Soviet Union. The weapons were last seen in packing crates awaiting shipment to an American company, Belden Electronics. Gideon has been unable to locate this firm, and now he is left with only one possible lead, the lawyer who incorporated the company -- Jocelyn Cole.

Fraught with tension and suspense, Critical Mass is Steve Martini at his electrifying best.


When a handsome stranger walks into Joss Cole's one-woman law office on a sleepy island in Puget Sound and slaps down a hefty retainer to incorporate a fledgling electronics business, the burned-out ex-public defender has a hunch things aren't exactly as they seem. And when Dean Belden, this strange new client, comes back a few days later with a federal grand jury subpoena he swears he can't explain, she still doesn't tie it into the bizarre illness suffered by her other major clients, a group of commercial fishermen. Then Belden skips out on the feds and dies before her eyes in the fiery explosion of his float plane. Or does he? Within hours there are two attempts on Joss's life--clearly someone thinks she knows more than she's telling. Later, a nuclear fission expert shows up on the island tracking two missing tactical nuclear devices stolen from a Siberian storage facility, and the Geiger counter starts ticking. When Joss's fishermen start dying of what is clearly radioactive poisoning, the outlines of Belden's shadowy past get filled out in a tense thriller as topical as today's headlines. Steve Martini ties it all together with a fast-paced, well-plotted story of homegrown militia groups set up by America's enemies. He tosses in a hint of romance--just enough to show off Joss's vulnerable side without slowing down the action. Martini fans will swallow this one whole, while those who haven't discovered him yet can catch up with his several other thrillers on the paperback backlist, including Compelling Evidence, Prime Witness, and The Judge. --Jane Adams

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