Tag Archives: Todd M. Johnson

Reading Road Trip — Washington State

24 Jul

This week’s road trip is to a state I have not visited, at least not in real life. I have gone there through some wonderful books though. The State of Washington (its official name) was admitted into the Union in 1889 as the 42nd state. It is quite diverse with mountains, coastal areas, and in the eastern region, some arid deserts. I am really looking forward to seeing it in person. If you live there or have visited, let me know the best thing about Washington. And if you, like me, can only travel there in a book, take a look at my list. There is something for just about everyone!

 

Road Trip Reading — The State of Washington

 

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett

It’s 1927, and the National Park Service is in its youth when Margie, an avid naturalist, lands a coveted position alongside the park rangers living and working in the unrivaled splendor of Mount Rainier’s long shadow. 

But Chief Ranger Ford Brayden is still haunted by his father’s death on the mountain, and the ranger takes his work managing the park and its crowd of visitors seriously. The job of watching over an idealistic senator’s daughter with few practical survival skills seems a waste of resources. 

When Margie’s former fiancé sets his mind on developing the Paradise Inn and its surroundings into a tourist playground, the plans might put more than the park’s pristine beauty in danger. What will Margie and Ford sacrifice to preserve the splendor and simplicity of the wilderness they both love?

Love Finds You in Victory Heights, Washington by Tricia Goyer and Oceianna Fliess

The Second World War has stolen Rosalie’s fiance from her. But rather than wallow, Rosalie throws herself into her work at the Boeing plant in Victory Heights, shooting rivets into the B-17 bombers that will destroy the enemy. A local reporter dubs her Seattle’s Own Rosie the Riveter, and her story lends inspiration to women across the country. While Rosalie’s strong arms can bear the weight of this new responsibility, her heart cannot handle the intense feelings that begin to surface for Kenny, the handsome reporter. Fear of a second heartbreak is a powerful opponent – but will it claim victory over love?

True to You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, book 1) by Becky Wade

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John’s already dating someone and Nora’s not sure she’s ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson

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.

The View from Rainshadow Bay (A Lavender Tides Novel, book 1) by Colleen Coble

After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.

When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.

Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.

In The View from Rainshadow Bay, suspense, danger, and a longing to love again ignite amid the gorgeous lavender fields of Washington State.

 

Where will a book take you next?

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Books with Lawyers

4 Jun

I love all kinds of suspense, but legal suspense is my favorite sub-genre. FBI agents, policemen, and PIs are great, but I love a book that combines the thrill of dangerous situations and mysterious doings with courtroom scenes. This week’s Top 10 Tuesday post is all about the books I love that have a lawyer as the main character. Some of the books are standalone, others are part of a series, all are great. And even better, all of the authors are lawyers themselves! So if you need your Perry Mason-fix, check one of these out! 😉

For more of bloggers genre favorites, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Books with Lawyers by Lawyers!

Rachel Dylan

The Atlanta Justice Series 

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything — even murder — to keep the case from going to trial.

 

Todd M. Johnson

The Deposit Slip 

When Jared Neaton grew tired of the shady ethics of his big law firm and left to go out on his own, he never expected the wheels to fly off so quickly. One big case collapsing on him has pushed him to the brink and it’s all he can do to scrape by. He can’t risk another bad loss.

Erin Larson is running out of options. In the wake of her father’s death, she found a slim piece of paper — a deposit slip–with an unbelievable amount on it. Ten million dollars. Only the bank claims it has no record of the deposit and stonewalls her attempts to find out more. This lawsuit, her last chance, has brought only intimidation and threats. Now she needs to convince Jared to take a risk, to help her because the money is real. And both need to watch their backs as digging deeper unleashes something far more dangerous than just threats.

Fatal Trust 

Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian’s fee for a week’s work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.

Ian warily accepts the job–but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

 

Cara Putman

Hidden Justice Series

Hayden McCarthy knows firsthand the pain that follows when justice is not served. It’s why she became an attorney and why she’s so driven in her career. When she’s assigned a wrongful death case against the government, she isn’t sure if it’s the lucky break she needs to secure a partnership—or an attempt to make sure she never gets there.

Further complicating matters is Andrew Wesley, her roommate’s distractingly attractive cousin. But Andrew’s father is a congressman, and Hayden’s currently taking on the government. Could the timing be any worse?

The longer she keeps the case active, the higher the stakes become. Unknown enemies seem determined to kill the case—or her. Logic and self-preservation indicate she should close the case. But how can she, when justice is still just beyond her reach?

 

Randy Singer

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales

Landon Reed is an ex-quarterback convicted of organizing a points-shaving scheme. During his time in prison, he found forgiveness and faith and earned his law degree. Now he longs for an opportunity to prove his loyalty and worth. Be careful what you ask for. 

Harry McNaughton is one of the founding partners of McNaughton & Clay—and the only lawyer willing to take a chance employing an ex-con-turned-lawyer. Though Landon initially questions Harry’s ethics and methods, it’s clear the crusty old lawyer has one of the most brilliant legal minds Landon has ever encountered. The two dive into preparing a defense for one of the highest-profile murder trials Virginia Beach has seen in decades when Harry is gunned down in what appears to be a random mugging. Then two more lawyers are killed when the firm’s private jet crashes. Authorities suspect someone has a vendetta against McNaughton & Clay, leaving Landon and the remaining partner as the final targets. 

As Landon struggles to keep the firm together, he can’t help but wonder, is the plot related to a shady case from McNaughton & Clay’s past, or to the murder trial he’s neck-deep in now? And will he survive long enough to find out?

Rule of Law

What did the president know? And when did she know it?

For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.

But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.

Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?

Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.

Equal justice under law.

It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?

Robert Whitlow

Chosen People

During a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a courageous mother sacrifices her life to save her four-year-old daughter, leaving behind a grieving husband and a motherless child.

Hana Abboud, a Christian Arab Israeli lawyer trained at Hebrew University, typically uses her language skills to represent international clients for an Atlanta law firm. When her boss is contacted by Jakob Brodsky, a young Jewish lawyer pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of the woman’s family under the US Anti-Terrorism laws, he calls on Hana’s expertise to take point on the case. After careful prayer, she joins forces with Jakob, and they quickly realize the need to bring in a third member for their team, an Arab investigator named Daud Hasan, based in Israel.

To unravel the case, this team of investigators travels from the streets of Atlanta to the alleys of Jerusalem, a world where hidden motives thrive, the risk of death is real, and the search for truth has many faces. What they uncover will forever change their understanding of justice, heritage, and what it means to be chosen for a greater purpose.

Tides of Truth Series

The Tides of Truth novels follow one lawyer’s passionate pursuit of truth in matters of life and the law.

In the murky waters of Savannah’s shoreline, a young law student is under fire as she tries her first case at a prominent and established law firm. A complex mix of betrayal and deception quickly weaves its way through the case and her life, as she uncovers dark and confusing secrets about the man she’s defending–and the senior partners of the firm.

How deep will the conspiracy run? Will she have to abandon her true self to fulfill a higher calling? And how far will she have to go to discover the truth behind a tragic cold case?

 

 

A Time To Stand

In a small Georgia town where racial tensions run high and lives are at stake, can one lawyer stand up for justice against the tide of prejudice on every side?

Adisa Johnson, a young African-American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta. Then a split-second mistake changes the course of her career.

Left with no other options, Adisa returns to her hometown where a few days earlier a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is now lying comatose in the hospital.

Adisa is itching to jump into the fight as a special prosecutor, but feels pulled to do what she considers unthinkable—defend the officer.

As the court case unfolds, everyone in the small community must confront their own prejudices. Caught in the middle, Adisa also tries to chart her way along a path complicated by her budding relationship with a charismatic young preacher who leads the local movement demanding the police officer answer for his crime.

This highly relevant and gripping novel challenges us to ask what it means to forgive while seeking justice and to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.

 

What are your favorite books in your favorite genre?

 

If you liked Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman . . .

31 Jan

My book club’s first discussion of 2018 is  a wrap. We loved Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman, a romantic suspense novel with a good dose of legal drama thrown in. Cara gets it right — she is a lawyer after all! Did you read and love it? If so, check out these books also written by lawyers. You may find another you will like as well.

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer 

Landon Reed is an ex-quarterback convicted of organizing a points-shaving scheme. During his time in prison, he found forgiveness and faith and earned his law degree. Now he longs for an opportunity to prove his loyalty and worth. Be careful what you ask for.

Harry McNaughton is one of the founding partners of McNaughton & Clay—and the only lawyer willing to take a chance employing an ex-con-turned-lawyer. Though Landon initially questions Harry’s ethics and methods, it’s clear the crusty old lawyer has one of the most brilliant legal minds Landon has ever encountered. The two dive into preparing a defense for one of the highest-profile murder trials Virginia Beach has seen in decades when Harry is gunned down in what appears to be a random mugging. Then two more lawyers are killed when the firm’s private jet crashes. Authorities suspect someone has a vendetta against McNaughton & Clay, leaving Landon and the remaining partner as the final targets.

As Landon struggles to keep the firm together, he can’t help but wonder, is the plot related to a shady case from McNaughton & Clay’s past, or to the murder trial he’s neck-deep in now? And will he survive long enough to find out?

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan 

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything — even murder — to keep the case from going to trial.

Deeper Water by Robert Whitlow

In the murky waters of Savannah’s shoreline, a young law student is under fire as she tries her first case at a prominent and established law firm. A complex mix of betrayal and deception quickly weaves its way through the case and her life, as she uncovers dark and confusing secrets about the man she’s defending–and the senior partners of the firm.

How deep will the conspiracy run? Will she have to abandon her true self to fulfill a higher calling? And how far will she have to go to discover the truth behind a tragic cold case?

 

Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson 

Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian’s fee for a week’s work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.

Ian warily accepts the job — but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

 

 

Book Review: Fatal Trust

13 Oct

Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian’s fee for a week’s work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.

Ian warily accepts the job–but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

Todd M. Johnson has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years. Todd’s passion for writing blends well with his legal career and his novels are drawn closely from his personal experiences as a trial lawyer.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, Todd taught for two years as an adjunct professor of International Law and has served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong.

The Deposit Slip, Johnson’s first novel, debuted in 2012. His second novel, Critical Reaction, was released in October 2013.

My Impressions:

If you are a fan of legal suspense, a la Grisham, Singer or Whitlow, then you definitely need to check out Todd M. Johnson. I have read all of his novels to date and am impressed by the twisting plots, well-developed characters, and the nuances of the legal wranglings. (Read my reviews of The Deposit Slip and Critical Reaction.) In Fatal Trust, a young lawyer must choose between doing the right thing or protecting his family — a family he quickly discovers has lots of secrets. I found this novel to be fast-paced and well-written, and is definitely a recommended read.

Set amidst courtrooms, seedy bars, and family neighborhoods of Minneapolis, Fatal Trust has a great sense of place. Johnson makes his home there and it shows. I’ve never been to the Twin Cities, but this book made me feel right at home. Of course, many of the attractions described in the book — alleys and barrooms — I’ll settle for visiting in the pages of the book! 😉 Main character Ian Wells is a character I quickly came to love. A man who has sacrificed his career dreams for his family, Ian is just about at the end of his rope at the beginning of the story. A windfall fee for a week’s worth of work on a trust is too good to resist. But as Ian soon discovers, something too good to be true usually is. Ian’s struggle is so very real. It is easy to be tempted to turn a blind eye or justify our actions when money is involved. Secondary characters are complex as well, especially Ian’s friend, US Attorney Brook Daniels, and Ian’s mother, Martha, and give this plot-driven legal suspense novel depth. The reader is let in on more of what is actually going on before Ian, but there are plenty of surprises in store for both. The ending is great and certainly not what I was expecting.

There is more action outside of the courtroom than in, but there’s plenty of legal maneuvering to satisfy fans of this genre. All in all Fatal Trust is a riveting read. I am hoping for many more from Johnson.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday: Suspenseful Waiting

30 May

When I began making a list for the books I can’t wait to meet this year, I noticed one thing. They were all suspense novels! Whether the books have contemporary or historical settings, take place in the courtroom or on the mean streets, or involve a bit of romance, I love this genre! So this week’s Top 10 Tuesday features the 9 Suspense Novels I Cannot Wait to Read.  For what other bloggers are waiting on, visit The Broke And The Bookish.

 

Top 9 Suspense Novels I Cannot Wait to Read

Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon (available October 2017)

Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death–and puts Trish under police scrutiny–her world is once again thrown into turmoil.

Detective Colin Flynn isn’t certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge–and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn’t just dangerous . . . it’s deadly.

 

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan (available September 2017)

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything–even murder–to keep the case from going to trial.

 

Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson (available August 2017)

Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian’s fee for a week’s work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.

Ian warily accepts the job–but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

 

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright (available December 2017)

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives–including her own — are lost?

 

Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley (available September 2017)

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league–and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

 

Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks (available August 2017)

Gwen Marcey has done a good job keeping the pain of her past boxed up. But as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details keep surfacing that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. She doesn’t believe in coincidences. So what’s going on here?

No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen finds herself an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation even more difficult. The questions keep piling up, but answers are slow in coming—and the clock is ticking for a missing little girl. Meanwhile, Gwen’s ex-husband is threatening to take sole custody of their daughter.

As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a desperate race for the truth. Because only truth will ensure she still has a future.

 

Rule of Law by Randy Singer (available September 2017)

What did the president know? And when did she know it?

For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.

But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.

Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?

Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.

Equal justice under law.

It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?

 

A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow (available September 2017)

Adisa Johnson, a young African American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta. Then a split-second mistake changes the course of her career.

Left with no other options, Adisa returns to her hometown where a few days earlier a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is now lying comatose in the hospital.

Adisa is itching to jump into the fight as a special prosecutor, but feels pulled to do what she considers unthinkable — defend the officer.

As the court case unfolds, everyone in the small community must confront their own prejudices. Caught in the middle, Adisa also tries to chart her way along a path complicated by her budding relationship with a charismatic young preacher who leads the local movement demanding the police officer answer for his crime.

This highly relevant and gripping novel challenges us to ask what it means to forgive while seeking justice, to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.

 

Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris (available November 2017)

During Garrett Addison’s first week on the job as a criminal investigator for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, his team is called out to a murder scene of a young girl. She’s the third victim in a string of disappearances with one thing in common–a Polaroid photo of each victim left behind at the crime scene.

The FBI is pulled into the case to help, and Garrett finds himself working with Special Agent Jordan Lambert, the woman he once loved. When yet another girl dies–number six–Garrett blames himself and believes he doesn’t have what it takes to be an agent. What he’ll discover is that, while he may be done with the killer, the killer is not done with him — or Jordan.

 

What books are you waiting on?

Top 10 Tuesday — Back To School!

30 Aug

Thanks to the folks at The Broke And The Bookish for weekly hosting Top 10 Tuesday. This week is the Back To School Top 10. To find out what other bloggers are posting, click HERE.

toptentuesday

School has been back in session since the last week in July here in middle Georgia. So, so glad that I don’t have any more kids in school! Oh wait, I do! My youngest son started his first year of Law School two weeks ago. My other two children have both completed Master’s degrees and on their way to outstanding careers. Yeah, I’m a bit proud!

When I read this week’s theme, I just couldn’t get the classic song Don’t Know Much out of my head. Here’s my list in tribute to that Sam Cooke classic.

The Don’t Know Much, Back To School Top 14

Don’t know much about  . . .

History. I really liked European history in school. American history, not so much. So here are a few books that feature those things I didn’t pay attention to in class.

Washington’s Lady by Nancy Moser (pre and post-Revolutionary War)

Burning Sky by Lori Benton (post-Revolutionary War)

The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot (Civil War)

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin (Civil War, Women’s Suffrage, Prohibition)

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Biology. When I think of biology, I think of the birds and bees. When I think of the birds and bees, I think great romances. Here are some that fit that title.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

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Science Books. Science? Yick! I glazed over in my HS Chemistry class and I didn’t even attempt Physics. Here are four novels that involve science but didn’t make me glaze over!

Bad Ground by Dale Cramer (mining)

Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson (nuclear energy)

Maximal Reserve by Sam Batterman (petroleum exploration)

Undetected by Dee Henderson (sonar)

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The French I Took. This may be because I took Spanish. LOL! The only French word I can say with confidence is oui! These books set in France deserve a definite oui, oui!

My Brother’s Crown by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould (17th century)

Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot (WWII)

Two Crosses by Elizabeth Musser (Algerian Civil War)

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What are some of your favorite school books?

Book Review: Critical Reaction

5 Jan

210154When 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.

 

14de351636d085353b7c693b2bb4e121_f45Todd 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 lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife Cathy and children Ian and Libby.

 

My Impressions:

Critical Reaction by Todd Johnson had been languishing on my shelf for far too long. I loved his debut novel, The Deposit Slip (read review HERE) and was anxious to read book 2. But life gets busy and other book review deadlines seem to push some books to the bottom of the TBR pile. But a long road trip during the New Year’s holiday allowed me to finally pick this title up. I had to put it down with just 7 pages to read when my turn at driving came around (just as the action had hit its peak!). By the time I was back in the passenger seat, it was dark. So the flashlight app on my phone allowed me to get to the end. Yeah! Critical Reaction is a great novel for fans of legal suspense.

There’s been an accident at the defunct Hanford Nuclear site and a huge cover-up is under way. Kieran survived the accident and wants some answers. But the lawsuit he has filed looks like a long shot in the company town of Sherman. When he retains new counsel, the stakes go higher and the company increases its pressure and intimidation. How far will the company go to make sure its plans are successful and the people investigating will shut up or just disappear?

Critical Reaction has all the elements of a legal suspense novel — a David versus Goliath story, cover-ups and conspiracies and a legal team with issues of their own. While the plot kept me turning the pages, the characters were what made me love this book. Emily is an idealistic public defender who takes on Kieran’s case because of it rightness. Her father, Ryan, reluctantly signs on to the case after years of grief and malaise following his wife’s death. Kieran and Poppy are honorable men just trying to find out the truth. The villains are complex as well. Adam Worth has many motivations and enough sociopathic tendencies to make him very interesting. There are lots of shadow characters on both sides of the action to cause plenty of reader speculation.

So if you are looking for a suspense a la Whitlow, Singer or Grisham, then be sure to check out Critical Reaction.

Recommended.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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