by Whitley Strieber
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
Forge Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765322531
Date: 17 February 2009 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
A great terrorist story. Critical Mass, by Whitley Strieber, Brings a new perspective on the threat of nuclear weapons.
Critical Mass by Whitley Strieber is a terrorist story. The lead character, Jim Deutsch, is an operative for the CIA. He gets the word that some children in a town near the Mexican border are suffering radiation sickness. Deutsch feared the worst. He feared that a nuclear bomb had already been smuggled in to the country and he hoped that the children could help him find the trail. As he investigates; he discovers that the issue is much bigger. A major terrorist group has developed sites all over the country.
Deutsch has to jump through many scenes to find his information. He had worked in Afghanistan and Siberia, and knew the ropes of working in the field. Many action scenes have him in tight situations where his experience and athletic ability help him escape.
The terrorists are very innovative. They find a way to sneak the nuclear weapons into the country and hide them so that they are undetectable by any scanning equipment. The delivery system they develop is innovative too. I was very impressed with all the methods in the story.
The terrorists succeed in launching and exploding a nuclear weapon early in the novel, but I canít tell you the specifics or it will spoil the surprise. What impressed me was the detail with which Strieber describes the damage. I have visited the location, and the author describes the details beautifully. It is a little morbid, because the buildings and countryside are being destroyed rather than built, but the description vividly made me remember what I saw on my travels.
I think the lead character, Jim Deutsch, has a bit of a self-absorption complex. He keeps thinking that the bad things could have been avoided if only he had not failed. It is not enough to spoil the story, but one person does not change the world, and I feel that his thoughts are a bit much.
The book also makes a commentary about living in the United States as a Muslim. Even the middle-eastern characters that are in investigative positions within our government are never completely trusted. Although sad, our world works that way.
Overall, I loved Critical Mass. I like to see myself as a thinker, and that I am able to come up with innovative ways to solve problems and get things done. Strieber impressed me, and his characters thought up solutions that are very crafty, but also very believable.
I highly recommend Critical Mass by Whitley Strieber. It moves quickly and constantly impresses.
th innovative ways to solve problems and get things done. Strieber impressed me, and his characters thought up solutions that are very crafty, but also very believable. I highly recommend Critical Mass, by Whitley Strieber. It moves quickly and constantly impresses.