Critical Mass and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$3.99
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Critical Mass Hardcover – September 21, 1998


See all 18 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$0.84 $0.01

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy
House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy
The Tierneys think the inheritance of an estate in upstate New York is just the break they need but when Ben uncovers the village's chilling secrets and Charlie finds strange things in the surrounding forest, they have second thoughts. Learn more | See related books
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (September 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399143629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399143625
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

From Publishers Weekly

A militia group in the Pacific Northwest becomes the world's newest nuclear power in this by-the-numbers thriller by the author of The List and The Judge. Lawyer Jocelyn "Joss" Cole sees a big retainer when she's hired by Dean Belden to handle his company's incorporation filings. But after Belden gets a federal subpoena, Joss sees him die in a fiery seaplane explosion. Now she's the only visible link to Belden's company (which was on the receiving end of two decaying nuclear weapons smuggled into the U.S. out of Russia), and that brings her to the attention of arms inspector Gideon van Ry, of the Institute Against Mass Destruction. After the feds determine that the militia has possession of the weapons, Gideon and Joss join the race to try to avert nuclear disaster. Of course, there are complications: the militia group is being fronted by a foreign power in order to circumvent U.S. nuclear retaliation policy, and the President is in CYA (cover-your-ass) overdrive because his party accepted a campaign contribution from the chief Russian culprit. But even with a SEAL assault on the militia stronghold, double crosses galore and an ingenious ending, the book offers too few surprises, too little suspense and too little emotional involvement. The characters have no inner life, and the plotting is sketchy from the start, when it's explained that dummies were used to cover up for the two missing nukes?dummies that conveniently drop off the weapons count while there's still time to foil the bad guys. The few crucial coincidences stick out like red flags because Martini makes more of them than he makes of the people around them.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

In the end, I really didn't like any of them.
Sus
I found the characters flat, none of whom I cared about except the Dutchman, and the plot seemed well put together, but somehow predictable.
Ziggy
The excitement and mystery kept on going from the very beginning of the book to the very last sentence.
Gail Anderson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Martini was beginning to stretch his courtroom characters a little too thin in The Judge; I'm glad he went off in a new direction in this book. It's as full of unexpected turns as all his previous whodunits, but this time with domestic and international terrorists. Its basic plot is believable (even if there are a few too many miraculous escapes) and it'd make a great movie. Don't start this book at bedtime because you won't put it down. Martini is to be commended for having a strong woman as protagonist; I only regret she never got her "constitutional rights". In the end Martini kills off the wrong character, the character I had really bonded to and wanted to see in future books. (Or, did he really die? In this book you're never sure!) A great trash read for a beach day, an airplane flight, or a lazy Saturday.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "goldcoastreviews" on July 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once again Steve Martini brings out the best in lawyers. Now, now, no snickering! In "Critical Mass", we meet Joss, someone we can all relate to. She wants to leave the hustle bustle of this whacky wired world. She starts her own law office in a supposedly quiet area.
Add a mysterious illness among the local fishermen, a wealthy but possibly lethal client, a dab of government hanky panky...and we get a twisting energetic legal thriller from Martini.
I enjoyed this book. I finished it & then promptly handed it to my husband. He already likes it. And he is usally not one for female heroines. But, he is hooked on this one.
if you find my comments interesting, please click the *yes*--thanks--CDS
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. L. Wasden on October 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I've read every one of the Martini books and this tops them all. It was full of suspense, terror, intrigue, mystery, romance, and current events.
This seems to be a really well thought out plot and was put together perfectly. I read this in two sittings....
Thanks Steve!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Critical Mass is my first Steve Martini book. I hope his other novels are better because... The story is full of cardboard characters who perform actions that made no sense. For example, any hospital noticing such serious cases of radiation among the fishermen will report the illnesses to the government. You would not have to wait until a local lawyer starts investigating the lawsuit potential! I guess such logical actions cannot take place because the story would end right on the first chapter. The more the story progresses, the more it feels like a story of how wrong things can go. Unfortunately, stories of how things can go wrong tend not to be fun to read.
If you want a superb story of terrorists taking the world hostage, try Devil's Alternative by Frederick Forsyth, and skip this one.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story is gripping. Many twists and a surprise ending. Unlike Grisham, who writes complex stories with too many characters for me to keep track of, Martini keeps down on the number of characters and still makes the story compelling to read. Although the main character is a woman, it's the kind of book men would like as well. In fact, I mailed it to my brother -- and I've never given him a book to read before. I know he'll absolutely enjoy it. I'm also recommending Critical Mass to female friends. Get a copy.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "rspvdan" on December 1, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Even the best of writers has an occassional misstep. A book that never would have been published if the author was not already famous. Steve Martini has written some wonderful courtroom dramas and the delicously off-beat THE LIST. Here he stumbles badly in a story featuring cardboard characters and a ludicrous plot. It was impossible for me to suspend my belief long enough to buy into his story and the actions of his protagonist make little sense. He even has the stereotypical Federal Attorney whose behavior would only make sense if he didn't want to find out the truth. Out of loyalty I finished the book hoping that it would improve, but sadly it continued to get worse. I'm sure that Steve Martini will recover from this bomb. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and read one of his wonderful earlier books and wait until his next book comes out. It could only be an improvement over this time-waster.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Fitz on December 12, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My father in law gave me this book and told me "it's great". I checked it out and thought "guy book". But it's not. One of the main characters is a woman and her adventures (as well as the other subplots) really held my interest. If you like thrillers, this is definitely a good read. This was my first book by Mr. Martini but it won't be my last.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hope for the Best on December 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this thriller very much and thought it was fast paced and interesting. It's not the author's best, but the pokes he takes at opinion poll based leaders (what president could he possibly mean?) were greatly appreciated. If such a situation faced the country today, well, it makes one shudder. Overall, nice job.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Steve Martini was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. An honors graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, he holds a law degree from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law.

Martini's first career was in journalism. He worked as a newspaper reporter in Los Angeles and as a correspondent at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, specializing in legal issues. In 1974 he entered private law practice in California, where he appeared in both state and federal courts. During his legal career, he worked as a legislative representative for the State Bar of California, served as special counsel to the California Victims of Violent Crimes Program, and was an administrative law judge and supervising hearing officer.

In 1984 Martini turned his talents to fiction, quickly earning positions on bestseller lists. All but his first book spent time on the New York Times Bestsellers list. To date, he has authored twelve novels, including eight featuring his popular lawyer alter ego, Paul Madriani.
In 1996 Undue Influence aired as a four-hour miniseries on CBS, followed by The Judge on NBC in 2001.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?