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Critical Mass: Book summary and reviews of Critical Mass by Sara Paretsky

Critical Mass

A V.I. Warshawski Novel

by Sara Paretsky

Critical Mass by Sara Paretsky X
Critical Mass by Sara Paretsky
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  • Published Oct 2013
    480 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

New York Times-bestselling author Sara Paretsky's brilliant protagonist V.I. Warshawski returns in another hard-hitting entry, combining razor-sharp plotting and compelling characters with a heady mix of timely political and social themes.

V.I. Warshawski's closest friend in Chicago is the Viennese-born doctor Lotty Herschel, who lost most of her family in the Holocaust. Lotty escaped to London in 1939 on the Kindertransport with a childhood playmate, Kitty Saginor Binder.  When Kitty's daughter finds her life is in danger, she calls Lotty, who, in turn, summons V.I. to help. The daughter's troubles turn out to be just the tip of an iceberg of lies, secrets, and silence, whose origins go back to the mad competition among America, Germany, Japan and England to develop the first atomic bomb. The secrets are old, but the people who continue to guard them today will not let go of them without a fight.  

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Paretsky builds the suspense by deftly weaving the contemporary narrative with flashbacks to Lotty's Austrian childhood." - Publishers Weekly

"Paretsky has been on a roll lately, her long-running, trailblazing series at its most dynamic since the early days." - Booklist

"Beneath the fierce scientific rivalries, the targets are so familiar that there's little room for mystery, though V.I. has a charismatic and blistering way of bringing old secrets to light." - Kirkus

This information about Critical Mass was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Sara Paretsky Author Biography

Before there was Lisbeth Salander or Stephanie Plum, there was V.I. Warshawski. Sara Paretsky revolutionized the mystery world in 1982 when she introduced V.I. in Indemnity Only. By creating a believable investigator with the grit and the smarts to tackle problems on the mean streets, Paretsky challenged a genre in which women typically were either vamps or victims. Hailed by critics and readers, Indemnity Only was followed by nineteen more best-selling Warshawski novels. The New York Times writes that Paretsky "always makes the top of the list when people talk about female operatives," while Publishers Weekly says, "Among today's PIs, nobody comes close to Warshawski."

Called "passionate" and "electrifying," V.I. reflects her creator's own passion for social justice. As a contributor ...

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