Todd M. Johnson ’75 (Courtesy Bethany House)

New book: Critical Reaction, by Todd M. Johnson ’75(Bethany House)

The author: A practicing attorney for more than 30 years, Johnson also has been an adjunct professor of international law and served as a U.S. diplomat in China prior to the release of his first novel, The Deposit Slip (2012).

The book: The novel centers around Kieran Mullaney, a worker who was testing radiation levels at a decommissioned nuclear facility on the night of a mysterious explosion. While Kieran initially considers himself lucky to have survived the blast, he soon realizes that his adventure is just beginning as his inquiries into the event are met with threats and silence. Convinced that the nuclear facility is hiding something, he enlists the help of his old friend Emily, an inexperienced attorney. The deeper the two dig in their attempts to build a case, the stranger and more dangerous their task becomes.

Opening lines: “Under a moonless sky, he slowed the bay stallion as they neared the top of the slope. The evening breeze, strongest there on the narrow plateau at the peak of the ridge, slipped a gust of chill air through his jacket and down his neck. He pulled his hood up over his head.”

Review: “From his authentic characterizations, to his multi-tiered, greed driven plot wrapped in a father-daughter’s edgy relationship,Critical Reaction’s complexity and intrigue keep pages turning and readers guessing,” wrote