As a Washingtonian, I was really interested in reading this book. As a child, that the Hanford Nuclear Reactor was just across the Cascade Mountains was a constant reminder of the reality of the Cold War.
first part of the novel is a little slow. We find out that there has
been an accident at the Hanford site. The reactor had long been shut
down but there were still contractors there maintaining and cleaning
up the site. Before long we find out that there appears to be a cover
up regarding the accident. Something strange is going on.
is a contracted worker who was in the midst of the explosion. Months
later, he is still suffering serious health issues. He brings a suit
against the contractor but his small town lawyer bows out as the
trial nears. Emily, with the prosecutor's office in Seattle, is
approached. She wants to take the case and convinces her father, a
powerful lawyer, to help her out.
action picks up in the middle of the novel as the lawyers work on
discovery and find they are being outmaneuvered by the contract
company. The tension increases when it looks like there is much more
going on at the Hanford site than mere maintenance.
was a fun book for me to read, even though it was not a page turner
until well into the second half. The possibility of a company going
rogue at the nuclear site was exciting. There was plenty of action
toward the end as the contractor wanted to keep the rogue project
secret – at any cost. I did feel the ending was abrupt and a little
unrealistic. And there was a loose end that was not tied up – after
all, they were lawyers trespassing yet with no ultimate consequences.
That would probably happen only in a novel.
M. Johnson is a graduate of Princeton University and the
University of Minnesota Law School. He has practiced law for over 30
years and has served as a U. S. diplomat to Hong Kong. He and his
family live outside Minneapolis, Minnesota. Find out more at
House, 385 pages.
received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for
the purpose of this review.