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Critical Mass: VI Warshawski, Book 16 | [Sara Paretsky]

Critical Mass: VI Warshawski, Book 16

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.
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Publisher's Summary

The brilliant 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 without a fight.

©2013 Sara Paretsky (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (195 )
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  •  
    Deborah Stein 07-01-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Lots of twists and turns"
    If you could sum up Critical Mass in three words, what would they be?

    Historical, Surprises, Gripping


    Which character – as performed by Susan Ericksen – was your favorite?

    Lottie - she sounded like I had her in my head from previous books


    Any additional comments?

    There were many surprises in this book. I am usually wrong in trying to solve the mystery as I'm reading and this book was no different. I did not get tired of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Durango, CO, United States 05-05-14
    Susan Durango, CO, United States 05-05-14 Member Since 2006
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    "I like this book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I've always like the VI books, and this one is probably one of my favorites


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story line is mostly about WWII and the atrocities, and then trying to make a small thing right.


    What about Susan Ericksen’s performance did you like?

    Worked for me


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not one sitting, but several. I listen while I drive.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara 03-14-14
    Barbara 03-14-14
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    "Lots of twists and turns. Many surprises."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Mind challenging plot and intriguing glimpses of our country's quest for the atom bomb.
    I have always been interested in the nazi era abuses of the Jews.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Solange 03-09-14
    Solange 03-09-14

    Mixed media artist, drummer, and Audible listener - 863 titles and counting!

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    "A very hostile listen"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The characters all seemed to be annoyed, hostile or defensive. Except Jake, who got two bedroom scenes and not much dialogue.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Sara Paretsky again?

    Probably not, although I have enjoyed "reading" her, "listening" to this book was painful.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Actually the narrator depicted the characters very well, but, they were aggressive and annoying, so it got a bit much, having that going on RIGHT IN YOUR EAR!


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe.


    Any additional comments?

    I found the narration overwhelmed the story, although it was very well done and faithful to the (again..) constantly annoyed, defensive and belligerent characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Frederick Portland, OR United States 02-16-14
    J. Frederick Portland, OR United States 02-16-14 Member Since 2013
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    11
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    "Just what I expect from Paretsky"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Critical Mass to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print, so I can't compare. However, the audio edition blew me away. Susan Ericksen was able to narrate a conversation between 4 people, using accents and voice inflections just enough so as to clearly distinguish each character and to make it incredibly realistic. I was awed by her performance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deborah Saint Paul, MN, United States 01-30-14
    deborah Saint Paul, MN, United States 01-30-14 Member Since 2003

    Say something about yourself! I am a runner and avid listener to books. Audible allow me to do my two favorite things at the same time.

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    "Flirting with Disaster"

    Critical Mass is timely for both story line and show casing women in science. Ms Paretsky give us a tight plot with somewhat predictable twist. I was fascinated by the role of female physicist in Austria prior to WWII. It was a fun mystery and sent me searching for more information on women in physics. Science Friday has a nice interview about this with the author.

    The narrator was horrible. She overstates voices, uses inappropriate intonation and was irritating to listen to. She tried to do the characters' voices and ended up sounding angry most of the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnn 11-15-13
    JoAnn 11-15-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Still writing great books"

    Sometimes after a certain number of books, an author's writing becomes stale and formulaic. Fortunately not Sara Paretsky. She finds ways to keep developing her characters and keeping the stories fresh. I loved the history introduced into this book and look forward to the next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Huber Heights, OH, United States 10-24-13
    Mark Huber Heights, OH, United States 10-24-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Great"
    Any additional comments?

    This was one of best VI Warshaski yet!!! Before listening this book, I would strongly suggest listen to Total Recall. There is a lot information from that book to this book. If you did not like Total Recall then you will probably like this book then.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Lopez Island, WA, USA 11-16-13
    Patricia Lopez Island, WA, USA 11-16-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Borrow the Book from the Public Library"
    What disappointed you about Critical Mass?

    I skipped through most of it just to get to the end.The narrator was terrible. Long pauses after a few sentences were read. I kept waiting for a continuation of the story, this took several seconds, very frustrating Boring Boring BoringThe story was long and drawn out - due to the narrator and the story line.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Ericksen’s performances?

    NO!


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Critical Mass?

    All but the last 10th of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I've read all of Sara's books and enjoyed them. The narrator ruined this one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M.K. Woodstock, IL USA 11-05-13
    M.K. Woodstock, IL USA 11-05-13 Member Since 2009

    I love a good mystery

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    "Usually I love Sara Paretsky, disappointed"

    I am sorry this one was a disappointment, too much historic information and less of a good mystery,maybe next time?? I enjoy the fact that these stories take place in Chicago, which is very familiar to me.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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