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Authors: Sara Paretsky

Critical Mass

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ALSO BY SARA PARETSKY

Breakdown

Body Work

Hardball

Bleeding Kansas

Fire Sale

Blacklist

Total Recall

Hard Time

Ghost Country

Windy City Blues

Tunnel Vision

Guardian Angel

Burn Marks

Blood Shot

Bitter Medicine

Killing Orders

Deadlock

Indemnity Only

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Copyright © 2013 by Sara Paretsky

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Paretsky, Sara.

Critical mass / Sara Paretsky.

p. cm.

ISBN 978-1-101-63650-3

1. Warshawski, V. I. (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Women private investigators—Illinois—Chicago—Fiction. 3. Chicago (Ill.)—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3566.A647C75 2013 2013025097

813'.54—dc23

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

For Courtenay,
who taught me to
seek the beauty
of Nature’s secrets

CONTENTS

Also by Sara Paretsky
Title Page
Copyright
Dedication
Thanks
 
Vienna, 1913: And There Was Light
1.
Hell’s Kitchen
2.
Dog-Tired
3.
Family Portraits
4.
Martin’s Cave
5.
Computer Games
Austria, 1943: The Mother’s Heart
6.
Arithmetic Problems
7.
Rocket Science
8.
Dinner with the King of Sweden
9.
Shadow of the Thin Man
10.
Impulse Control
11.
Chemistry Shop
12.
Don’t Do Me Any Favors Anymore
13.
The Dzornen Effect
Innsbruck, 1942: Pebbles in a Bottomless Well
14.
Eye on the Prize
15.
The Doctor’s Dilemma
16.
Source Code
17.
V.I. Can’t Turn Tricks
18.
Diary of a Cold Warrior
19.
Bleeding Out
20.
What Did It All Mean?
Vienna, 1938: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around
21.
Down on the Farm
22.
The Pits
23.
Trunk Show
24.
Past Due
25.
High Sheriff and Police, Riding After Me
26.
Midnight Ride
27.
Derrick, King of the Damned
28.
Duck and Cover
29.
Night Caller
30.
Playing Dress-Up
31.
Muscle Car
32.
Chop Shop
33.
Lap of Electronics
34.
Gadget Museum
35.
Phishing
36.
A Childhood Outing
37.
Nuclear Umbrella
38.
Neighborhood Gossip
39.
Byronic Odes
40.
The Radetzky March
41.
Bird Man of Hyde Park
42.
Crash Landing
43.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Touch the Ground
44.
Hyperlink
45.
Subterranean Homesick Blues
46.
The Pit and the Skeleton
Nevada, 1953: The Lost Lover
47.
Where There’s a Will
48.
Ali Baba’s Cave
Chicago, 1953: In the Workshop
49.
Isaac Newton’s
Opticks
50.
Malware
51.
Power Down
52.
Virtual Reality
Vienna, November 1941: Letter from America
53.
Killer App
Chicago, 1953: Sacrificial Lamb
54.
Late Mail
Tinney, Illinois: Finding the Harmonies
 
Historical Note

THANKS

Many people helped me create this novel. My biggest debt goes to my personal physics adviser, S. C. Wright, from the University of Chicago’s Enrico Fermi Institute and Department of Physics. He directed my reading and answered the questions of a physics novice with great kindness and thoroughness.

Dr. Johann Marton, director of the Stefan-Meyer-Institut in Vienna, was generous with both his time and his insights in stepping me through the history of physics in Vienna in the twentieth century.

Thanks to Dr. Marton, I received advice from Dr. Stefan Sienell, MAS, director of the Archives of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, as well as from Dr. Thomas Maisel, director of the Archives for the University of Vienna.

Michael Geoffrey, Chicago patent lawyer, was a most helpful resource for the part of the novel that deals with patent law, with whether patents held by foreign nationals were recognized in U.S. courts, and other critical plot issues.

Leah Richardson, librarian at the University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections, advised me on library policy for digging up names of people consulting library materials.

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