Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Critical Vulnerability: A Sasha McCandless Companion Novel (Aroostine Higgins #1)” as Want to Read:
Critical Vulnerability: A Sasha McCandless Companion Novel (Aroostine Higgins #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Critical Vulnerability: A Sasha McCandless Companion Novel

(Aroostine Higgins #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,368 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Governments, hospitals, and industry use computerized industrial control systems to remotely monitor and control elevators, electricity, alarms, surveillance systems, and more. It's convenient and efficient. And potentially deadly.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aroostine Higgins put her personal life on hold to join the Department of Justice's elite Criminal Division. Now she’s
Kindle Edition
Published by Brown Street Books (first published January 1st 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Critical Vulnerability, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Critical Vulnerability

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,368 ratings  ·  161 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Critical Vulnerability: A Sasha McCandless Companion Novel (Aroostine Higgins #1)
Rohit Enghakat
It was a huge letdown what was touted to be legal thriller. An attorney is fighting a case of corruption against a company which is embroiled in federal suit against the US govt. Soon it turns out to be a case of kidnapping and blackmail. The attorney spends more time outdoors trying to crack the case than inside courts. The plot is very basic and mislabelled as a legal thriller, with no courtroom drama.

I downloaded a copy from Amazon given the good ratings it received and had expected an
Sep 27, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: left-unfinished
I couldn't finished the book and left it at page 110. It was a book with Lots of details with no relevance to the main plot. [for example author begins to talk about a man wakes up in a room and continues to explain the physical conditions of the room and the bed on "pages" or you will find a complete "chapter" about what kind of "pen" the main character likes to use on writing the letters; actually is it necessary to write about something like that to fill the pages and make a novel?!] even the ...more
This book surprised me a lot! I usually don't read adult so I was very surprised when I felt like I was reading young adult! I really connected to Aroostine even though I'm not a lawyer or an adult. For being super short all of the characters are very developed and have great personalities. I love how Aroostine was so focused on her job at the weirdest of times such as when she gets her wisdom teeth out. Overall I love this book and all of its mystery action!
Ren nerdychampagne
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads, adult
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
4.5 / 5

I absolutely adore this book!!
I love the ending.
I think the whole climax was pretty anti-climatic, took all the thrill of unearthing the mystery away from the reader, but it was fun and all!!!

I love this book.


According to the other reviewers, this book isn't as good as other novels by Miller. But this is my first novel of hers and here I say that this is pretty good.

The plot was straight to the point, presenting the
Fred Hertog
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was a little slow and too much lawyer talk but still enjoyed the suspense. Just enough to want to go on reading.
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the fact that there was a lot going on I enjoyed this book. It kept me in suspense until the very end.
David Huelsmann
Not a bad book at all. Not a legal thriller at all either. Reads well. Some unnecessary filler here and there. Kept my attention anyway throughout the book.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got this book free from Bookbub and since I am a huge fan of medical and legal thrillers, I was instantly interested.

Sure, the beginning of the novel gripped me and I did not put it down till 60%. But then, the tempo slowed down and it ceased to be a "thriller". It is not a "legal" thriller, if a thriller at all. You guess what the end is going to be like much before end. The ideal thriller needs to be a real page turner and suspense should be continuous till end, which, sadly, is almost
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, read-2015
Critical Vulnerability is the first of two (so far) books with the protagonist Aroostine Higgins. Higgins is a federal prosecutor, and is a Native American who was raised by a non-Native couple after her parents and grandfather died.

She is working in Washington, DC, while her husband, a craftsman in wood, remained behind at their previous home. He had told her he would support her in her career, but hasn't been able to make himself move to the big city. He goes so far as to file for divorce,
HornFan2 (Mike)
Thanks to, Melissa F. Miller and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC book for my review.

Critical Vulnerability is an enjoyable read. Liked the fast pace, that it had spying using technology, sabotage, attempted murder, arson and a Beaver, that was a Native American Animal Spirit.

I liked the Aroostine Higgins character, being Native American, a lawyer, that finds herself in awkward situations and like how she seeks her spirit guide a Beaver for help.

Like how the Melissa F. Miller
Some things I liked, some things I didn't

I have read all of this author's legal thriller series. This is the first book in the Aroostine Higgins series which I have read. I found the characters very interesting, and also the locations in which the story takes place. I enjoyed the conclusion much less. It seemed a very far fetched ending, abrupt and illogical. I haven't decided whether or not to read the second in this series.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it liked it
The general plot was quite interesting assuming readers were able to accept the premise that the main character and her friends would be willing to break the laws and their codes of legal ethics in order to permit the story to proceed. As a rather old guy (71) I still find it difficult to relate to female lead characters and that made this novel more difficult for me to appreciate, but that's my problem and not the author's.
karin whitehead
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
It was called a legal thriller, I disagree. I'd call it more of a cyber thriller. An attorney is trying a case again a foreign entity, and they are fighting back, but not in the courtroom. It was fast paced and maybe what I would call over developed. Seemed too complicated, too disjointed, too much going on for me. It took me too long to finish because I had to go back and re-read so much to get it. Just an okay read for me.
May 02, 2019 rated it it was ok

It’s just an ok book. I didn’t really like the characters. Plus the story felt rushed and also kinda unbelievable (aka full of bs) e.g.: SPOILERS (kinda)
- the relationship between the husband/wife
- her “skills” even though she hasn’t used it for 25+ years
- her “visions”
- the technology / the tech guy who no one can beat
- the way the boss reacts in the end

I got the first book for free, but def wouldn’t buy the next one in the series.
Linda Kain
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Thriller You Won't Want to Miss

I really enjoyed reading this book. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. It had a great ending giving the author the opportunity to continue future books with the same characters. If you enjoy suspense and trying to figure out who the bad guy is, buy this book. You won't regret it.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent Read

It wasn’t a bad read but I think I’m bias to her other series with her main character Sasha and her life as a powerful attorney and all that that comes with.

I will continue to read this series...who know I may come to love it! Lol
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Different from other books in that the lead role is a Native American and she has not lost what Grandfather taught her! Aroostine calls upon the teachings and insights to center and calm her nerves. I love this book and will have to get another!
Mary Manson
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous Read

Really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters, the writing style and the legal drama. I was a legal assistant for 25+ years and the legal drama was very realistic. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this Series.
Dewey Carroll Brackett
Good book!

This book was a little slow to start but once it got going it was pretty good. Roo's native American roots helped her to solve the crime. I also appreciate a book with out profanity and explicit sex.
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ms. Miller has a fast reading story here. The characters are realistic and the plot is believable! The 250 pages flew bye. I will pick put another of Ms. Miller books in the future to enjoy.

Thank you.

Chuck Mercik
Jim Mullin
Just a fair thriller rather a contrived plot; however I think Ms. Miller is an excellent writer and if she applied herself could produce works comparable to writers such as S. Grafton and Jacqueline Winspear.
I did enjoy the book and look forward to a better product.
JoAnne Pegg
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good talented lawyer

A really good book. Loved it because of it's twists and turns. Kept my attention throughout. Recommend this book to readers who like mystery, suspense and thrills in a story. Gave it 5 stars because it was a great read from beginning to end.
Boots S
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
I enjoyed this book even if the computer explanations were beyond my understanding I still got the drift. A lawyer is trying a Justice case and the opposition does what it can to prevent her from going to trial - even possible murder. A fast moving exciting tale..
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was ok.. found the ending a little far fetched and found myself saying ohhh please several times ...more
Nicole Quattro
An easy read and a real page turner. Felt it was wrapped up too nicely with too many conveniences. More like a 3.5
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
story line okay, main character likable, but the end didn't make any sense. What was so great about Joe?
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Real Life Technology Thriller!

Critical Vulnerability (An Aroostine Higgins Novel Book 1) by Author Melissa F. Miller

Full disclosure, this book came to me as a free Kindle read… the premise interested me, so I downloaded.

“Government records, medical equipment, elevators, security alarms... they're all remotely controlled and monitored by computerized industrial control systems. It's convenient, efficient, and potentially deadly.”

At first start, I wasn’t certain the novel was for me… The story
Debbie J
Critical Vulnerability hits the mark as a solid airport book. Author Melissa F. Miller’s straightforward writing style and ability to help the reader understand AUSA Aroostine Higgins’ motivations combine to make the story work.

Often though, I think the text goes a little deep into the weeds on the legal stuff. Furthermore, the hacking bits feel over-the-top despite such actions being scarily possible IRL. Here the amazing computer feats mainly serve as a handy deus ex machina.

The periodic use
Aaron Beecroft
Although the Aroostine, the central protagonist, is likable, interesting and easy-to-root-for, the story has a few too many coincidences, meaningless and inconsequential details (why introduce the fact she'd stabbed a guy with scissors at a destination wedding unless it's going to pay off? Unless Chekov's knife has a resolution, it's just words for the sake of words).

The ending undermined the strength of the main character. Aroostine's Native American heritage is written in a way that is
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aroostine Higgins has taken a job in DC for the Federal Justice Office as a prosecutor and is in the midst of a big case when files she sends to the court for the trial go missing. Then there are threats to dismiss the case, a kidnapping of the mother of the technician who has access to the software that controls the court's computers and to a whole lot more. Aroostine is determined to continue with the case even when her husband is also kidnapped. What happens? You will ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • See You Soon
  • All Eyes on Me (Miranda and Parker Mystery #1)
  • A Devilish Punishment (Devil Springs Cozy Mysteries, #1)
  • Redemption Lake (A Winston Radhauser Mystery #1)
  • Secrets & Suspense
  • Three Seconds To Rush (Piper Anderson Legacy Mystery Book 1)
  • A Terminal Agenda (Severance #1)
  • Mistaken Trust
  • Au nord de Folly-sur-mer
  • The Back Door Man
  • Forgotten (Araneya Mystery Series Book 1)
  • Murder in the Manor (An Ella Rose Cozy Mystery—Book 1)
  • The Lost Spear (Lost #0.5)
  • The Mind's Eye
  • The Girls Across The Bay (Knox and Sheppard, #1)
  • The Last Teacher (Mackenzie August #0.5)
  • Silent Crime (Hangman #1)
  • Sniper's Nest (Detective Jesse McCord #1)
See similar books…
USA Today bestselling author Melissa F. Miller is a former attorney who traded the practice of law for the art of telling stories.

She is the author of more than two dozen bestselling legal thrillers, suspense thrillers, romantic comedic mysteries, and forensic thrillers. All her work shares two common threads: pulse-pounding, tightly plotted action and smart, unlikely heroines and heroes.

Her books

Other books in the series

Aroostine Higgins (5 books)
  • Chilling Effect (Aroostine Higgins, #2)
  • Calculated Risk (Aroostine Higgins #3)
  • Called Home (Aroostine Higgins, #4)
  • Crossfire Creek (An Aroostine Higgins Novel Book 5)
“secretly still considers Pittsburgh home. In college, she majored in English literature with concentrations in creative writing poetry and medieval literature and was stunned, upon graduation, to learn that there's not exactly a job market for such a degree. After working as an editor for several years, she returned to school to earn a law degree. She was that annoying girl who loved class and always raised her hand. She practiced law for fifteen years, including a stint as a clerk for a federal judge, nearly a decade as an attorney at major international law firms, and several years running a two-person law firm with her lawyer husband. Now, powered by coffee, she writes” 0 likes
“Dad Higgins always said to assume the best of people but if they showed their true colors, believe them.” 0 likes
More quotes…