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Noteworthy Reads: SIGNWAVE by Andrew Vachss
A new novel by Vachss is always an event, and SIGNWAVE ––– third in the Shockwave series, featuring former legionnaire/mercenary Dell and his beloved wife Dolly ––– is no exception.
As always, the prose is scalpel sharp, the insights are deep and impactful, and the family of choice and anti–abuse against the vulnerable messages are as strong as ever. Threaded through all of this, however, SIGNWAVE is as much as anything a love story ––– the love between Dolly and Dell, and particularly the ultra–devotion of the latter to keep his wife secure and safe in the "dream home" he has established for her.
The flashbacks describing Dell's former life as a soldier and assassin, the lessons that shaped him and made him a survivor of those worlds, not only relate some mesmerizing events but also serve to help the reader under–stand the steps he feels compelled to take, even in his new life, for the sake of protecting that which he loves. And when Dolly receives a thinly veiled threat regarding some curious land dealings she is peripherally involved with, Dell's obsessive protect sensors go on full alert. In the course of investigating the man who made said threat, Dell uncovers complex business maneuvering, false identities, corruption and duplicity at many levels from many angles.
It will take all of Dell's savvy and some very harsh measures on his part ––– not to mention some aid from the ever–strengthening, family–like circle of friends surrounding Dolly and him ––– before security is once again restored to their "dream" environs.
Another intense, powerful, multi–layered gem from Vachss. Nobody does it better.
Posted by Wayne D. Dundee at 4:14 PM Sunday, June 14, 2015
With Andrew Vachss's trademark razor–sharp dialogue and inimitable prose style, SignWave—the third entry in the Aftershock series—is guaranteed to reverberate powerfully long after it has been read. Link to: Hardcover Paperback Audio eBook
In Vachss's entertaining third Aftershock novel (following 2014's Shock Wave), the deadly Dell, who's put his career as an assassin behind him and retired to the Oregon coast, where he lives off the grid, once again comes to the rescue of Dolly, the great love of his life, who is as active in their community as he is reclusive. Dolly has drawn the ire of a local businessman, George Benton, who is up to something nefarious involving a big land purchase. George's intentions are baffling, but figuring out the mystery has little to do with the fun of this series. Dell's protective instincts when it comes to Dolly are beyond obsessive, and it becomes obvious that anyone who crosses Dell is going to die, usually in a very bad way. Lots of assassin lessons and killing lore make turning the pages a learning experience in the dark arts as much as a riveting read.
Sons of Spade Review
Dell used to be a mercenary; later, he was an assassin. His partner, Dolly, was a battlefield nurse. Their collective pasts contain enough nightmares for a thousand lives. Together they've carved out a quiet life in an Oregon small town where the timberland and the ocean meet. Occasionally, ell's old skills are needed, but he has to be careful not to let his paranoia determine his actions. When former hedge–fund director George Byron Benton seemingly directs a threat toward Dolly, Dell does a deep background check. Benton is not who or what he seems, and he is a genuine threat to Dolly and to anyone else with whom he comes in contact. Dell is determined to take Benton out in such a way that no suspicion will ever be directed at Dolly or him. This third in Vachss' Aftershock series again draws strongly on the appeal of the two lead characters. Dell is a formidable, dangerous man, but he's no match for Dolly's indomitable spirit and fiery temper. Less bleak than Vachss' other work, this series could attract more than a straight–noir audience, similar in that way to Max Allan Collins' Quarry novels.
NOTE: THIS IS A REVIEW, NOT A "RATING." THE LATTER SHOULD ALWAYS BE IGNORED, AS NOT BASED ON ACTUAL READINGS OF THE BOOK. THIS GOES FOR ANYTHING YOU SEE IF THIS "FORUM."
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