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Shockwave: A Thriller
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Shockwave: A Thriller (Aftershock #2)

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  203 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Just before daybreak, a body washes up on a pristine beach. The dead man’s skull has been bashed open, and his upper body is covered in neo-Nazi tattoos. An anonymous photographer e-mails an image of the scene to the local news, spurring the police to instantaneous response. Searching for suspects at one of the town’s “homeless-by-choice” encampments, the cops pick up ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2014)
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(showing 1-30)
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Lee Thompson
Dec 17, 2015 Lee Thompson rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I liked the first in the series better, mostly because I cared about the characters more and the story line was more interesting, but this is still well worth your time. Andrew Vachss's writing is very addictive. I'll read everything he's written.
John Bruni
Jun 16, 2014 John Bruni rated it it was amazing
Honestly, I didn't think that AFTERSHOCK should be a series. It was a wonderful stand-alone book. So when I heard about SHOCK WAVE, I didn't expect much. Boy, was I wrong. It's great to see Dell and Dolly back in action with a situation much more deadly than the first time around. Neo-Nazis and government conspiracies? Count me in. This is an amazing, violent, sad, intense read. I'm OK with running into these characters again. I think Vachss is at his best when he does one-off books (my favorite ...more
Sharon Michael
Jan 23, 2015 Sharon Michael rated it liked it
Again, the usual brilliant writing and vivid characterization expected of the author. Strong psychological patterns within the plotline and a grimly realistic look at the problems of the homeless and the mentally impaired population. Not quite as bleakly pessimistic as the Burke series tends to be, but too much a realism to be anything but dark.
Bill Mackela
Jun 10, 2014 Bill Mackela rated it it was ok
Shelves: edelweiss
I didn't like the people, the story, and the writing. I even read Aftershock first, because I didn't want to give it an unfair reading. This is the third book by this author that I didn't like, so I will be skipping him for a while.
Jun 24, 2014 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Shockwave is the second installment in Mr. Vachss's new series featuring retired mercenary Dell and his wife, former war nurse, Dolly. The first novel, Aftershock, was a pleasant surprise, coming as it did after several successful stand-alone novels. In Dell, Vachss has reinvented many of the traits that made Burke, the central character of his previous long-running series, such an effective protagonist. Unlike Burke's diverse crew, however, Dell's family of choice comprises only his wife, ...more
Tim Niland
Aug 03, 2015 Tim Niland rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
Dell is a retired French Legionnaire and soldier of fortune living on the Oregon coast with his wife Dolly whom he met while she was serving with Doctors Without Borders. Settled down to a peaceful life, their world is turned upside down when Mack, a social worker, informs them about the case of a neo-nazi found dead on the beach, and the homeless schizophrenic that was falsely charged with the crime. Dell is reluctantly recruited to find evidence which will clear this man and uses his former ...more
Jul 01, 2014 Bracken rated it it was amazing
Like Strega, the second book in the Burke series, I think Shockwave is the book with which Vachss has hit his stride with the characters at the center of the Aftershock series. This one is much more subtle in its treatment of the subject of people who suffer from the psychological trauma of being both primary and secondary participants in traumatic experiences. In Aftershock, we learned how Dolly's career as a nurse in Médecins Sans Frontières continued to haunt her long after she left the war z ...more
Apr 16, 2016 stormhawk rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
Andrew Vachss is a writer that you either really like, or one that you read once and never go back. I keep reading, because there is a sharp edge to his skills, as sharp as the knives that his characters frequently carry. I love the Burke series, but have a respect for everything else he writes. He writes a good story, but also weaves in important topical issues -- rape, child molestation, treatment of the homeless mentally ill, life underground and off the grid, love, and the nature of family. ...more
Jun 25, 2014 Viccy rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
Adelbert Jackson is not his name. He doesn't know his real name. He escaped from a clinic in Belgium when he was nine, the years before erased. He grew up on the streets of Paris, adopted by a master thief, Luc. He joined the French Foreign Legion and fought everywhere it was required. Now, he lives in Oregon with his wife, Dolly, a former nurse with Medicins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) and tries to stay out of trouble, but it seems to have a way of finding him. A dead body turns ...more
Dan Downing
Mar 28, 2015 Dan Downing rated it liked it
The world of Andrew Vachss is not like your world or mine. His world---in NYC or Chicago or the Pacific Northwest or Africa or anywhere---is hard, tough, full of implication and people you do not want to have over for lunch.
Sadly, his world exists, and so do the fearsome people. They walk the streets, drive the highways, live in the neighborhoods we inhabit. Most of us are fortunate enough to see through or past them; we don't hear them or recognise what they are. Most of the time.
Here Vachss s
Stewart Tame
Jul 01, 2014 Stewart Tame rated it really liked it
Nice! The second book in the Dell and Dolly series is every bit as good as the first. It will be interesting to see just how long this series gets. Since Dell's main objective is always to protect his family, it's not easy motivating him to go out and do detective things. A significant chunk of this book is spent making sure that his motivations for doing the things he does are believable. As always, Vachss' deceptively simple prose works its magic, its innocuousness concealing a razor sharp ...more
Jeff Frane
Jul 12, 2014 Jeff Frane rated it it was ok
I have never wanted to put down an Andrew Vachss novel and have never been anything but completely engaged, dragged along for a pell-mell ride. In every novel, Vachss has led me through twists driven by new revelations, new information and the deep dark knowledge of the protagonist (mostly Burke). This book is a mess. It's possible that it finds direction somewhere in the last third, but I couldn't tell you. My TBR shelf is too tall to spend time trying to decipher something like Shockwave ...more
Michael Fredette
Aug 31, 2014 Michael Fredette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shockwave is the second novel in the Aftershock series featuring Del, an amnesiac former mercenary and his wife Dolly, a former battlefield nurse. When a Neo-Nazi ex-con's corpse washes up on the shore of their resort town, the police arrest a mentally ill homeless man named Homer, who had come into possession of the "victim's" watch. Dolly with characteristic compassion, cannot abide a vulnerable member of society being railroaded for a crime he couldn't have committed so she urges her husband ...more
Jul 28, 2014 Tracett rated it it was ok
Not my favorite Vachss novel. Among my friends we have a shared comment we use for books that leave us lukewarm: I finished it. Well, I finished it. I really didn't care how it ended, I just wanted it to end so I could move onto something better. I think I would have preferred if Vachss had just written an article or lecture on how to be a mercenary soldier, because much of this book seemed like a how-to on being a French Legionnaire. I usually appreciate his introduction of raw topics to his ...more
Jun 19, 2014 Amy rated it did not like it
How could a sequel be so disappointing? I really enjoyed Aftershock and was looking forward to more Dolly and Dell novels. I pity the reader who picks this book up before reading Aftershock. Even reading the first one, I found this to be too cryptic and down right confusing. Several times I wanted to stop reading but I decided to finish it out. Rarely do I say, "HORRIBLE" when I finish a book, but I did with this one and it will be the last Vachss novel for me, even if Dolly and Dell make ...more
John Edward
Aug 17, 2016 John Edward rated it it was ok
Unlikely plot with very poorly motivated characters. At each turning point in the narrative, you get the feeling that Vachss realizes he has spent too much time spewing sociological trivia and he has to move the plot along or he will lose the reader. The first idea to leap into his head is good enough. Doesn't need to make sense. Identical pseudo-tough guy dialogue and non-verbal BS from all pseudo-tough biker types. I know, there is no mention of a biker in the book but that is the general ...more
Jul 10, 2014 Pat rated it liked it
I received a free copy of this book through the "Good Reads" First Reads Giveaway.

This author has written many books, but this is the first one I've read. It is certainly original. After getting down to 50 pages, I still wondered where this story was going,it's not a mystery in the usual sense. The premise of the story is far fetched. Be prepared for chapters of raw and violent action which seem out of proportion to the situation.

Apr 26, 2015 Jacob rated it liked it
Not as good as Aftershock due to way too much recapping of Aftershock and being spun on too thin a thread for this story to be cohesive enough.
That said even a poor Vachss' book will provide a quality education upon life in areas where most of us are ignorant, while keeping you interested enough to turn the pages. I like Dell and hope to see more books in this series.
Mike Harper
Apr 29, 2015 Mike Harper rated it did not like it
A really terrible book. Crappy plot, uninteresting characters and poorly done violence.
So why did I finish it? I suppose that after I'd read for a half hour, I got to thinking there must be some redeeming virtues. But after an hour and a half, I became intrigued by the question, how did this ever get printed?
Also, it was relatively short (its only virtue).
Aug 05, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: firstreads
This was a firstreads book.

This was my first Andrew Vachss read and I was disappointed. The story just didn't flow well for me at all. I didn't bond with the characters, I really didn't care for Dell and I just wanted it to be over and done. I finished it, but it felt more like a chore and not an adventure.
Jul 19, 2014 Jayw added it
The tranquility is disturbed in former Legionnaire Dell's quiet Oregon coastal town when a dead man with nazi tattoos washes up. When a obviously innocent homeless schizophrenic is accused, Dell investigates.
Apr 01, 2016 Megalion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd book in the series. Continues to be engaging and satisfying. This could be read out of order but for maximum enjoyment, start with the first.

See my comments on "Aftershock" for more thoughts on the series' premise.
David Marshall
Sep 07, 2016 David Marshall rated it liked it
I thought it interesting but it's another of these books in which we're supposed to find the activities of a homicidally-inclined vigilante an entertainment.
Taylor Lies
Aug 13, 2015 Taylor Lies rated it it was ok
Love Vachss' Burke books but not so much this series. Frankly, it feels too often like Vachss espousing his views too directly. And via too much conversation or thought, not action/activity.
Jul 09, 2014 Delany rated it did not like it
Not nearly as good as the first novel in this series. Disjointed, not very well thought-out. Struggled with it for about 100 pages then called it quits.
Oct 22, 2014 Y-von rated it really liked it
Still trying to get into this series....but I LOVE Vachss...& Burke. Will always read whatever he writes.
Jeff Chase
Sep 06, 2014 Jeff Chase rated it it was ok
I enjoyed/appreciated the beefing up of Dell & Dolly's back story, but to be honest, this book ended with more of a thud than a bang.
Heather rated it it was amazing
Mar 05, 2016
Brad rated it really liked it
Jul 29, 2016
John rated it it was amazing
Nov 12, 2014
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Andrew Vachss has been a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, a social-services caseworker, a labor organizer, and has directed a maximum-security prison for “aggressive-violent” youth. Now a lawyer in private practice, he represents children and youths exclusively. He is the author of numerous novels, including the Burke series, two collections of short stories, and a wide ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Aftershock (3 books)
  • Aftershock
  • Signwave: An Aftershock Novel (Aftershock, #3)

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