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.