Fans of Burke should know that Andrew Vachss has two new series- the hardboiled Cross and Crew books (Blackjack, Urban Renewal) and the newer Aftershock series, in which Dell and Dolly–a Legionnaire and a nurse with Medecins Sans Frontieres--make a new life in a bucolic Pacific northwest town with a seamy underbelly and a feckless D.A. In Aftershock, Dell and Dolly had to do the DA’s work for him vs. a serial rape group; in Shockwave, the latest, they help a homeless schizophrenic after he’s arrested for a crime he couldn’t possibly have accomplished, the execution-style murder of a white supremacist bootboy.
Dell and Dolly needed rest from their battlefield lives but can’t keep from doing what they do best. One healing, the other blending into the “jungle” to eliminate the enemy and protect his chosen comrades. Real and unforgettable characters in a domestic life that operates like a resistance cell, rooting out the invaders in their midst. I enjoyed both these books for the home life of two warriors recovering from damage to their souls, and for the frank look at how the criminal justice system cherry-picks cases, whether they be sexual assault or murder. Part thriller, part investigative journalism, all hard-hitting fiction, as you’d expect from Vachss.