After Shock by Andrew Vachss is a high speed ride. A former merc, Dell, hooks up with a former nurse, Dolly, with doctors without walls. They first met when she nursed him back to health in the Congo. They get back together because he wants that and helps make her dream come true, a cottage in Oregon not far from the ocean. He cashes in; she cashes in and they plan to live happily ever after. Now we know that never happens as planned.
This is a fascinating tale about the law, life, and justification. A senior, MaryLou, on her way to a bright future after completing a stellar high school softball career shoots and kills another student in school. It is not a school shooting as we have come to see in this country, it is a shooting done in a school. The dead victim is a leader of a gang of boys who gang rape young female students. This gang has operated unimpeded since 2001 because the prosecutor’s office has failed to act on the thirty-nine cases that have come to their offices. It takes Dell and Dolly to bring this to an end and to vindicate MaryLou and free the town of the stigma and to justify this righteous shooting. It’s complicated, it real, it’s engrossing, and it is very very satisfying.