PyeMart wants to open a new store in Butternut Falls. But there is a lot of opposition against the project. Without luck. The project gets approved thanks to some bribed politicians. Then, two bombs go off: the first at PyeMart's headquarters and the second at the construction site. Two people die. To find the bomber, Virgil Flowers from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is sent to Butternut Falls.
I found Shock Wave an average thriller. I liked the main character, Virgil Flowers. And his crowdsourcing approach to find the bomber is interesting: asking the citizens to nominate ten people they think are most likely to be the bomber. On the other hand, I found the motive of the bomber a bit far-fetched and unrealistic, and his behavior illogical.
Quotes from the book
"I want to know what the crap is going on here, and you're gonna tell me or I'll call somebody up and tell them I need a new investigator." Virgil nodded, [...] took out a business card, and scrawled Davenport's office number on it. "This is my boss. Call him up and tell him you need a new investigator." - "That don't worry you, huh?" Pye cocked an eye at him. "Not much", Virgil said. "Davenport will either tell you to kiss his ass, or, if you're important enough, he'll pass you on to the governor, who'll tell you to kiss his ass. So either way, somebody'll tell you to kiss his ass, and I'll keep investigating."
"See, Virgil, you know about these big-box stores all over the place. You get a bunch of them in a small town, and it can wreck the place. Drive out half the merchants, and their families, who always made decent livings, and the downtown dies. In exchange you get a bunch of minimum-wage jobs."
"Five years ago, it was glory days. You could sell a shack on the lake for the price of a castle. Now you can't sell a castle on the lake for the price of a shack."
A phone doesn't ring before six in the morning unless there's trouble.
"He's that little short fat fella, right?" - "That's him." - "He don't look like twenty billion dollars to me."
"Just shut up, and let me do my job." The woman said, "I don't think you can talk to a lawyer like that." - "Of course I can", Virgil said. "I just did."
"This creek is a jewel; it should have been a state park long ago. Nothing good can happen with this PyeMart. Nothing. Maybe nothing terrible will happen, but then, maybe something terrible will happen. That's the way we look at it. There's no upside, but there could be a huge downside. There are damn few things worth blowing up people for, but this creek might be one of them."
"Adventures are what you have when you screw up."
People, Virgil thought, were hardly ever just one thing: only a jerk, only a good guy.
"Remind me not to stand next to you if you're handling a bomb. That much caffeine, you gotta be shakin' like a hundred-dollar belly dancer."
"If it killed him, his head should be around here somewhere."