Shock Wave is a feel-good book. It's interesting, the characters are well done, and I think it would make a neat little movie. I think Born's track of the investigation throughout the book was well done, it flowed in a very realistic manner. I enjoyed the perspective of the small arms dealer at the start and how the thing kept twisting.
I've seen the workaholic type of guys and the collateral damage that comes with it. Tasker is a fair, honest guy that's trying to do right. He works too hard and cares too much. I actually felt bad during the scene when his wife comes to the house to accept Tasker's olive branch, and after all the effort he's put into trying to reestablish a relationship with her he has to leave.
Other characters that I paid attention to were Parks, Lail, and Sutter. Parks struck me as smart and politically astute, she wanted to do the right thing, but still keep her job. So she hung up on Tasker, did all the things she was supposed to do. When she actually listened to reason though she decided to help him. Lail and his wannabe-gangsta act was ridiculous. I think what happened to him eventually in the book would have happened a lot quicker in real life. In a small unit, that wears thin really fast. With Sutter, what really got me was the relationship between Tasker and him, and their playful banter.
I think the book had a good perspective on domestic terrorism. You can go back to SLA and Weathermen, and groups from the late 60s/early 70s who have been around for a while. Some of the terrorist groups that have done the most damage were homegrown.
The inter-agency cooperation was pretty accurately strained, but if you look in larger files where the agencies have to come together and make it work, they will. There can be minor technical difficulties and glitches along the road, but when push comes to shove and it has to be done, everybody gets together and gets it done.
Other reviews by John McNeilly:
The Torment of Others