The Van Shaw series is a delight to find. Reviewers often describe Shaw as a "Jack Reacher type", and while there are surface similarities, I find Shaw the more complex and rewarding character. While Reacher roams the country, never able to stay in one place, Van Shaw has returned to Seattle determined to make it home even though his prior life there was anything but ideal.
Van Shaw is not an idealized Army veteran. He has moral gray areas from his early life, despite the Army life that helped him find a straighter path. He has morals and a code, but you can feel the tension in this character as his life puts him into situations where crooked beckons for what seems the straightest of reasons.
I like this nuanced portrait of a Ranger veteran of modern war. It's neither stereotypical nor overdone, respectful but not cloyingly gung-ho.
The plot, backstories, and supporting characters are well-done. Dialogue flows naturally. There's plenty of action that balances nicely with Van's more introspective moments.
I'm looking forward to #3 due out this summer, and I've pre-ordered it, which I don't often do.