His debut novel, The 13th Apostle (pub. 1959) was reviewed favorably in the New York Times. The reviewer said in part "Mr. Vale is the only contemporary novelist of recent years, to my knowledge, who has made so ambitious an attempt to encompass in a single fabric every clue to modern man's devious retreat from engagement.
The novel immediately following, Chaos Below Heaven (pub. 1966), was a best seller also.