Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Tomb, by F. Paul Wilson

Years ago, I read F. Paul Wilson's LaNague Federation series, plus one or two of his medical thrillers.  For no good reason, I avoided his Repairman Jack books, which make up a large part of Wilson's work.  I finally decided to check out Repairman Jack in the first book featuring him, The Tomb.

Jack is a nobody, just like he likes it.  No SSN, no bank account, no taxes, no strings, he pays cash for everything and only takes cash for payment.  Payment for what?  He's a "fixer."  Sometimes referred to as a "security consultant."  Or a thug.  But he's one of the good guys.  In The Tomb, an Indian diplomat recruits him to recover an heirloom necklace that a mugger stole from his grandmother.

As Jack gets more involved with the Indian family, including an affair with the diplomat's sister, he uncovers links to his ex-girlfriend's family, he learns about the magical qualities of the necklace, and discovers a brood of inhuman creatures prowling the streets of New York for sacrificial victims.  The connections, and the evil behind it all, surprises him, and of course leads to lots and lots of violence.

Repairman Jack reminded me, somewhat, of another favorite fictional Jack, Lee Child's Jack Reacher.  A key difference in The Tomb, and, as best I can tell, the whole Repairman Jack series, is that Repairman Jack is constantly finding his way into these supernatural encounters.  (Come to think of it, this is why I have avoided Repairman Jack novels.  I'm not really a fan of supernatural horror fiction.) 

Repairman Jack is resourceful, effective, and good at what he does.  I will certainly come back to this series to see what else Repairman Jack gets into, but if every story involves some sort of supernatural creature, I might be turned off.  As a character, though, I really enjoyed Repairman Jack, and as a writer, Wilson tells a great story!

2016 Reading Challenge: A book with magic

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