A monstrous scheme to create an evil superman through crude efforts at gene jiggering bedevils urban mercenary Repairman Jack in his 11th outing (after 2006's Harbingers). When Jack, a New York City paranormal "fixer," agrees to help Christy Pickering break up a relationship between her 18-year-old daughter and an older man, Jerry Bethlehem, he discovers Bethlehem is a violent criminal whose past includes abortion clinic bombings and a stay at a government-funded clinic conducting DNA research. Pickering is circumspect about her own background and her daughter's paternity. When Jack probes unspoken links between Pickering and Bethlehem, his investigation intrudes inexplicably upon a shady self-help guru. Sinuous plot twists and shocking revelations abound, but Wilson manages to pull these wildly disparate plot threads together, and tie them dexterously to the series' overarching chronicle of a battle between occult forces in which Jack serves as a reluctant but responsible warrior. Like its predecessors, this novel shows why Jack's saga has become the most entertaining and dependable modern horror-thriller series. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Wilson's 11th Repairman Jack thriller (Harbingers, 2006, etc.) sends that resourceful private investigator in against a couple of lowlife half brothers who share DNA from hell. In retreat from the world following an assassination attempt on his artist girlfriend Gia-a hit-and-run attack by automobile that ended the life of Jack's unborn daughter and left Gia in physical and mental shatters-Jack wants no new cases. He just wants to get Gia back on track and protect her and her daughter Vicky from any further attacks. And he would like to clear up the mystery of the Watcher, a dimly seen dude in a fedora who hangs around outside Jack's window at night but who is nowhere to be seen when Jack goes looking for him in the street. He also wants to get the story on the Compendium, a spooky book he's got custody of. So he is in no mood to take on the case offered by single mother Christy Pickering, who wants her unlovely teenage daughter Dawn separated from Jeremy Bolton, the oily, menacing, would-be game designer who has seduced and fascinated the much younger girl. Gia, however, presses Jack to take the case, thinking they both need to get back to normal. Normal? Jack's investigation quickly reveals that Bolton is the subject of a top-secret federal study as the possessor of a particularly nasty strain of DNA, an aberration that makes him homicidally violent. The feds have erased Bolton's criminal past to check out a serum that might make that nasty temper controllable. Bolton's half brother Hank Thompson, who has the same DNA, also pops up in the investigation. Hank is the leader of the Kickers, a mysterious new cult with roots in the Compendium. The evil half brothers are carrying out theirlate father's instructions to pass their DNA down to the next generation, all of which has to do with why Dawn is in the picture. Fast-moving nonsense that leaves things hanging for the next episode. Agent: Al Zuckerman/Writers House LLC
Read an Excerpt
It was happening again . . .
In the driver’s seat, hands on the steering wheel, gunning the panel truck across Second Avenue toward the blond woman and her little girl . . .
. . . gaining speed . . .
. . . seeing their shocked, terrified expressions as he floors the gas . . .
. . . feeling the impacts as he plows into them . . .
. . . watching their limp, broken bodies flying as he races past, never slowing, never hesitating, never even looking back.
Jack awoke with his jaw locked and his fists clenched. He forced himself to relax, to reach out and lay a hand on the reassuring curve of Gia’s hip where she slumbered next to him.
The dream again. Easy enough to interpret: He blamed himself for the hit-and-run, so his mind put him behind the wheel. Obvious.
What wasn’t obvious was the timing. The dream occurred only under a certain condition: It meant the watcher was back.
Jack slipped from her bed to the window. The blinds were drawn against the glow from the streetlights. He peeked around the edge and . . .
There he was.
As usual he stood at the corner, facing Gia’s townhouse, wearing his customary homburg and overcoat; his right hand rested on the head of a walking stick. His position silhouetted him against the lights of the traffic passing on Sutton Place and caused the brim of his hat to shadow his face.
A big man and, if the slight stoop of his shoulders was any clue, elderly. Jack had first seen him outside his own apartment back in January . . . just days before the hit-and-run. And lately he’d been showing up outsideGia’s.
Jack had never been able to catch the guy. Not for lack of trying. He’d gone after him dozens of times, but the old guy seemed to know when Jack was coming.
Somehow the watcher always managed to stay one step ahead. If Jack waited inside the front door, dressed and ready to give chase, or sat in his car or hid in a doorway, watching the corner, the guy didn’t show. Last month Jack had waited ten nights in a row—inside and outside, from uptown, downtown, and crosstown vantage points.
On the eleventh night he called it quits and went to bed. That night he had the dream again and, sure enough, a peek through the blinds confirmed the watcher’s presence.
Deciding to give it another shot, Jack grabbed his jeans and hopped into them as he headed for the hall. He hurried down to the first floor and jammed his bare feet into his sneakers where they waited in the front foyer. Then out the door in a headlong dash across the street to the corner.
The empty corner.
But Jack didn’t break his stride. This had happened every time—in the half minute or less it took him to reach the street the guy in the homburg disappeared. All it took was a few steps to put him around the corner and out of sight, but there was more to it.
Jack reached the corner and kept going, racing along Sutton Place for a full block, peering into every nook and cranny along the way. Tonight’s attempt ended the same as all the others: nada.
His breath steaming in the night air, Jack stood on the deserted sidewalk, turning in a slow circle. Where did the son of a bitch go? Maybe a sleek Olympic-class sprinter could race out of sight in that short time. But some big old guy with a cane?
Didn’t make sense.
But then, why should it? Nothing else did.
Check that: Events of the past year did make sense, but not in the usual way. Not the sort of sense that the average person could understand—or want to.
Jack rubbed his bare arms. It might be spring—mid-April—but the temperature was in the low forties. A bit cool for just a T-shirt.
He took one last look around, then hurried back to Gia’s warm bed.
Copyright © 2007 by F. Paul Wilson. All rights reserved.