by F. Paul Wilson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 18, 1998
Repairman Jack returns for the first time since Wilson's The Tomb (1984), where we met him as a high-spirited mystery man righting wrongs and going after bad guys. The story this time opens with some comic-book Capra stuff as shadowy Jack tracks down the thief who stole a load of wrapped Christmas presents from Manhattan's Center for Children with AIDS. Disguise artist Jack turns up in a Santa suit when delivering his idiosyncratic brand of justice to this particular criminal (who thinks and talks in comic-book argot), takes a bullet in his ten-ply vest under the Santa jacket, and returns the gifts to the dying kids. Then his main squeeze, Gia, asks him to help the Center's pediatrician, Dr. Alicia Clayton, whose lawyer has just been assassinated in an exploding Lexus. Alicia is beset by her balmy half-brother Thomas, who wants to keep possession of their late father's two-story brownstone in Murray Hill and apparently doesn't think that Alicia and her lawyer are too high a price to pay, while all Alicia wants is to donate the house as an AIDS branch office. Jack, by the way, likes his jokes, one time seemingly biting out a man's eye, then spitting it onto a windshield. In fact, his joy is ever to be one up on the evil-doers, relishing the agonies of the corrupt and disadvantaged. Back to Capra, though: at the Center, tough Jack falls for tiny Hector, whose immune system is failing rapidly. And as for the house, what secret does it hold that makes it worth the four million that Thomas offers Alicia for it? Could it be a transmitter, invented by Alicia's dad, to broadcast power and keep bulbless lamps lighted with only tiny receivers in a surge of wireless electricity? Ah, a legacy worth much more than four mil.... All very amusing. Wilson's fans won't be disappointed.
Pub Date: Aug. 18, 1998
Page Count: 384
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1998
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