Eighth in Wilson’s Repairman Jack series (Gateways, 2003, etc.) about his vigilante outcast facing the Otherness, a demonic force much like Lovecraft’s indefinably mysterious Cthulhu.
Fans who prefer Wilson’s medical thrillers, like Sims (2003), will nonetheless find delight here, as Wilson and Jack take on a Scientology organization clone. Although Repairman Jack—a man who’s never been photographed or fingerprinted, has no identifying social security card, credit card, or insurance, and pays no taxes—is led about by the Ally, an Anti-Otherness entity or force, Jack’s jobs usually take place repairing cracks in humankind that appear to be less than mystical. Here, he has two human jobs that eventually crisscross each other on an occult level. And he has a pregnant girlfriend, Gia DiLauro, who has a snappy nine-year-old daughter, Vicky. Jack’s first job is to rescue Johnny Roselli, the absent son of aged millionaire Maria Roselli, from the multibillion-dollar Dormentalist Church (read: Scientology), which buys up property all over the planet and has sucked Johnny and his wealth into its innards. Cooper Blascoe, the church’s founder, is presently in suspended animation (read: dead?), and the church is being run by Luther Brady. Hints of the Ally at work, through women with dogs, arise while the Dormentalists (who worship The Presence and work toward Opus Omega) promise to awaken “the Other you” (read: the Otherness in you). Jack’s second job is to save a nun being blackmailed by slimy Richie Cordova, whose cover is his p.i. agency. Jack fails his lie-detector test as a prospective Dormentalist, but his fake i.d. as a Swiss with $200 million lands him acceptance by oily Luther Brady himself. Jack teams with investigative reporter Jamie Grant, who hopes to expose the cult but finds herself sinking into occult horror. Will the Otherness join with the Ally when Opus Omega is finished?
Too bad rumpled Michael Moore doesn’t act: he’d be a true-hearted Jack striking at Christopher Plummer purring as top Dormentalist Brady.