by F. Paul Wilson
“No rules in this alley, friend. Just you and me. And I’m here to get you.”
The first Repairman Jack novel, The Tomb (as it was originally published in 1984) or Rakoshi (as Dr. Wilson wanted it to be titled before being overruled by the publisher) introduces us to the hard-boiled fixer.
Jack lives under the radar with no social security number and no permanent job or address. He uses his anonymity and skill-set to fix issues for others, ever since his first ‘fix,’ avenging the murder of his mother by becoming a killer himself. His vengeance both told him who he was, and more importantly who he wasn’t, as this act served to permanently separate him from normal society.
In this novel Jack runs afoul of an Indian diplomat who is out to fulfill a 125-year-old curse by severing the bloodline of a general who had wronged him in the past. The last of this bloodline happens to be the child of Gia, Jack’s former flame, who abandoned him when she learned of his brutal occupation. The diplomat brings demonic forces to bay to assist his revenge, and Jack is faced with his first supernatural challenge.
The book has great pacing, plenty of raw energy, and introduces a strong character who obviously resonates with everyone because there are a ton of Repairman Jack novels. It’s a large part detective story but has some great action-hero moments as well. Jack employs some of the skills you might expect, but the author leaves most of his secrets intact, as by the end you might have the feeling you’ve only scratched the surface of what this guy’s about.
(Interestingly, I had such a hard enough time pulling myself away from this story I literally read right through a California earthquake, with one eye on my desk in case I had to hurl myself underneath it.)
“Can a man who lies, cheats, steals, and sometimes does violence to other people be a man of honor?”
Kolabati looked into his eyes. “He can if he lies to liars, cheats cheaters, steals from thieves, and limits his violence to those who are violent.”