Fear City (Repairman Jack, Book 18) by F. Paul Wilson – Book Review

Fear City (Repairman Jack, Book 18)
Written by: F. Paul Wilson
Published by: Tor
ISBN: 9780765330161

 

Centered around an obscure group of malcontents intent on creating a terrible explosion in New York City in 1993, Fear City shows the final stages of young Jack becoming Repairman Jack.

fear city, repairman jack series, paul wilson

Fear City
Repairman Jack Series
by F. Paul Wilson

Beloved characters may not be so beloved by their creators. Some authors grow to hate their creations, throwing them over waterfalls. Others just mine every possible avenue before running out of ideas. But the good ones give their creations wonderful send offs.

It’s 1993, Jack hasn’t taken up the mantle of Repairman just yet but he is laying the foundation. Jobs are coming up but they aren’t right for Jack. Even friend offers him a job tailing a young group of middle eastern men that he believes are up to no good in New York. Instead of practicing his trade of fixing things, Jack turns to rekindle an old flame, Cristin. The two set up a date and the ever-punctual Cristin misses it. Jack can’t stand being stood up but as he pushes into her life he finds more than he expected. Now the strands of the previous novels start to weave together as Jack realizes that the jobs he passed on might have something to do with Cristin missing. While Jack tries to find answers a group of young men, that are part of a new terror group called Al-Qaeda, are planning an attack in the city.

Adding in real events to fiction, especially fiction that lends itself to the supernatural, is always risky. Wilson used the names and the real bombers that set out the bomb in the north tower in 1993. While he could have painted them as fanatic zealots, he chose to represent them as young men that had been manipulated into doing something terrible, which sadly often is the case when horrible things happen. Wilson gave us a multitude of perspectives from Jack and his friends, to the bombers and one of their sisters, and to a subplot of mafia infighting (this story arc seemed misplaced until Wilson beautifully wove it back in near the end of the novel).

Wonderful characters populate [easyazon_link asin=”0765330164″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”buzmag-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Fear City[/easyazon_link] but it is a very dark novel. Wilson has an ability to grow a strong attachment between the reader and secondary characters before brutally ripping them out of the book. This sudden violence against likeable characters isn’t just an exercise in desensitizing the reader for the terrible things that take place later in the book. These horrible events help to explain why Jack turned out the way he did.

The only real criticism of [easyazon_link asin=”0765330164″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”buzmag-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Fear City [/easyazon_link] would be the lack of supernatural elements. Of course this is a prequel and the supernatural things began happening more frequently in the later novels. But still with as many viewpoints Wilson could have easily slipped in some nifty things without messing up the continuity of the novels.

As I mentioned, Fear City is the last Repairman Jack novel (though it is a prequel to the [easyazon_link asin=”0812580370″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”buzmag-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”]first Repairman Jack book[/easyazon_link]). Wilson gives Jack a wonderful, albeit brutal, sendoff/start. If you are a fan it is a must. If you have read all of  [easyazon_link asin=”B00PMNSRP0″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”buzmag-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”]The Dresden Files[/easyazon_link] and [easyazon_link asin=”0515153656″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”buzmag-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Jack Reacher[/easyazon_link] books and need a new series/protagonist to get behind, pick these books up.

Reviewed by Adam Armstrong

Find [easyazon_link asin=”0765330164″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”buzmag-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Fear City[/easyazon_link] as well as the rest of the [easyazon_link asin=”B00FK8SPGS” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”buzmag-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”yes” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Repairman Jack Series[/easyazon_link] Below

[easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”0765330164″ cloaking=”yes” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”buzmag-20″]Repairman Jack Series[/easyazon_block]

Fear City Book Cover Fear City
Repairman Jack
F. Paul Wilson
Horror, Occult
Macmillan
11/11/2014
368
978-0765330161

The conclusion to the three-part Repairman Jack prequel series centers on a violent plot in 1993 New York that cements the emergence of Jack's alter ego.

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Adam Armstrong

Adam Armstrong

Adam Armstrong is a life-long native to Northern Kentucky. He lives with his long-time girlfriend, Melissa, and their son, Dylan. He has had several short stories and hundreds of articles published in the past. When he is not writing he enjoys exploring the world around him.
Adam Armstrong
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