COLD CITY, F. Paul Wilson, Tor $25.99, reviewed by Jim Brock.
Two of my favorite series concepts are Repairman Jack and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. Having earlier this year read NIGHTWORLD, Wilson’s conclusion of the massive Repairman Jack saga and having my enthusiasm for Jack Reacher dimmed by his being played by the diminutive Tom Cruise – my two favorite Jacks were about played out. On top of that, Keifer Sutherland tarnished the luster of 24’s Jack Bauer with the weakness of Touch. The only strong jack I had remaining was the one in the trunk of my car.
But there was F. Paul Wilson’s promise of a trilogy of Repairman Jack: the Early Years novels. COLD CITY is the first of those. Jack is a few months into his off-the-grid life in New York City. COLD CITY begins not with a bang but with a beating. Wilson is one of the better action writers we have and Repairman Jack is the perfect vehicle for action. Whether it’s Dominicans looking for some machete revenge against him for beating the crap out of their countrymen or murderous mobsters or the ramping up of the jihadist movements, Repairman Jack fights down and dirty.
COLD CITY’s novel is about Jack, his beginning relationship with Abe, the establishment of his nature (old movies, toys, etc.) and the necessity and desire for his living off the grid. And it is about the beginning of the development of Jack to the Repairman Jack I have so enjoyed. And to think, two more volumes to come, so for a while longer, we can know Jack.