Bloodline: A Repairman Jack Novel
F. Paul Wilson
Forge, 2007, 384 pages, $25.95
ISBN 13: 978-0-7653-1706-3
Review by Wayne C. Rogers
I’m way behind on my “Repairman Jack” novels. I have four hardcover books sitting up on my bookshelves that I’m just now starting to read: Bloodline, By the Sword, Ground Zero, and Fatal Error. I’ve been buying the books, but I’ve held off from reading them, knowing the series was nearing its end. I think Mr. Wilson plans on one or two more books before bringing Jack to a close. I’ve been reading the “Repairman Jack” novels since The Tomb was first published in paperback during the mid-eighties (F. Paul Wilson is also the author of The Keep, which was published in 1981). That’s almost three decades and a long time. Hell, I’ve actually been reading Wilson’s fiction since The Keep. Anyway, I started seeing Viggo Mortensen as Jack about six years ago, and that has stuck in my mind. I keep hoping he’d play Repairman Jack in the movie adaptation, but who knows. Anything can happen in Hollywood.
In Bloodline, Jack is still recovering emotionally from the near-death of his girlfriend, Gia, and her daughter, Vicky (see Harbingers). Their unborn baby died after the attempted murder. Jack has been holding off on telling Gia that she and Vicky were targeted because of him. He doesn’t know how she’d react to that shocking piece of news. To keep busy, he takes a case involving a mother who thinks her daughter is going to get hurt in a relationship with an older man. Of course, this being a “Repairman Jack” novel, everything is not as it seems, and the boyfriend of the daughter is part of the plan for the “Others” to eventually take over the world. As Jack investigates the boyfriend, he discovers a hidden connection to a bestselling “self-help” guru that seems to originate with the Creighton Institute for criminally insane and perhaps a closely guarded plan for the creation of the “Key to the Future” that is necessary before the Others can take over. Jack will certainly have his hands full as he attempts to find out exactly what’s going on and how he’s tied into it, knowing there are no coincidences and that the day of reckoning is quickly approaching.
My major problem with the “Repairman Jack” novels is that the story lines all take place within months of each other, though the books are written years apart. I need to go back to the beginning and start over with the series so that the time line makes sense to me. That, however, doesn’t stop me from enjoying the books and especially the character of Jack. Jack is an urban mercenary who lives underground (fake drivers license, Social Security Card, credit cards, license plates for his car, etc.) so there’s no record of him in the system. Jack doesn’t exist on paper, and he prefers it that way. He doesn’t trust the government, and I honestly don’t blame him. To live the life of the “everyday man” would’ve gotten him killed years ago. As it is, he may not have long to live with the finale coming up.
F. Paul Wilson has created an anti-hero in the form of Repairman Jack. Though he breaks the law in numerous ways, he’s loyal to his friends and tries to help those in need of his special abilities. I only wish Jack was real, instead of a fictional character. We have need of men like Jack to help guard our rights as Americans and human beings. They see life as black and white, and aren’t afraid to do whatever is vital for our continued existence. In other words, Repairman Jack is the Man! He’s the dude who’ll cover your back when the going gets tough. You can trust him to keep his word and to do what’s morally right, no matter what the consequences.
Repairman Jack is one of the foremost characters in fiction today with few contemporaries who can equal his persistence in getting to bottom of every mystery he encounters. This is why there’s a “Repairman Jack” fan club with Stephen King as its top member. This is also a series you don’t want to see end, but everything seems to run its course, much as life does, and Jack is nearing his final days. I just hope to be there for the explosive ending with Jack hopefully defeating the Otherness for humanity’s sake. Highly Recommended!