Monday, November 26, 2012

Cold City by F. Paul Wilson

I first came to F. Paul Wilson via the reprint of The Keep back in my bookseller days (2000 to be exact). At the time, I'd planned on jumping into the rest of the Adversary Cycle but could only get my hands on The Tomb, which also happened to be the first Repairman Jack title. Alas like most well intentioned plans my Repairman Jack reading was much delayed and I never bought the series.

Now skip ahead to present day and F. Paul Wilson's latest Repairman Jack entry, which kicks off a new prequel trilogy to the Repairman Jack series. Cold City is Repairman Jack before he became Repairman Jack. It's his first days in New York City and the story of how he comes to be the character he is by the time The Tomb takes place. This makes it a perfect starting off point for anyone new to the series (me) in addition to being a great new release for longtime fans to sink their teeth into.

Jack has recently moved to the Big Apple and is making do with a landscaping job. His mother's death is still fresh on his mind and after exacting revenge on her killer he's cut all ties with home. Here in New York, he's living under the radar with no phone and no paper trail. He doesn't even tell people his real name. An altercation at work leaves him unemployed and searching for a new job when fate steps in: an acquaintance of a friend has an opening for a delivery driver. No, it's not all on the up and up but the risk should be minimal and the pay is way more than Jack could expect mowing lawns. But this new job isn't all it's cracked up to be. Jack finds himself busting a ring of human traffickers and getting on the wrong side of some very bad people. 

There are so many threads in this story. One of the things I really enjoyed was seeing how Wilson was going to bring them all together. Some of them connect and some of them are side stories that help mold Jack into becoming the "Repairman."

What I didn't love about this book was the completely open ending. Nothing is wrapped up. I'm assuming because each story will carry over into the remainder of the trilogy, but I would have loved to see just one part resolved in turning the final page of Cold City. Ah, well. Them's the breaks sometimes.

I will say this, I was intrigued and captivated by Jack's story. Wilson has a knack for drawing in readers and Jack is the perfect kind of lead to carry a long series -- the official Repairman Jack is 15 titles, there are three Teen Jack titles as well, and now this Early Years trilogy. (For a full title listing visit the official site here.) I'll be adding more titles to my TBR very shortly!

And the good news for me and other 2000 Keep discoverers, The Adversary Cycle was recently brought back in print.

Cold City officially hits shelves tomorrow.

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