Friday, November 30, 2012

Cold City by F. Paul Wilson

Cold City is the start of a new trilogy about F. Paul Wilson's incredibly successful character, Repairman Jack.  Wilson has written fifteen novels about Jack, and three about his childhood.  This novel picks up on Jack as a young man, out in the world deciding how to live his life.

Jack has cut ties with his past.  He has dropped out of college, become invisible to his former friends and isn't speaking with his family.  He feels at odds with himself and the world, a world where someone's unfeeling act deprived his mother of his life.  Now he has to make his way in the world.  He starts with a deadend job and when that falls through, is desperate enough to take a job that skirts legality.  A friend of a friend is looking for a driver to bring cigarettes from North Carolina to New York, where there is a major profit for counterfeit goods.

The money is good but Jack isn't sure this is what he wants to do.  He is right to be unsure; before he knows it he is mixed up with Muslim terrorists and a child sex slave ring.  In addition, his neighborhood bar is about to go under due to a loan shark with Mafia ties.  When Jack dives into the underworld, he gets a full dose.  Jack negotiates his way, trying to make moral decisions and help those who are deserving. 

Fans of Repairman Jack will welcome this book.  It is interesting to read this prequel and see how Jack's decisions as a young man have made him into the character so widely known.  Wilson is a master at unfolding a plot that makes the implausible seem plausible and bringing the reader into the moral compasses of his character.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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