Wow, I read all 448 pages of this novel in a weekend, while still reading another book. I found this medical horror drama to be a serious page turner. This book is considered to be book four in the Adversary Cycle and fits into the Secret History of the World timeline just after Ground Zero (Repairman Jack #13) and Reprisal (AC Book #5).
Written back in the 80’s I read the 2004 edition which is updated and also contains a bonus prologue short story. As an author I personally strive to write books that are so perfect for me that no one else could write them. In many ways The Touch is very much a novel that only F.Paul Wilson could attempt. Wilson you see was a practicing doctor before devoting himself to writing full time.
The story of the Touch is about a doctor named Alan who is the last of a dying breed. A family doctor with a private practice. He loves being a doctor and is called to heal. Then one day after a bizarre interaction with a homeless vet, Alan discovers he has the ability to heal any illness with a single touch.
What follows is not your typical horror novel. Sure you could call it a supernatural medical drama, but the horror of what this power means to Alan is very real if you do horror readers only job(put yourself in the shoes of the character). The characters are so well written it really helps the pages turn, you will become involved in the characters, even if it lacks Wilson’s trademark adventure.
Doesn’t matter the novel cooks. It connects to the series in minor that I can tell but I imagine once I read to the next two Adversary books they might tie in more. The character of Clubfoot Annie is an interesting one and readers of the series will find an explanation for her condition in the Repairman Jack novel Conspiracies. Willson…dude you are a genius of plot weaving. I’m in awe again. I feel like the Wayne’s World guys, like I should be on my knees saying I’m not worthy.
The Touch gets a bit preachy at times, but who am I to complain about that? Wilson is a libratarian and a doctor, this bleeds through the pages, but I can’t begrudge a Doctor getting on his/her soapbox for a few pages.
Great novel, read it even if you don’t want to commit to the series. It stands alone.