Legacies by F.Paul Wilson (Repairman Jack #2)
***** 448 pages Tor
I really enjoyed The Tomb, but it was this book the second in the series that sold completely on reading the entire saga. As strong as the Tomb was Legacies is a much stronger book and really defines Jack as a character in deeper way. There is good reason for that, it was the first novel that was intended to be a repairman Jack novel, and it was a good decade and half since Wilson created the character.
If you trust my opinion consider that I am finding it hard to review this book without a wee bit of spoilers. You have been warned, because twists in the plot were a huge part of why I found this book to be one of the best in the series.
The novel starts when Jack is hired by a doctor working in a clinic for children with AIDS. He is hired because the Christmas toys were stolen and the police basically said there was nothing they could do. Jack has an idea of how to track down the toys and Fixes the problem. His ability to solve this problem shows his customer Doctor Alicia Clayton that she can trust Jack with a family secret.
She has inherited her father’s house and large sum of money. She doesn’t want the house, but everyone she hires to look at the house or take care of it dies. Most authors writing a series develop a series around a set of characters through into stories and settings that only change slightly.
After the monster story of The Tomb (and fans of the novel waiting 15 years for a sequel) Legacies looks another supernatural novel. The first 100 pages seem like Wilson was setting up a haunted house novel. Wilson has done this before, in his classic horror novel The Keep (Adversary series book one) The Keep appears for more than a good chuck of the novel to be a traditional vampire novel complete with a Transylvanian castle. It also has Nazis and World War II back drop, but in many ways it is more of a Lovecraftian tale that sets off the events that lead to five more Adversary novels and fifteen Repairman Jack novels.
Legacies starts strong and moves through plot twists and suspense in a different and stronger way than the first book. This is the most stand-alone of all the Repairman Jack novels, so I think it is a great introduction, plus if you are only going to read one, this is the one to read. After this one the books start to build on each other.
SPOILERS: Wilson had not wanted to write a series when he wrote this one, so that explains why the novel doesn’t connect to the rest of the series. He didn’t seem to see the series unfolding until he wrote book three. I really did think he was setting up a Repairman Jack haunted house novel (Which he ended up doing in the equally strong Haunted Air – Book six), and the direction fooled me.
The Christmas toys revenge story is one of Jack’s greatest hits. Really fun.