Gateways by F.Paul Wilson
**** Paper back 448 pages Tor
This is the seventh Repairman Jack novel, and it follows The Haunted Air which to me was the strongest entry in the series since the second book Legacies. They are all entertaining novels, and this one manages to keep the high level of horror and suspense while still building the greater story that spans two separate series and almost two dozen novels.
In this novel Jack is taken out of his comfort zone of New York City and the region. The city, Long Island and New jersey are almost like characters in the novels, so when I first read on the back of the book the novel takes place in Florida I was surprised. You see jack finds out that his father was in a car accident in Flordia and he is drafted to go down south to take care of his father. Something odd is happening with his brother the judge in Philly and he insists he can’t go and Jack has to.
I can tell something is up with his brother that will come back to haunt Jack in future books. Knowing how far ahead Wilson seems to plot it might not be for four books. Once in Florida discovers a mystery of why his father was deep in bayou at late at night, when his car was hit. As he learns about the strange Gateway community and the monsters who creep beyond in the everglades Jack also learns a secret or two about his Father.
The monsters and suspense aspects of the novel are all well done, but fans of the series will generally view this book as the point in the series where Jack deepens his relationship with his father. To me that is the thing I will remember about this novel. Hosts (RMJ #5) saw Jack's sister learning the real Jack and now Jack's father gets a glimpse at the real Jack. With Jack outed to his Dad I get the feeling that the series is changing, there is no way for Jack to hide from his family.
This is a bold decision for Wilson. I have a feeling that Jack's loved ones will become more involved as the books move closer to the end. Outside of his brother they are all likable enough.
The ladies with dogs start to take on a more serious role in this novel. The parts where Jack learns that his dad had a secret life in the war as a sniper was great, and forced Jack to see he is not the only one with a dark secret. The monsters in this book are great and fully realized. I was scared about the move to Florida but it worked.