Fear City (Repairman Jack: The Early Years #3) by F. Paul Wilson Fear City by F. Paul Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mystery and thriller writers have a tendency to write series of books with a central character. Often you'll have characters like Jack Reacher or Alex Cross that start interesting but a dozen books later you feel the author (or who ever ghost writes for them) is using carbon copy paper to set up their paint by number stories. F.Paul Wilson has written two dozen or more Repairman Jack novels including this early years trilogy and YA novels about his childhood and yet I have never not one time been disappointed. Wilson was Trailblazer in horror with a series character, now other writers have series like Jonathan Maberry has Joe Ledger, Weston Ochecs has Seal Team 666 but no one has created the interconnected universe that Wilson has created with his Secret history of the world saga.
There is no reason to read this book alone it is one thread woven into one of the more elaborate fabrics in the history of storytelling not just Horror fiction. I know that sounds like hyperbole but it's not. Consider that 41 novels and short stories take place in the Secret History. Two different series The Adversary Cycle and Repairman Jack series weave in and out of each other. RMJ#1 and #15 are at the same books as Adversary Cycle books #3 and #6. F.Paul Wilson can plot a story like Russian chess masters set up check mates.
Fear city is the third in a prequel trilogy that manages to create a interesting stand alone Jack story while weaving into the larger story, tying directly to a book more than dozen Repairman Jack novels later. We see the early years, where Jack makes alot of connections that lead to him creating a his "Fix it" business.
Wilson can't kill his lead, and since we know Jack will live he has to create tension in the other characters. If you have read as many of these books as I have every time a character is likable you know they are in trouble. Wilson brings the pain here again. Wilson weaves the real life events of the first World Trade center bombing into his saga. That is actually important to the mythology, considering the events of 9/11 and the destruction of the towers plays a role in the later Repairman Jack novel Ground Zero.
If you are a fan of this series you will not be disappointed. We see how Jack gets his first ad, makes connections and loses one of his first loves. It informs how he develops as character. Besides that you get a good thriller. This is before Jack is pulled into the supernatural mystery that will over take his life, but it delivers...