Author: F. Paul Wilson
Publisher: Tor Books
My Rating: 4/5 stars
The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson. Of course, we decided to read it for our June meeting.
Jack is a repairman but not the kind of repairman that you might expect. He doesn't fix appliances or toilets. He takes care of problems of a sensitive nature and which may also not be quite legal. The latest of his jobs is to help Kusum, an Indian diplomat who is asking for help when a member of his family is brutally beaten and her necklace stolen. Jack must find the thief and recover the necklace. However, after recovering the necklace Jack realizes that all is not what it seems and that is when the true job begins.
The book has elements of fantasy and the paranormal in it. I wasn't expecting that in the book, but I really enjoyed those parts because they involved what I assume is made-up Indian folklore. I also really liked Jack who is a complicated protagonist. He prefers to be invisible and is very efficient at what he does. Honestly, who wouldn't like a character named "Repairman Jack"? The name itself exudes awesomeness. His job also inevitably gets in the way of living a normal life so relationships are complicated with him but he's an honest man and you find out in the story what motivated him to become a repairman.
The little anecdotes about Jack's past life were my favorite parts of the book. To find out what causes a person to "live their life by sword" is always interesting to me and Jack's story definitely does not disappoint. The supporting characters in the novel are also likeable--whether it's Jack's ex-girlfriend, Gia or Jack's weapons friend, Abe, the people he surrounds himself with are all an interesting group. The main plot is also a nice joyride that kept me guessing through most of it.
Overall, the book was engrossing and fun. I will definitely continue reading this series. If you are looking for fun, adventure, and an occasional fantastical creature mixed in with a little bit of seriousness and a little bit of funny, this is the book for you.
**Note that I read the 1984 version of the book. F. Paul Wilson wrote this first book and then did not write another one for the series until 1998's Legacies was published. The Tomb was updated for cultural references and republished (the 1984 version includes references to Betamax videos and other things which I'm told were all changed for the 1998 version). I have heard that fans loved Repairman Jack so much that they kept asking F. Paul Wilson when he was going to write another book about the character and so he decided to continue the series--I frankly think that is pretty cool.