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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


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Wilson, F. Paul: The Tomb

  Amazon  

4 stars

Having heard references to F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack novels for some time, I decided finally to take the plunge. The Tomb, originally published in 1984, introduces us to Jack. He's a for-hire vigilante who lives off the grid in New York City. He's careful not to let too many people know what he really does: his father, in this outing, is surprised that he's in such good shape for an appliance repairman. And Jack is also careful about the work he takes on. It's a plus if a case inspires his righteous indignation. In this initial foray into Jack's world a for-hire case--the recovery of a necklace for an old woman who was mugged--overlaps with some work he undertakes for personal reasons, the disappearance of his former girlfriend's elderly aunt. How the cases are connected comes as a surprise. I hadn't known going in that Jack's job would involve brushes with the supernatural: think The Equalizer meets the Night Stalker. That it did disappointed me at first, but I got over it, and the story worked out okay. Jack is a likeable hero with a cool secret who also has an appealing personal life. The action is well-described. The book is tense and well-written. A glance around the web suggests that Repairman Jack has a fanatical following and that the universe of the novels is a large and daunting one. (Just take a look at the author's web site.) I'm not really one for immersing myself in alternate worlds when I read, so I'm a bit put off by all this, but The Tomb was a fun enough read that I may well leap into book two one day.

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