Repairman Jack Is Back

Longtime thriller fans will remember with fondness Repairman Jack, the white knight for hire last seen in 1984. F. Paul Wilson brought Jack back for a number of short stories, but otherwise he kept Jack back. He knew he had something special, and he didn’t want to waste it.

Jump ahead to 1998, and while Repairman Jack now has a Web site to solicit business, he’s still in love with Gia and her daughter, Vicky, and resisting her pleas to get out of the business. His father — who believes Jack repairs only appliances — wants his son to relocate the business to Florida.

But Jack doesn’t fix refrigerators. He fixes problems, and “Legacies” is full of problems for Jack to fix. A pediatric AIDS doctor needs someone to recover stolen Christmas presents meant for kids under her care. An Ecuadorean businessman is not getting paid for work he did. When the AIDS doctor inherits a building from her inventor father, it comes with a secret and a number of people willing to kill to get it.

“Legacies” offers plenty of surprises as it unravels the various plots in a series of cat-and-mouse sequences that will keep you turning the pages. All of the major characters have problems beyond the scope of the plot that make them seem more human. Even the Saudi Arabian villain, a devout Muslim, is tempted by a “Victoria’s Secret” catalog found in his apartment.

Then there’s the book’s sense of humor. It’ll catch you by surprise during some of the suspense sequences, causing you to laugh at the most inappropriate moments.

And despite having more tricks up his sleeve than Houdini, Jack is extremely vulnerable. Unlike other thrillers, where death is so much on the line that it becomes boring, Jack risks more. If he’s arrested, his cover his blown, he’ll go to jail and, worse, be audited by the IRS. Now that’s dangerous.