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Legacies (1988): Wasting Away (on the Thin Ice of a New Day)

F. Paul Wilson, Legacies (Tor, 1988)

[originally posted 28Jun2001]

Repairman Jack's silhouette overshadows the facade of a high-rise on the hardcover book jacket.

There are six million stories in the naked city…
photo credit:

Wilson brings back one of his hardcore fans’ favorite characters, Repairman Jack, and weaves three of Jack’s jobs into a tightly-wound tale of family manipulation and, as always, saving the world one step at a time.

This time, Jack is employed by longtime on-again-off-again girlfriend Gia to recover a roomful of toys stolen from a children’s AIDS crisis center, which leads him into the employ of the head of the center. She just inherited a house, and she wants Jack to burn it down. Jack’s curiosity gets the best of him, and he starts wondering why. There the fun begins.

If you’re familiar with Wilson’s work, you’re getting what you’ve come to expect. Easy reading, a pace that wouldn’t be out of place in a formula 1 racecar, likable characters (even the bad guys), and a dose of the supernatural, albeit a smaller one than in most of Wilson’s work. If you haven’t discovered the joys of F. Paul yet, start back at the beginning of our first encounter with Jack, the Nightworld books (The Keep, The Tomb, The Touch, Reborn, Reprisal, and Nightworld) to get up to speed. He’s not as well known as some of the authors working in the supernatural-thriller field, but he’s just as good. *** ½

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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