Repairman Jack has been tearing up the urban adventure scene ever since he was introduced in the New York Times bestseller, The Tomb. Jack has no last name, no social security number, and no qualms when it comes to getting the job done-even if it means putting himself in serious danger. Hosts starts with a bang when Jack has to stop a psychotic's shooting rampage on a subway car-but there are witnesses, and Jack's essential anonymity is threatened. A good deal more is threatened when the lover of Jack's sister Kate survives a brain tumor, thanks to an experimental treatment, only to join a strange cult called ""the Unity."" Now Jack must face a new kind of enemy, a virally-based group mind that wants to take over him, and the world. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
Wilson's latest Repairman Jack thriller (after All the Rage) shows the long-running series still creatively malleable and full of surprises. Each begins with the identity of the latest person to seek the urban mercenary's unorthodox skills: his beloved sister Kate, who's unaware at first it's her younger brother's job to "fix" problems and injustices that fall outside the usual legal boundaries. Kate asks Jack to investigate an apparent cult that her lover, Jeannette, has fallen in with while recovering from experimental viral treatment for a brain tumor, and Jack finds that the virus, tainted with a contaminant that has made it sentient, is organizing infected human hosts into "the Unity," a hive consciousness single-mindedly devoted to spreading itself throughout the world. Though the Unity's insidious ramblings about the joys of collectivism recall classic SF parables of communist mind control, Wilson swathes Unity's rhetoric around several interlocking subplots Kate's coming out as a lesbian, Jack's avoidance of a crusading reporter whose efforts to lionize him in print would destroy his anonymity to leaven the fantastical intrigue with provocative observations on the roles that individuality, privacy, self-interest and self-sacrifice play in our society. Wilson's fans, who know to expect nonstop action and a hero who can seem a "cryptofascist comic book character," will no doubt be pleased by the more humanized Jack on display here, as well as an ending that packs an emotional wallop even as it sets the stage for his next eagerly anticipated adventure. (Oct. 12) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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August 17, 2003
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