Book Review – COLD CITY by F Paul WIlson

COLD CITY –  F. Paul Wilson

Nov 2012 – TOR


Repairman Jack won’t fix a leak or put on new cabinet doors for you.  He’s not that kind of fix-it man.  However, if you have a problem and no one else will help you, he’ll fix it in interesting, and sometimes brutal ways.  When we first meet Jack in THE TOMB, he’s already well-established in New York with several friends and contacts that make him successful at what he does.  He is cold, calculating, and ruthless in the pursuit of putting things right for those in need.  In COLD CITY, we see Jack in his early days in New York, searching for a new life free of strings and old connections following the murder of his mother.  He doesn’t own a gun or have clients clamoring for his help.  However, we see the glint of things to come as things heat up for Jack.

Like most of his books, Wilson starts this one off with an explosion of action and never lets up.  After an altercation at his job, Jack finds himself on the wrong side of some angry Dominicans and quickly must find a new line of work.  Soon he finds himself transporting cigarettes across state lines.  But after a shipment goes wrong, Jack finds himself trafficking a much more dangerous and sinister cargo, launching him into a world of underworld thugs, violent gangs, and people who will stop at nothing to protect their criminal empires.

Unlike many of Repairman Jack’s other books, this book has almost no supernatural elements.  It is pure crime fiction done at its best.  As the bad guys act untouchable, Jack silently stalks them through the dingy streets of 1990’s New York.  As their heinous acts turn your stomach, it is impossible to not cheer when Jack falls on them, full of cold fury.

Guns blaze, fists fly, Jack plots, and bad guys get what’s coming to them.  With a pulse pounding pace, this book reminds the reader about everything they love about Repairman Jack.  However, this is also an amazing jumping on point for anyone who’s never read a Repairman Jack novel before.  The foreshadowing of what’s to come is exciting for those in-the-know, but will read brilliantly into the rest of the series for first-timers.  This is the first book of a prequel trilogy and if it shows anything about the next two books, we are in for a hell of a ride.

-Bryan VanMeter