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Hosts: A Repairman Jack Novel (Adversary Cycle/Repairman Jack Book 5) by [F. Paul Wilson]
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Hosts: A Repairman Jack Novel (Adversary Cycle/Repairman Jack Book 5) Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Repairman Jack is a wonderful character, ultra-competent but still vulnerable . . . . Wilson strolls into X-Files territory and makes it his own, keeping the action brisk and the level of suspense steadily rising."-San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1


Kate Iverson stared out the window of the hurtling taxi and wondered where she was. New York was not her town. She knew certain sections, and if it were daytime she might have had some idea as to her location, but here in the dark and fog she could have been anywhere.
She’d started the trip thirty minutes and who-knew-how-many miles ago in the West Twenties with a follow-that-cab scenario—I still can’t believe I really said that—that moved across town and up the FDR Drive. The East River had served as a comforting landmark for a while, but as twilight had faded to night, the river fell behind, replaced by dark shapes and fuzzy lights looming in the fog beyond the roadway.
"What road is this?" she asked the driver.
Through the Plexiglas barrier came the accented reply, double-rolling the r’s: "Bruckner Expressway." The driver’s ID tag showed a dark mustached face with glowering black eyes and indicated he was Mustafah Salaam.
She’d often heard "the Bruckner" mentioned in the incessant traffic reports on New York City radio but had no idea where it was.
"This is Bronx," the driver added, anticipating her next question.
Kate felt a quick stab of fear. The Bronx? Visions of burned-out buildings and rubble-strewn lots swirled through her brain.
Oh, Jeanette, she thought, staring ahead at the cab they were following, where are you going? Where are you taking me?
Kate had stashed her two teenagers with her ex and taken a short leave from her pediatric group practice in Trenton to stay with Jeanette during her recovery from brain tumor therapy. The experimental treatment had been a resounding success. No ill effects…at least none that would be apparent to Jeanette’s treating physician.
But since completion of the treatment, Kate had noticed a definite personality change. The Jeanette Vega she’d come to know and deeply love over these past two years was a warm, giving person, full of enthusiasm for life, with an opinion about everything. A delightfully edgy chatterbox. But slowly she had changed. The new Jeanette was cold and distant, rarely speaking unless spoken to, leaving her apartment without a word about where she was going, disappearing for hours at a time.
At first Kate had chalked it up to an acute reactive depression. Why not? What medical diagnosis can rock the foundations of your world more deeply than an inoperable malignant brain tumor? But depression didn’t quite explain her behavior. When Jeanette should have been depressed—when she’d been told she had a literal death sentence growing in her brain—she’d remained her upbeat self. Now, after a miraculous cure, after regaining her whole future, she’d become another person.
Maybe it was a stress reaction.
Or a side effect of the treatment. As a physician Kate prided herself on keeping current with medical progress, so she was familiar with medicine’s cutting edge; but the experimental protocol that had saved Jeanette seemed damn near science fiction.
Yet it had worked. The tumor was dead, and Jeanette would live on.
But would she live on without Kate?
That, Kate admitted, was what was really disturbing her. Nearing middle age—in darn good shape for forty-four, she knew, but still six years older than Jeanette—she couldn’t help worrying that Jeanette had found someone else. Someone younger.
That would be so unlike the old Jeanette. But this new Jeanette…who could say?
Jeanette had been put on notice that her remaining time on earth was numbered in months instead of decades; she’d believed she’d seen her last Christmas tree, tasted her last Thanksgiving dinner. And then it was all given back to her. How could anyone’s psyche survive that sort of trauma unscathed?
Perhaps the ordeal had caused Jeanette tos reassess her life. Maybe she’d looked around and asked, Is this what I want? And perhaps, in some new back-from-the-brink perspective, she’d decided she wanted something else. More. Different.
At least she could tell me, Kate thought. She owes me that much.
Jeanette hadn’t asked her to leave—she had the right since it was her apartment—but she had moved out of the bedroom they’d always shared on Kate’s visits and into the study where she slept on the couch. No amount of questioning from Kate had elicited a reason why.
The not knowing gnawed at her. So tonight, when Jeanette had walked out the door without a word, Kate had followed.
Never in a million years would she have imagined herself trailing the woman she loved through the night. But things change. It hadn’t been all that long ago that she never would have imagined herself loving another woman.
Up ahead, Jeanette’s cab turned off the Bruckner and Kate’s followed it onto a road the signs identified as the Bronx River Parkway. And after a few miles the city suddenly disappeared and they were in the woods—in the Bronx?
"Stay closer," she told the driver. "You’re letting them get too far ahead."
She didn’t want to come all this way just to lose her.
Then Kate saw signs for the Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Gardens. More turns, each new road smaller than the last until they were traveling a tree-lined residential street.
"Are we still in the Bronx?" she asked, marveling at all the well-kept homes trailing by on either side.
"Still Bronx, yes," the driver told her.
How come it never looks like this on TV? she wondered.
"Keep going," Kate said when she saw Jeanette’s cab pull into the curb before a neat brick colonial.
Her anxiety soared as a thousand questions cascaded through her mind. Who lived there? Another woman?
She had the driver stop half a block beyond. She watched Jeanette’s cab leave her on the sidewalk and pull away. As Jeanette started up the walk toward the house, Kate opened her own cab’s door.
"Wait here," she said.
"No-no," the driver said. "You must pay."
Nice neighborhood or not, this was still the Bronx, and a long way from Jeanette’s apartment. Kate did not want to be stranded here. She glanced at the meter and fished the exact amount out of her wallet.
"Here," she said, keeping her voice low as she handed him the money. "You’ll get your tip when we get back to the city."
He seemed to accept that, nodding without comment as he took the money.
She pulled her raincoat tightly around her. A chilly night for June. The fog was thinning and the wet street glistened in the glow from the streetlights; every sound seemed amplified. Kate was glad she’d worn sneakers as she padded along the street, keeping the parked cars between her and Jeanette.
When she’d approached as close as she dared, she stopped behind a tree trunk and watched Jeanette walk up the front steps of the house. Kate’s heart ached at the sight of her: a yellow rain slicker and loose jeans hid her feminine curves; a Yankees cap hid much of her straight, jet black hair, but Kate knew those curves, remembered the strawberry scent of the shampoo Jeanette used to wash that hair.
Suddenly Kate wished she hadn’t come. Who was going to open that door? Forty minutes ago she’d been dying to know, now she was terrified. But she couldn’t turn away. Especially not now, because the door was opening and a man stood there, a heavyset fiftyish man with a round face and small eyes and a balding melon head. He smiled and opened his arms and Jeanette embraced him.
Kate’s stomach lurched.
A man? Not Jeanette! Anyone but Jeanette! It simply wasnR

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B003J5UHY2
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Forge Books; 1st edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ April 1, 2010
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 679 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 518 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 143 ratings

About the author

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I was born toward the end of the Jurassic Period and raised in New Jersey where I misspent my youth playing with matches, poring over Uncle Scrooge and E.C. comics, reading Lovecraft, Matheson, Bradbury, and Heinlein, listening to Chuck Berry and Alan Freed, and watching Soupy Sales and horror movies. I sold my first story in the Cretaceous Period and have been writing ever since. (Even that dinosaur-killer asteroid couldn't stop me.)

I've written in just about every genre - science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult, a children's Christmas book (with a monster, of course), medical thrillers, political thrillers, even a religious thriller (long before that DaVinci thing). So far I've got about 55 books and 100 or so short stories under my name in 24 languages.

I guess I'm best known for the Repairman Jack series which ran 23 novels. Jack is out to pasture now, but I may bring him back if the right story comes along.

THE KEEP, THE TOMB, HARBINGERS, BY THE SWORD, and NIGHTWORLD all appeared on the New York Times Bestsellers List. WHEELS WITHIN WHEELS won the first Prometheus Award in 1979; THE TOMB received the Porgie Award from The West Coast Review of Books. My novelette "Aftershock" received the 1999 Bram Stoker Award for short fiction. DYDEETOWN WORLD was on the young adult recommended reading lists of the American Library Association and the New York Public Library, among others (God knows why). I received the prestigious Inkpot Award from San Diego ComiCon and the Pioneer Award from the RT Booklovers Convention. I'm listed in the 50th anniversary edition of Who's Who in America. (That plus $3 will buy you a coffee at Starbuck's.)

My novel THE KEEP was made into a visually striking but otherwise incomprehensible movie (screenplay and direction by Michael Mann) from Paramount in 1983. My original teleplay "Glim-Glim" first aired on Monsters. An adaptation of my short story "Menage a Trois" was part of the pilot for The Hunger series that debuted on Showtime in July 1997.

And then there's the epic saga of the Repairman Jack film. After 20 years in development hell with half a dozen writers and at least a dozen scripts, Beacon Films has decided that "Repairman Jack" might be better suited for TV than theatrical films. (We'll see how that works out.)

I've done a few collaborations too: with Steve Spruill on NIGHTKILL, A NECESSARY END with Sarah Pinborough, THE PROTEUS CURE with Tracy Carbone, and the Nocturnia series with Thomas Moneleone. Back in the 1990s, Matthew J. Costello and I did world design, characters, and story arcs for Sci-Fi Channel's FTL NewsFeed, a daily newscast set 150 years in the future. An FTL NewsFeed was the first program broadcast by the new channel when it launched in September 1992. We took over scripting the Newsfeeds (the equivalent of a 4-1/2 hour movie per year) in 1994 and continued until its cancellation in December 1996.

We did script and design for MATHQUEST WITH ALADDIN (Disney Interactive - 1997) with voices by Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters, and the same for The Interactive DARK HALF for Orion Pictures, based on the Stephen King novel, but this project was orphaned when MGM bought Orion. (It's officially vaporware now.) We did two novels together (MIRAGE and DNA WARS) and even wrote a stageplay, "Syzygy," which opened in St. Augustine, Florida, in March, 2000.

I'm tired of talking about myself, so I'll close by saying that I live and work at the Jersey Shore where I'm usually pounding away on a new novel and haunting eBay for strange clocks and Daddy Warbucks memorabilia. (No, we don't have a cat.)

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
143 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2013
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Knifemaster
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Molasa would approve
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2013
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LD
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepily good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 4, 2013
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steve ray
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2015
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Tom C
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 27, 2012
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