The Haunted Air : Repairman Jack (Repairman Jack)
F. Paul Wilson
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F. Paul Wilson's engaging, self-employed, off-the-books fixer, Repairman Jack, returns for another intense, action-packed adventure just a little over the border into the weird, in The Haunted Air. First introduced years ago in the bestseller The Tomb, Jack has been the hero of a series of exciting novels set in and around New York City, including Legacies, Conspiracies, All the Rage, and Hosts. "Repairman Jack is a wonderful character, ultracompetent 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," said the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle.
Repairman Jack doesn't believe a house can be haunted. But he's about to change that tune . . .
It started off as a lark, a late-night jaunt from a boring party to the home of a psychic medium, with Jack dragged along as a reluctant participant. But as soon as Jack and Gia step across the threshold, the house and the earth itself shake to the accompaniment of a tortured scream.
Menelaus Manor sits atop a major geologic fault known as Cameron's Line. But that's not it's only problem. The house has a horrific history. Its original owner died of cancer; his son blew his brains out in the basement; the couple that bought it next were found dead in their bed with their throats slashed; shortly thereafter a child was horribly mutilated in an upstairs bedroom.
The current owners, Lyle and Charlie Kenton, clever practitioners of spiritualist hocus-pocus, use high-tech tricks to dupe their marks. Perhaps they're too good: they've lured too many clients from other mediums and are now under attack. Unable to go to the police for fear of exposing their own scams, they hire Repairman Jack to fix their problem.
Jack takes the job, figuring he'll straighten out the situation by engaging in one of his favorite pastimes: scamming a scammer. But soon he learns that this fix-it involves more than professional jealousy in the spook trade. The earthquake marked the awakening of something in Menelaus Manor, something that used to be someone, an entity full of rage and brought back for a specific purpose.
But this entity has an agenda all its own . . .
Before he's finished Jack will travel from the seamy world of psychic scams to the inner circle of a well-connected murder cult, and finally into the dark heart of madness where he must strike a deal with a rage-filed entity returned from the dead.
took the doll, He turned it over in his hands, staring at it with brimming eyes. "Roger," he whispered. "I almost forgot about you." He gave Gia a quick glance. "I haven't been in here in a while." He sighed. "The movie came out the summer she disappeared. She made me take her three times, and I swear every time she laughed harder than before. Probably would have had to take her a fourth time if…" He handed back the doll. Gia stared at its wide blue eyes and felt tears begin to slip down her
y'know—and I waltzed them up to her door after I seen her leave her place alone. I figured if the kid was there, I'd pull the old your-mommy's-been-hurt routine, but she wasn't home. Learned from a neighbor's maid that she's away at camp." "Really?" Eli said. He felt a surge of hope. "Why are you fixated on her?" Adrian said. "We can snatch a child anywhere—" "We've succeeded in lasting this long because we don't take chances. This situation has interesting possibilities. Think: A child
begun being a parent yet. That's a whole other matter." Gia seemed edgy. What was she getting at? "I'm aware of the difference between fathering a child and raising a child." "Are you?" She reached across the table and clasped his hand. "I know you could be a great parent, Jack, a wonderful father figure. But I wonder if you see what lies ahead for you if you make that commitment." Now he knew where this was going. "You're talking about the Repairman Jack thing. No problem. Look, I've already
over the shelves of the display case and the junk they carried… the Pogs and Matchbox car and Koosh ball and… A notion struck Jack, a possibility so sick and cold he felt a layer of frost form on his skin. These were all toys… kids' stuff… all belonging to a guy who'd snatched a kid last night. Jack stood before the cabinets and swayed with the vertiginous certainty that these were trophies, mementos emptied from the pockets of other missing kids. And Eli Bellitto was flaunting them. How many
Jack Chick's fundamentalist tracts into Ifasen's brochures. How rich. Jack checked Ifasen, who had a fresh envelope held on high, but this time he skipped the incantation. Maybe he was in a hurry. He shook his head as if trying to clear it, scrinched up his eyes, then shook his head again. Finally he lowered the envelope and cast a disapproving look at Claude. "The spirits refuse to answer this. They want me to tell you to buy a calculator." He slit the envelope and unfolded the card—again