Gateways (Repairman Jack)
F. Paul Wilson
Following last year's successful The Haunted Air, F. Paul Wilson returns with another riveting episode in the saga of Repairman Jack, the secretive, ingenious, and heroic champion of those whose problems no one else can solve. As Dean Koontz says, "Repairman Jack is one of the most original and intriguing characters to arise out of contemporary fiction in ages. His adventures are hugely entertaining."
In Gateways, Jack learns that his father is in a coma after a car accident in Florida. They've been on the outs, but this is his dad, so he heads south. In the hospital he meets Anya, one of his father's neighbors. She's a weird old duck who seems to know an awful lot about his father, and even a lot about Jack.
Jack's arrival does not go unnoticed. A young woman named Semelee, who has strange talents and lives in an isolated area of the Everglades with a group of misshapen men, feels his presence. She senses that he's "special," like her.
Anya takes Jack back to Dad's senior community, Gateways South, which borders on the Everglades. Florida is going through an unusual drought. There's a ban on watering; everything is brown and wilting, but Anya's lawn is a deep green.
Who is Anya? Who is Semelee, and what is her connection to the recent strange deaths of Gateways residents-killed by birds, spiders, and snakes-during the past year? And what are the "lights" Jack keeps hearing about-? Lights that emanate twice a year from a sinkhole deep in the Everglades . . . lights from another place, another reality.
If he is to protect his father from becoming the next fatality at Gateways, there are questions Jack must answer, secrets he must uncover. Secrets . . . Jack has plenty of his own, and along the way he learns that even his father has secrets.
rocking back with the recoil from the Ruger. He half turned, not sure of what he’d heard. His ears were ringing from the thunder and the booms of the weapons. “What?” “Those things. They were all clustered together at first, then they started dividing into two groups, and now…” Jack turned further and squinted through the rain. He watched for a moment as the cenote things buzzed around in disarray, practically bumping into one another in midair. It looked like they didn’t know where they
of the canoe and did what he could to speed the boat along. He kept glancing to his left. He could hear a growing roar—that was the damn tornado getting closer, running on an erratic diagonal that was sure to intersect their course. At least that was how it looked. The way it was weaving back and forth made avoidance a crap shoot. The big question: Stay in the boat or get out? In the boat seemed worse than being in a trailer. They were too exposed; if that funnel came even close, flying debris
Dad still liked a gimlet now and then. He wandered through the front room and recognized some of the paintings from the family home in Jersey. He noticed a trophy shelf on the south wall and moved in for a closer look. First place in the men’s doubles in tennis—no surprise there—but what was this? A plaque for second place in the men’s bocce tournament? My father, the bocce champ. Jeez. He called Gia to give her the medical report on his father. She said how sorry she was that the news wasn’t
“Shouldn’t you let people know?” “Why? So they can send dead flowers and come in and stare at him? Tom wouldn’t want that.” No, he wouldn’t. Jack guessed she did know his father after all. Together they sat and sipped and watched the sun settle in the west. “Maybe we’d better go in,” Jack said as it sank below the distant treetops. He checked his watch. 7:10. “The Wehrmacht mosquito squadrons will be launching soon.” “So?” “You like mosquito bites?” “You like to deny those poor females
all that hard to find his way back to the real world. He’d left the canoe beached by the air-boat dock and headed toward town. The clouds persisted but hadn’t dumped drop one of rain. Where to start? The hospital was the obvious place, but Dad had checked himself out almost twenty-four hours ago. Jack was sure the room had been stripped and scrubbed by now. Probably even had a new occupant. That meant he might have to go pawing through the hospital’s Dumpsters. He shook his head. Maybe if he