Quick Fixes, a review by Joanna

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Quick Fixes – Tales of Repairman Jack

F. Paul Wilson

Published 2011

Kindle edition, 260 pages

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Before there was Orphan X, there was Repairman Jack, an urban mercenary who solves problems for people that the law can’t help with – some of them supernatural. The main series spanned 16 books, published between 1998 and 2019, and there were also some prequel novels about his younger years. Quick Fixes is a collection of short stories about Jack, some fitting in between the full length books, and some ended up being part of them. While they now are obviously a little dated, Jack is an intriguing main character and this works well as an introduction to the series.

 “A Day in the Life” © 1989, has Jack trying to protect a cafe owner from vicious thugs, and is a great example of the kind of work he undertook before the supernatural elements took over.
“The Last Rakosh” © 1990, was incorporated into “All The Rage” as follows on from the events of “The Tomb,” with Jack horrified to discover that one of the scary “shark-men” has survived.
“Home Repairs” © 1991, is another typical Jack commission – saving a client’s sister from domestic abuse.
“The Long Way Home” © 1992, has Jack interceding in a hostage situation – with dire consequences for his usually secretive way of life.
“The Wringer” © 1996, ended up being part of Fatal Error and is the nastiest story of the collection – a man is forced to commit increasingly awful acts by a foul racist stranger.
“Interlude at Duane’s” © 2006. Jack and his friend stumble into a robbery at a drugstore. I agree with the author – this one was fun.
“Do-Gooder” © 2006. Short and brutal.
“Recalled” © 2009. Another uncomfortably nasty villain targets a local community for mysterious reasons.
“Piney Power” © 2010 is the only story in the collection featuring Jack during his teen years.
If you’ve always wondered about this infamous character, and wanted to decide whether to dive into the series, this collection certainly give a good taste of what the full length books are like. I liked the author’s introduction to each short, explaining how it came about. For someone who has read the whole series, they work as a little reminder of the early books, before the Secret History of The World supernatural plot lines took over. I had already read two of them as part of the main books but didn’t mind reading them again – although I had forgotten how disturbing The Wringer was. Overall, a collection worth the small investment of time and money.

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