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on August 29, 2017
Gina almost loses the baby but hangs in there. Something tells me it's not safe yet, though. Jack has two missions. One turns into a far bigger one than expected when he gets tangled up with a world wide religious movement that's having its strings pulled by the 'other' - a very bad group of evil doers. There is also a nun being blackmailed. Again Jack is contacted by an old woman with a dog. Not coincidence.
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on March 2, 2005
To those who know him, Repairman Jack is without a doubt the most beloved of the contemporary fictional figures, bar none. He has a fan club, Stephen King is a charter member, after his first book and a couple short stories, he disappeared for ten years and was bought back by popular demand.

Jack could be described as a fixer - you got problem and for a fee he can fix it, or a champion of the oppressed - you can't afford a fee, we'll work something out. To the government he doesn't exist. He has never collected a paycheck and has never paid income tax. He has no credit, no credit cards, no FICO score, has never voted, has no social security card, has never been arrested, has no driver's license or passport (at least in his real name). In short he works outside the system totally under the radar.

In Crisscross, Jack has two new clients. One is a strange elderly lady with a dog, named Herta (in the last few books there have been strange ladies with dogs, the last one of which told Jack there would be no more coincidences in his life). It seems her son had joined the fast growing Dormentalist Church and recently she has lost touch with him. The second is a moderately attractive young lady, Maggie, (whom Jack finds out later is a nun) who is being blackmailed for some compromising photos.

To get the lowdown on the Dormentalists, Jack meets with reporter Jamie Grant, who recently ran the first installment of an exposé on the Dormentalist Church. He plans on infiltrating the church by joining, to which Jamie informs him it's not that easy, proceeding to tell him why. Jack, with help from acquaintances, lays groundwork to attract the top gun of Dormentalism, one Luther Bradley by claiming to be one guy while carrying identification which purports that Jack is one Jason Amari, the wealthy son of an even wealthier businessman. Naturally the security chief discovers this and Jack finds himself in with the head honcho, Bradley because of the families apparent wealth.

On the Blackmail end, Jack finds out who the blackmailer is, a crumb named Richie Cordova, who plays at being a private investigator but in reality is a private shake down artist. Jack figures Maggies pictures and others are probably on his computer and he probably has a back up, so he makes arrangement, again with the help of an acquaintance, to introduce a virus into Cordova's computer and follow him to locate the backup.

Things are moving along swimmingly on both fronts when little by little things start to unravel. The Church security chief, a behemoth of a man named Jensen thinks there is something fishy about Amari and continues to check him out, eventually locating a photo of the reclusive Amari and after having all his blackmail files destroyed by Jack, Cordova discovers that it was done purposely by someone and Maggie was the one that hired him.

CONCLUSION

This story is a little slow getting started but about halfway through it really gets going big time. Wilson does a superb job of merging the two separate undertakings into one remarkably clever ending. As advertised the Domentalist Church is a vessel of the Otherness and Jack must find a way to stop Bradley and save humanity and life as we know it.

As usual, Wilson's writing style is very reader friendly. Wilson, a physician by trade, (or maybe it's a sideline by now) is not interested in talking down to his readers but merely telling his story. His writing is fluid and smooth without too much detail and Wilson has always been a great storyteller with some of the most ingenuous and intriguing plots I have read.

I should probably warn you, there is some brutality, though it is a fact and not described and is mild compared to some previous books by Wilson. I have been reading Wilson since he came out with the book "The Keep" twenty five years ago, which was the first of the previously mentioned Adversary Cycle and was followed closely by "The Tomb", the first Repairman Jack novel.

If you're looking for something a little different, maybe a little bizarre, this certainly fills the bill. The downside though may be that once you've read this novel you may be compelled to go back and see what you missed in previous stories.
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on May 26, 2009
Ah, the usefulness of the term Criss Cross. It was the title of a film noir movie with Burt Lancaster, as well as the name of a character in the movie Scarlet Street (well, technically, Christopher). It is a key idea in Strangers on a Train, and even the name of the Grammy award singer of Arthur's Theme (again, technically Christopher). Jumping on the Criss Cross bandwagon is F. Paul Wilson with his eighth Repairman Jack novel, Crisscross.

The title in this case refers to two jobs that Jack is involved with which will intersect in unexpected ways. In one case, Jack has to bail out a nun whose one sin has been photographed by the same blackmailer that Jack had foiled at the beginning of Gateways. The more significant case, however, is a missing persons case: Jack is hired to find the son of an old woman. The son had recently joined the Dormentalist Church, a cult that is obviously based on Scientology. Though there are similarities, it is soon clear to Jack that the Dormentalists have a sinister agenda, one that is linked to the evil force known as the Otherness.

As Jack has been previously informed, there will be no more coincidences in his life, so it can be no accident that he is brought into two cases. Furthermore, Jack has had several encounters with old ladies with dogs in the past, and his new employer fits in that category. Coincidence? Jack thinks not. And when both the Church leader and blackmailer become nastier and nastier as they fulfill their agendas, Jack will need to get pretty nasty himself.

I personally came into the Repairman Jack series rather late, reading the seventh novel, Gateways first before going back to the beginning with The Tomb. So Crisscross actually begins a new phase in my reading of this series, one in which I have no real idea what the fate of the characters will be. This is not really a good Repairman Jack book to start with; although the plot technically stands alone (and there is a good amount of exposition to link it with other books), this really works best as a component of Wilson's grander storyline. For those who've read the previous books, however, Crisscross is another worthy entry in the series, a fast-moving and fun
read.
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on April 14, 2018
One of the best books in the series, second only to The Tomb at his point in my reading. The "fixes" Jack does are inherently interesting while advancing the ongoing theme of the Otherness versus the Adversary. No filler here!
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on December 25, 2004
I discovered Repairman Jack in a short story anthology. I found the character interesting and refreshing, a sort of Everyman living under the radar and solving difficult problems for people. The complication of the "Otherness" only makes the stories more interesting. While I would not rate this book as Wilson's best, it is a Repairman Jack story, and therefore, well paced and interesting. Jack is a definitely a likeable character, and his inventiveness in "fixing" problems for people makes these books enjoyable. Jack is not a superhero, but he has wit, humor and creativity when handling his "fixes." I have read all of the Repairman Jack stories and they never get stale. Wilson has a talent for writing entertaining stories, and Jack is a character that should appeal to almost anyone.
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on August 6, 2014
This is my first Repairman Jack book & I loved it. Quite a few more on order now! From the name I expected something much different & had a few doubts. It came with a bunch of books so I finally decided to try it - also after reading some of the great reviews of other readers. This seems to be an extremely popular series & I can hardly wait until I have more of them.
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on March 10, 2018
Always enjoy these novels. Very readable
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on August 22, 2017
REPAIRMAN JACK Should be a mini-series or a regular network program. Plenty of episodes would come out of his life from childhood on.
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on November 4, 2004
As usual repairman jack's adventures made it difficult to put the book down and work at the office...or go to bed at night. I started reading F. Paul Wilson many years ago -The Keep. I enjoyed the book but didn't discover others until last year so I had to get them all and read them in order. I like RP series best of all his great books. Dualism is a deeply imbedded idea for me being brought up very religious and still working hard to recover from it. Wilson's books put all the bizarre ideas religion put in my head in an entertaining format. Dark versus light. Good versus evil makes for great story lines. He works them perfectly.
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on January 1, 2015
One of the reasons I like Wilson's RJ character is that sometimes, getting to be almost "rarely," he allows himself to go on a controlled rampage and mete out death for the scumbags. How politically incorrect, and how juicy.
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