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Fatal Error: Repairman Jack    by F. Paul Wilson order for
Fatal Error
by F. Paul Wilson
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

As a general rule, Jack has never taken on kidnapping cases - his one-man show simply can't access the information and technology of police departments or the FBI. But when Jack's computer genius friend Russ literally begs him to help his friend and partner Munir Habib rescue his kidnapped wife and son, Jack promises to look into it.

Even without all the resources, it doesn't take Jack long to locate Barbara and Robbie Habib or to realise that, once again, absolutely nothing in his life is coincidence. His interaction with the Habibs and the kidnapper has, as always, everything to do with Jack's ongoing battle with two godlike entities - the Ally and the Otherness - and their millennia long struggle to gain dominion over and absorb sentient realities.

Other plot threads are coming together as well: Dawn Pickering finally delivers her baby, but the few glimpses she catches of her son before he is whisked away suggest he is something other than human. The Order of Septimus still hunts Weezie, while the Kicker cult is busily trying to find out what Jack knows, while moving ahead with their plans to bring down the Internet using part of a revolutionary gaming program stolen from creators Munir and Russ - the reason Barbara and Robbie were kidnapped in the first place.

Jack also finally deciphers the true identity of Mr. Osala (Dawn's kindly benefactor). And there's more insight into his continuing struggle to suppress the darkness within himself. Fatal Error fills in plenty more blanks and Wilson briskly moves the story along as he ties off subplots as well as adding surprise twists. How will it all end? Those of us who have been following this unique and stellar series for the past twenty-five years will have to wait and see when Jack's battle with otherworldly forces finally comes to a head in The Dark at the End.

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