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All The Rage    by F. Paul Wilson order for
All The Rage
by F. Paul Wilson
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2001 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Ever since the release of Wilson's nifty horror novel The Tomb, first published in 1984, anti-establishment hero Repairman Jack, has garnered cult status. The end of the novel was ambiguous at best and left readers wondering if Jack would survive otherworldly forces and the Rakosh they loosed on an unsuspecting world. Wilson, who's also a practicing physician, broadened his scope and moved successfully into medical and political thrillers and various anthology collections, but didn't write another Repairman Jack novel until Legacies, released in 1998.

Now, after six novels, it seems Jack's here to stay. In All The Rage, he finds himself tracking the origins of a nasty new street drug called Berserk along with the Serbian crime boss selling it. In the process, he must once again confront another of the creatures that almost killed him in The Tomb. As the story opens, Dr. Luc Monnet (a partner in a drug company called GEM Pharma), and the owner of a traveling freak show, one Ozymandius Prather, are worried that the source of the drug that's making them both rich, is failing. Monnet has plans to flee the US, but isn't completely certain Milo Drakovic, up-and-coming racketeer, won't track him down and kill him for hiding this sudden turn of events.

Meanwhile, back in New York, Jack, artist girlfriend Gia, and her daughter, Vickie, are leaving a gallery showing when they find themselves caught in the middle of a wild street riot. Jack, no slouch in the self-defence department, is barely able to save Vickie from being flung down a flight of stairs. Only Gia's intervention stops Jack from killing the rioter who dared touch Vickie. Once he sees Gia and Vickie safely home he swears he'll get some answers. His investigation soon verifies that Berserk is responsible for a group of seemingly staid middle-aged prep-school alumni losing complete control.

The plot gets even more complicated as Jack juggles two new clients, both with an interest in Milos Drakovic. Researcher Dr. Nadia Radzminsky wants to know if her mentor, Monnet, is being blackmailed by the mobster or is actually in league with him manufacturing and selling Berserk. And a local junkyard dealer wants the 'Slippery Serb' to pay for the murder of his young nephew. Drakovic is soon gunning for Jack and the two women he loves. But when he finally discovers the true origins of Berserk, any threat the Serbian gangster poses pales in comparison to what lies waiting in a darkened freak show tent.

All The Rage is another tour de force in an already fine series that's incredibly well written, highly imaginative and always a guaranteed page-turner. With each successive book Wilson adds a little more insight into the enigmatic man that's Repairman Jack, part smart and resourceful business man and part urban equalizer. Also look for Hosts and The Haunted Air, books 5 and 6 in this great continuing series.

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