Jack: Secret Histories by F. Paul Wilson

2008
03.15

jack the secret histories In the early 1980’s, long before cell phones and iPods arrived on the scene, Jack, his friend Eddie, and Eddie’s sister Weezy spend most of their time either playing Pole Position on Atari, or biking through the spooky Pine Barrens that border their suburban New Jersey neighborhood. One hot summer day as they are exploring the Barrens, the trio come upon what looks like an ancient burial mound. Poking around in search of treasure, they are rewarded instead with the discovery of a far more recent (although still pretty decomposed and gross) body and a mysterious black box, covered with cryptic symbols that will only open for Jack, much to Weezy’s vast disappointment. Turns out the body is a ex-member of the town’s oldest and most exclusive society: The Ancient Septimus Fraternal Order. And he wasn’t just murdered, he was carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey! Soon after Jack and Co. report what they have found, other members of the Order begin to bite it, one after another. What’s going on here? Is there a serial killer on the loose? If so, why is he only targeting Order members? The answer may lie in the secrets of the black box, but until they can figure out what the symbols mean, they’re stumped. So Jack, using only his Hardy Boy-like powers of deduction and trusty bike, starts poking around in all the wrong places. Will Jack discover who the murderer is before he becomes the killer’s next victim? This highly entertaining mystery is the little brother of the adult published Repairman Jack series. But you don’t have to have read the original books to enjoy the heck out of this one. Even though F. Paul Wilson spends a little too much time explaining to readers that they are in 1983, it’s great fun watching amateur sleuths solve mysteries without the help of Google or past episodes of C.S.I. Why, it’s almost like Nancy Drew! Or Scooby Doo and the gang riding around in the Mystery Machine! (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here.)

4 Responses to “Jack: Secret Histories by F. Paul Wilson”

  1. Jen Robinson says:

    Now this sounds like fun. I like the Repairman Jack books, mostly because I enjoy Jack as a character. This, combined with your Scooby Doo analogy, is certainly enough to make me want to read the book. Thanks for the head’s up.

  2. Jen Hubert says:

    From one Jen to another, this IS great fun–almost as fun as Alex Rider. It made me want to read at least one of the adult titles, especially as Stephen King has said that they are among his favorite books. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  3. Jen Robinson says:

    I’ll definitely be looking for this one. As for his adult titles, I enjoy them, but they are a bit odd – kind of a blend of mystery/thriller and supernatural/horror. I’m not surprised the Stephen King likes them! Me, I just like the character, and can take of leave the supernatural stuff.

  4. Shelf Elf says:

    This sounds like great fun. If it’s “almost as fun as Alex Rider” then I’m in. Thanks for pointing this one out.

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