Author: F. Paul Wilson
I enjoyed this book a lot. It featured one of Jack’s better fixes throughout the series. It completes the story of how Jack’s favorite bar became Julio’s. So why only two stars? This felt like the middle third of a longer book. This would be a world’s worst book to read on it’s own, and even if you’ve read the one that comes before it the ending is not satisfying in resolving 80% of the story lines of the book.
It’s actually difficult to even recall where this book began because it is so much in the middle of the overarching story line of the trilogy. Jack is trying to help Julio buy the bar he manages while also thwarting Julio’s sister’s ex from buying it. The human traffickers that Jack helped sabotage in book one lay a trap for him in book 2. The jihadist Muslims are continuing to pull strings on the traffickers, while simultaneously being manipulated by the Eternal Septimus Order. Tommy and Vinnie are mobsters who continue to try and get rich by any means necessary. Jack begins to suspect his girlfriend Kristin might be keeping a secret, but then changes his mind. Abe considers getting a pet.
Out of all the story lines, one gets resolved and everything else takes a mini-step forward to set up the actual resolutions in book three. The jihadists and the mobsters have almost zero movement in this book, despite both getting significant page counts. The payoff better be worth it at this point because neither story has been particularly interesting when Jack hasn’t been involved. The aforementioned fix tangentially involved the mob guys, but the fact that they’re still being involved in the story line afterward eliminates any surprise at these guys coming to bite Jack in the ass later on.