New World Disorder

Conspiracies (Repairman Jack #3)  by F. Paul Wilson (2000): Easily the zippiest, lightest of F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack novels that I’ve read. The setting for the ‘A’ plot helps with this, as Jack has to infiltrate a convention of conspiracy theorists in order to find a missing woman. He’s never met that missing woman, but she left a message with her husband that if she disappeared, only Repairman Jack would be able to help help her. So against his better judgement, off Jack goes to the convention.

There, he’ll meet and mingle with an assortment of One World, UFO, Hollow-Earth, Christian fundamentalist, and various and sundry other seriously invested conspiracy theorists. The missing woman had announced prior to the convention that her Sunday keynote speech would reveal a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory that would explain everything. Did someone kidnap or kill her to shut her up?

In what was then the third of the Repairman Jack books, Conspiracies does a certain amount of heavy lifting so as to make Jack’s adventures part of the overarching Adversary Cycle. The Adversary himself, Rasalom, shows up in disguise to deliver a chapter worthy of Basil Exposition, laying out the framework of the massive secret war going on behind the scenes to Jack so as to judge whether or not Jack knows anything about it. He doesn’t. But boy, is he going to learn.

A draggy B-plot detracts from the shenanigans — with all these conspiracy theories floating around, the hiring of Jack to solve a domestic abuse situation just seems like a prosaic time-waster. More conspiracy theories! More weird events! More Tesla! More of the Blues-Brothers-like agents of Order known only as the Twins! And most of all, more of Rasalom’s evil talking monkey! Recommended.

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