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Ground Zero is the pen-penultimate Repairman Jack novel that slowly starts drawing the series into a gradual overlap with F.Paul Wilson's Adversary Cycle that helps make up part of his Secret History Of The World; a phrase that gets plenty of page-time in this latest adventure!
It begins on September 11th with the Twin Tower attacks and slowly reveals, through the course of the plot, that this attack may well have been tied into The Adversary's plans to dominate the Earth. In fact many of the questions involving the whole Adversary Cycle, The Secret History and how both these aspects tie into The Repairman Jack books are finally answered as Jack meets up with a face from his past and realises his life may well have been manipulated from very early on! It also features a character previously seen in earlier novels, The Keep and Reborn, and further cements the links between this series and The Adversary Cycle! It is a book that can be read as a stand-alone but is much better enjoyed as part of the Repairman series or by someone who has read some of the other accompanying books such as the afore mentioned The Keep, The Touch or The Tomb!
The decision by F.Paul Wilson to connect The Twin Towers to his whole Secret History is a risky strategy and one that could easily have back-fired! (Even King shied away from using this traumatic event in his Dark Tower series though a connection was subtly alluded to) But thankfully, Wilson treats the whole thing with respect and doesn't try to change history too much by having Al-Queda still responsible but just having their motives for doing so manipulated by The Dark One instead. In many respects, by doing this, Wilson is more paying tribute to the many conspiracy theories surrounding the event that have sprung up in the intervening years all across the World-Wide Web than trying to cause offence and, indeed, the theme of conspiracy theories and the fact that some of them may just hold a tiny glimmer of truth is one he has explored and revisited many times before!
Overall, this is another great Repairman Jack novel that really works towards pulling all the individual plot strands that have been building closer together! Is it too soon to fictionialise events leading up to 9/11 in such a way? Maybe some might think so but it is this reviewers opinion in any case that Wilson just about gets away with it!
For those trying to follow this convoluted, complicated and involved series and trying to read these books in order, the next two books in the Jack series are to be the last and connect back with The Adversary Cycle with first Reprisal and then later Nightworld; the novels that finally complete this massive, ongoing storyline. Nightworld was published several years ago now but Wilson is supposed to be rewriting and re-releasing it to coincide with the end of the Repairman Jack books and better link everything back together. One thing is certain, when The Repairman Jack novels finally end, it is going to leave a void not easily filled.....