Double Threat by F. Paul Wilson
Forge Books (June 29, 2021)
384 pages; hardcover $22.99; e-book $13.99
Reviewed by Dave Simms
The Secret History of The World is alive and well in F. Paul Wilson’s Double Threat, an unusual thriller that brings together different puzzle pieces of the author’s diverse career into one novel. For the diehard Repairman Jack fans, this story is a bit out in left field, but in the best possible manner, meaning that while the overarching plotline and universe connects with Wilson’s other works, it utilizes more humor and science fiction than what Jack fans might be accustomed to.
Again, this is a good thing.
Stanka Daley (such a great character name) is a con artist who goes on the run after her last effort angered marks who didn’t want her walking away so easily. She winds up hiding in a California desert cave. While she eludes her victims, something finds her. A sluglike being drops onto her head, and a separate consciousness springs to life in her mind. It asks to be called “Pard” and Daley fights the symbiotic union she quickly realizes can’t be undone.
The positive appears in the form of a newfound healing power. She loses her hand in a freak accident, only to have Pard regenerate it. Those powers only increase and she decides it’s time to turn this into a new business in the odd town of Nespodee Springs. An odd cult resides there, one that has been awaiting “Visitors” who had been on earth long ago. Strang events unravel everywhere, from — mass catatonia and earthquakes that may signal the ancients’ return. The “Duad” they prophesized, who could destroy their plans, turns out to be Daley and Pard, a pair of characters that rival any other Wilson has brought to life.
The writing, as usual, is top-notch, with dialogue and humor that drives the story into enjoyable realms that might surprise long-time fans
Highly recommended reading for any thriller, science fiction, or weird story fans. It will be fascinating to see where Wilson brings these two next.