In earlier installments of this outstanding series, author F. Paul Wilson would often weave two storylines, one with a foot in the so-called real world, the other grounded in the world of the supernatural. His last two books, however, have placed more emphasis on the supernatural. In INFERNAL, Jack was stricken by a mystical malady which threatened to erase him from this plane of existence; in HARBINGERS, he was forced cut a deal with the otherworldly Ally to protect all he held dear. In BLOODLINE, Wilson switches gears a bit, grounding the story in stark, but still dangerous, reality.
Still dealing with the fallout of the harrowing events chronicled in INFERNAL and HARBINGERS, Jack accepts a job that, at least on the surface, seems just the thing to help him ease back into the repair business--he's asked by protective mother Christy Pickering to break up her teenaged daughter Dawn's relationship with Jerry Bethlehem, a much older man of questionable morals. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Something that John D. MacDonald's quixotic Travis McGee might handle with aplomb, no doubt (Bethlehem being, in many ways, eerily reminiscent of the loathsome Junior Allen of DEEP BLUE GOODBYE fame). Of course, this being the world according to Jack, the situation is not as clear cut as it seems. Bethlehem turns out to be a hardened, dangerous criminal, released from prison because he agreed to take part in a scientific study.
Jerry, you see, is unique because his genome shows evidence of "other" or "o" DNA, a trait which causes extreme, explosive aggressiveness. The scientists studying him are fascinated by the research possibilities. Jerry, on the other hand, cares little about his genetic background--he's on a mission given to him by his psychopathic father, and his target is eighteen year old Dawn Pickering. As Jack unravels the mystery surrounding Bethlehem's twisted quest, he uncovers unsettling information that will change him forever.
As always, Wilson provides entertaining and intelligent reading--he hasn't lost his any of his edginess as the series has progressed, he's only gotten sharper and more proficient at providing shocking twists that will leave readers shaking their heads, first in utter disbelief, then in admiration. Wilson's no frills style makes him easy to underestimate as a writer, but he always delivers the goods--his annual forays into Jack's universe have become events, as his ever growing legion of fans flock to see where he's going to take them next.