QUICK FIXES – tales of Repairman Jack

Finally…all the Repairman Jack short fiction – many hard to find, one nigh impossible – collected for the first time.  I compiled QUICK FIXES at the insistence of Repairman Jack fans, especially the completists. A number of small presses have approached me to do a signed, limited first edition, but I’m not comfortable with charging a premium price for previously published material. Through the years a number of these stories have been incorporated into Repairman Jack novels:

“Home Repairs ” into Conspiracies
“The Last Rakosh” into All the Rage
“The Wringer” into Fatal Error

If you’ve read those three novels, you have, in effect, read versions of those three stories.  For those who are newcomers to the character…

Who is Repairman Jack?

He’s an urban mercenary in Manhattan, a self-made outcast who lives in the interstices of modern society.  A ghost in our machine: no official identity, no social security number, pays no taxes.  He has a violent streak he sometimes finds hard to control.  He hires out for cash to “fix” situations that have no legal remedy.

The name Repairman Jack comes from his gunrunner pal, Abe.  Jack’s not crazy about it, but he lives with it.  He’s not a vigilante, not a do-gooder. He’s not out to right wrongs. Nor is he out to change the world or fight crime. (He’s a career criminal, after all, as are many of his friends.) He’s not Batman. He’s just a guy with a devious mind who likes his work best when he can see to it that what goes around come around. If you follow him carefully you’ll see he gets a real jolt out of running a scam or setting up someone to be hoisted on his own petard.

He came from a dream. The scene on the roof in The Tomb was that dream.  I worked backward and forward from there to create a character who could survive that situation. I decided on an anti-Jason Bourne – with no black-ops, SEAL, or Special Forces training, no CIA or police background, no connection to officialdom.  In other words, no safety net.  No one in officialdom he could call on.  He has to rely on his own wits and his own network.

I’ve been a libertarian forever, so I figured I’d act out my libertarian dreams, you know, make this guy an anarchist with no identity. But as I’ve continued his adventures, I’ve learned that it takes a lot of effort to live below the radar, especially since 9/11.

I intended Jack as a one-shot, which is kind of obvious at the end of The Tomb. As I finished that novel, I thought, “Well, this character is definitely series material, so I gotta make it look like the guy is dead or they’ll want more.” I had books planned out and didn’t want to get locked into a series.

Then, later on, Jack became a way out of a trap I’d got myself into with a medical thriller contract. I’d become bored with writing them after doing three and I was contracted to do a fourth… but I had this idea for a techy thriller and thought, why don’t I rework this and use Jack again? It’d be great for him. I named it Legacies and made his client a doctor so I could call it a medical thriller.  The publisher was happy I was bringing back a character my fans wanted to see again, and I was happy to revisit Jack.  A win-win.

Legacies was fun and sold well, so I had to do another, and then another, and before I knew it, Jack had taken over my writing career.

But before Legacies, I brought him back in shorter works.

QUICK FIXES includes:
“A Day in the Life”
“The Last Rakosh”
“Home Repairs”
“The Long Way Home”
“The Wringer”
“Interlude at Duane’s”
“Do-Gooder”
“Piney Power”
plus introductions to each story

You can find all e-formats HERE

The paper edition is HERE

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