To those who know him, Repairman Jack is without a doubt the most beloved of the contemporary fictional figures, bar none. He has a fan club, Stephen King is a charter member, after his first book and a couple short stories, he disappeared for ten years and was bought back by popular demand.
Jack could be described as a fixer - you got problem and for a fee he can fix it, or a champion of the oppressed - you can't afford a fee, we'll work something out. To the government he doesn't exist. He has never collected a paycheck and has never paid income tax. He has no credit, no credit cards, no FICO score, has never voted, has no social security card, has never been arrested, has no driver's license or passport (at least in his real name). In short he works outside the system totally under the radar.
In Crisscross, Jack has two new clients. One is a strange elderly lady with a dog, named Herta (in the last few books there have been strange ladies with dogs, the last one of which told Jack there would be no more coincidences in his life). It seems her son had joined the fast growing Dormentalist Church and recently she has lost touch with him. The second is a moderately attractive young lady, Maggie, (whom Jack finds out later is a nun) who is being blackmailed for some compromising photos.
To get the lowdown on the Dormentalists, Jack meets with reporter Jamie Grant, who recently ran the first installment of an exposé on the Dormentalist Church. He plans on infiltrating the church by joining, to which Jamie informs him it's not that easy, proceeding to tell him why. Jack, with help from acquaintances, lays groundwork to attract the top gun of Dormentalism, one Luther Bradley by claiming to be one guy while carrying identification which purports that Jack is one Jason Amari, the wealthy son of an even wealthier businessman. Naturally the security chief discovers this and Jack finds himself in with the head honcho, Bradley because of the families apparent wealth.
On the Blackmail end, Jack finds out who the blackmailer is, a crumb named Richie Cordova, who plays at being a private investigator but in reality is a private shake down artist. Jack figures Maggies pictures and others are probably on his computer and he probably has a back up, so he makes arrangement, again with the help of an acquaintance, to introduce a virus into Cordova's computer and follow him to locate the backup.
Things are moving along swimmingly on both fronts when little by little things start to unravel. The Church security chief, a behemoth of a man named Jensen thinks there is something fishy about Amari and continues to check him out, eventually locating a photo of the reclusive Amari and after having all his blackmail files destroyed by Jack, Cordova discovers that it was done purposely by someone and Maggie was the one that hired him.
This story is a little slow getting started but about halfway through it really gets going big time. Wilson does a superb job of merging the two separate undertakings into one remarkably clever ending. As advertised the Domentalist Church is a vessel of the Otherness and Jack must find a way to stop Bradley and save humanity and life as we know it.
As usual, Wilson's writing style is very reader friendly. Wilson, a physician by trade, (or maybe it's a sideline by now) is not interested in talking down to his readers but merely telling his story. His writing is fluid and smooth without too much detail and Wilson has always been a great storyteller with some of the most ingenuous and intriguing plots I have read.
I should probably warn you, there is some brutality, though it is a fact and not described and is mild compared to some previous books by Wilson. I have been reading Wilson since he came out with the book "The Keep" twenty five years ago, which was the first of the previously mentioned Adversary Cycle and was followed closely by "The Tomb", the first Repairman Jack novel.
If you're looking for something a little different, maybe a little bizarre, this certainly fills the bill. The downside though may be that once you've read this novel you may be compelled to go back and see what you missed in previous stories.