Jack: Secret Vengeance by F. Paul Wilson.
Tor/Tom Doherty Associates: NY, 2011.
3rd book Young Repairman Jack series

In this third book of the YA prequel to Repairman Jack, Carson Toliver, captain and quarterback of the varsity football team, asks Weezy out. She agrees to show him where she and Jack found the missing body (from Jack: Secret Histories) in the Pines. He attacks her and freaks out when she resists him. She hides in the Pines until he leaves. Carson spreads nasty rumors about Weezy at school. Since Weezy confides in Jack and she is so upset she won't go to school, Jack decides to get revenge for her. It has to be a secret, because he doesn't want everyone to know who did it or why. Carson is too popular, he doesn't want to draw attention to Weezy, and Carson's friends are bullies.

The rumors start a downward spiral for Weezy psychologically. She's grounded and forced to see a psychiatrist, and this causes more hurt and depression.

Jack picks a plan of revenge - locker sabotage. It works so well that he prolongs and escalates the action, with a crowd forming each day to watch the spectacle. Carson isn't bright enough to figure out how it's happening, and Jack pushes him enough psychologically to reveal more cracks in Carson's reputation.

Walt, Old Man Foster, and Mrs. Clevenger appear in the book. Walt for another Healing. Foster and Clevenger confer about secret things and hint at a destiny for Jack. Jack also meets Abe for the first time, while he works in Abe's uncle's store, USED. Saree is another person Jack meets, a girl known as a seer in the Piney community.

Weezy and Jack discover another strange place in the Pines. This one is a dead zone where a building used to exist, with nothing growing and animals avoiding the spot.

Mr. Kressy, the civics teacher, starts the philosophical discussion about guiding principles. Jack's dad suggests the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all as a primary principle. Kressy continues the extended conversation with the idea of owning one's own life. Mr. Drexler from the Lodge asserts that most people have no control; they are just Moved by a few other more knowledgeable people. Only a few people can handle certain Truths, and the few are keepers of that knowledge. Jack's sister Kate says if people are either Movers or Moved, they should refuse to play. Make their own rules. I think this discussion that spans the book is one of the most important parts of the book. Jack is forming his philosophy of life and grappling with right and wrong. Included is his 2nd major act as a vigilante, though it isn't the way he sees himself yet. Both were in response to terrible circumstances that Jack could not stand doing nothing about.

I think this is the strongest of the YA Jack books, though I enjoyed all three for different reasons. It is the last of them. However, Matt from Fantasy Folder posted on Twitter that F. Paul Wilson is planning a bridge series between the YA and adult Repairman Jack.

related-mystery and detective stories, supernatural, coming of age, revenge, guiding principles for life, assault
RL=YA-adult, only mature YA and up

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