F. Paul Wilson, Double Threat (Forge 978-1-250-77664-8, $27.99, 365pp, hc) June 2021.
Wilson returns to his first novel, Healer, with a drastic rewrite that sets the story on contemporary Earth and also mixes in elements from the novella Wardenclyffe in his Secret History series, which adds a touch of cosmic horror and the work of Nikola Tesla to the mix. What makes the connection to Healer clear, though, is the character Pard, a creature in a cave that drops onto the head of 26-year-old con artist Daley, knocking her unconscious and changing her hair – and eventually starting to talk to her, appearing as a vision only she can see. It also gives her the ability to heal, which gives her con-artist self ideas. But her attempts to set up a business in a small town get complicated when she runs up against the powerful Pendry clan and the reclusive Tadhaks. Then the Pendrys’s experiments with energy transmission crank the weirdness up several notches. There’s not much besides Pard left of the original Healer, but this new version makes for a fun ride, even if the cliffhangerish ending does leave an awful lot unexplained.
Carolyn F. Cushman, Senior Editor, has worked for Locus since 1985, the longest of any of the current staff, and handles our in-house books database, writes our New and Notable section, and does the monthly Books Received column. She is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in English. She published a fantasy novel, Witch and Wombat, in 1994.
This review and more like it in the November 2021 issue of Locus.
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