Jack is one of the main characters and plays a pivotal role in Not Her Father’s Son.
Jack Andrew McCaleb was born in Chicago. For reasons Jack isn’t sure of, his family moved to Ohio when he was twelve months old. Most of his young life was spent in the outskirts of Cincinnati where his dad had followed his dad’s footsteps into law enforcement. The move to a rural town in Ohio at twelve, if you believe Jack’s older brother, was because those mobster’s the family had fought in Chicago had finally tracked Jack’s father to Cincinnati.
Jack is the youngest of six. Many of his siblings went into some form of law enforcement like their dad One of his sisters died in a freak accident that Jack blames himself for, the reason he’s afraid of heights. Her twin died during a drug bust when the brother was fresh out of the Police Academy. When Jack was fourteen his dad was gun downed, leaving Jack’s mother a widower and Jack hating the law. Despite the feeling that police work stole his dad, when Jack headed off to college, he sought a degree in Law enforcement with a minor in psychology. He began his carreer as a narcotics cop in Cincinnati before joining the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Brought up a devote Catholic, Jack believes in God, family, and above all else, that family takes care of family. This includes friends not simply blood relatives. Jack’s best friend since childhood is Sam Stone, but they are more brothers than friends. Sam was the one who first called Jack Mac, a nickname that followed him until he graduated.
For years Jack allowed promotions to slip from his grasp because he didn’t want to move away from his family. It isn’t until his mother dies and his last living sibling, Elaine‘s cancer returns that he moves away. Elaine and Jack aren’t twins, but along with unruly red hair, they share the same taste in women. They haven’t always been close, but of his siblings, they share a bond that he never had with the others. When she moved away to follow her dreams of being a journalist and news anchor, Jack hated her, since they have come to understand one another.
During college, Jack met and fell in love with Katherine, he didn’t date during high school. She’s a staple in his life, but because of the way his father left his mother, he isn’t looking to get married. He doesn’t want the responsibility of a wife and what will eventually come from that, children, a family that he could one day leave without notice. He deludes himself that if he keeps her from making any life decisions based on him, that if he is killed suddenly, it will minimize any fall out of that event. Katherine isn’t the only woman Jack’s slept with, but that’s not for lack of charisma or looks, sex isn’t important to Jack. He’ll take it if he can get it, but he was never one to pursue a girl for the simple goal of having sex. Though he has no intention of marrying Katherine, he has kept to himself since they moved in together. Has he ever had his heart broken, no. Knowing he loves Katherine, he also knows he doesn’t hold the same love for her his father held for his mother. This among other reasons is why he doesn’t fully invest in their relationship.
What about Jack’s other traits? Well, he loves to read crime novels, his favorite is Sam Spade, is a huge hockey fan, and has seen every Rocky movie at least ten times. Jack’s not a slob, per se, but he has a habit of leaving the cap off the toothpaste and his socks under the coffee table in front of the television. As for television shows, anything comedic. Stand-up comics make him laugh out loud and he’s not above the juvenile stuff. Nothing better than a fart joke. Jack’s standard fare for breakfast when he’s home and can get it, is his childhood favorite, Cocoapuffs. His favorite cookie is the no-bake cookies his mother used to make.
For all his education and professional achievements, Jack still feels like he doesn’t measure up compared to those he sees as accomplished. Understanding where this comes from does nothing to put his insecurities to rest. One way he keeps a handle on this is by remaining ever vigilant and predictable. He has a routine that includes getting up at the same time everyday, eating the same breakfast, reading the same section of the newspaper, and wearing the same type of suit in the same color on the same day of the week. Does he have OCD, probably a mild form. Aware that his co-workers might pick up on the subtleties, he varies the shades of colors he wears and the style of suit. At home he’s comfortable in a pair of jeans and a hockey jersey.
When he was in high school, Jack and Sam used to sneak out of the house and go down to the local pub to play pool. He still enjoys a good game of pool and a pint of Ale when he can get away for a few hours of Jack time. Sam is the only person Jack tells his most private secrets too, like the reason he’s deathly afraid of heights, open bridges and water.
Of all the things he hates about his job, for Jack the worst part is lying. When he takes the new position with Internal Affairs, it curdles his stomach that he must lie both to his sister and to his new partner.