"Never a doubt. Never a mistake. Always for justice. Never for revenge. She’s the person you hire when you need something fixed—permanently. With a strict set of criteria, she evaluates every request and chooses only a few. No more than one job per country, per year. She will only step in if it’s clear that justice will not be served any other way. Her jobs are completed with skill and precision, and never result in inquiry or police investigation. The Fixer is invisible—and quite deadly. . .
In the office of a clinical psychologist in Olympia, Washington, a beautiful young woman is in terrible emotional pain. She puts up walls, tells lies, and seems to speak in riddles, but the doctor is determined to help her heal, despite the fact that she claims to have hurt many people. As their sessions escalate, the psychologist feels compelled to reach out to the police . . . but it might be too late.
In Seattle, a detective gets a call from his son. A dedicated journalist, he wants his father’s expertise as he looks into a suspicious death. Together they follow the trail of leads toward a stone-cold hired killer—only to find that death has been closer than either could have imagined."
E-Book: 312 pages
Publisher: Alibi (February 4, 2014)
Sold by: Random House LLC
There is a lot going on in this book with many characters and converging plot lines to pay attention to. The story moves at a fast past and there are definite twists and turns--some I expected/predicted, and a few that I was surprised by, and all of them kept me turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next. Even with the instances where I figured something out before it unfolded in the book, I had to keep reading to check and see if I was right. All three of the main characters--Linda Corriger, Mort Grant and The Fixer were well-developed, each damaged in some way and suffering from tragic and/or violent events in their pasts. Author Woods has given them many layers, some are uncovered in this book and there are more yet to be peeled back as this is the first novel in a series. Woods has made The Fixer herself a particularly interesting and sympathetic character--her brand of vigilante justice making her morally ambiguous. She is a cold assassin for sure but, it is hard not to root for her as she is ridding the world of some very evil people. The Fixer is crafty and skilled at what she does, reminding me of a cross between a much more violent Olivia Pope of Scandal and a much less bloody Dexter. Is she using her talents for good or for evil? The other characters and the reader have to decide. This novel is a solid start to a new series. Lovers of mystery-thrillers, strong female characters, police dramas and books with a flawed or anti-hero will enjoy "The Fixer." I am looking forward to the second book, "The Red Hot Fix" which is scheduled for early June.
Author Notes: T. E. Woods is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Madison, Wisconsin. Her scientific writings are well represented in peer-reviewed journals and academic texts. Her literary works earned her first place for Fiction at the University of Wisconsin Writers’ Institute. Dr. Woods enjoys kayaking, hiking, biking, and hanging around the house while her two dogs help her make sense of the world. Her habit of relaxing by conjuring up any manner of diabolical murder methods and plots often finds her friends urging her to take up knitting.
As always, there must be food representing the book in my reviews. While food is present in "The Fixer"--it's not a focus. There's plenty of coffee and alcohol, there's also pumpkin pie, sandwiches and a couple somewhat plain meals that psychologist Linda eats. ("Baked potato, broccoli, breast of chicken. A dinner guaranteed not to add an ounce to her five-foot-seven, 130-pound, thirty-six-year-old body.") I ended up choosing to make chocolate mousse. Early in the book, The Fixer shares a last meal with one of her targets, enjoying lobster and salad on the dining room terrace, finishing a bottle of Pinot Grigio with a chocolate mousse and ending the dinner with Irish Coffee. Of course then she ties him to the bed and strangles him with a silk scarf, but hey, at least dinner was good... ;-)
So, chocolate mousse has no real significance to the story other than being mentioned but I have been craving it lately and had tagged this Donna Hay easy Cheat's Chocolate-Hazelnut Mousse recipe to make a while back. Made with three ingredients--cream, hazelnut liqueur and Nutella, this is simple, creamy, and the kind of comforting dessert or snack that you need for a good suspenseful mystery novel.
Cheat's Chocolate-Hazelnut Mousse
From "Fast, Fresh, Simple" by Donna Hay
300ml (about 10 oz) double cream
1 generous tbsp hazelnut liqueur
85g (1/4 cup) chocolate hazelnut spread