The Fixer: A Justice Novel (The Justice Series Book 1), by T. E. Woods
T. E. Woods created a wonderful series starter here, even though I was having trouble following the chapter-by-chapter scene changes that started the book. They all crystallize eventually into a tense mystery-thriller.
Call up The Fixer at Amazon and you’ll find four books near the top, with no less than Bernard Malamud on the list, so deduct some points there. And this is the kind of story that’s a little hard to write much about without spoiling many of the twists and turns. So let’s focus instead on the central theme and the main characters.
Main theme: A female who travels the world knocking off evil people for a fee suddenly finds herself in the power of someone even more mysterious than she is, and with an agenda 180 degrees from her pursuit of justice.
A psychologist in Olympia, Washington, who begins treating a client who keeps herself difficult to reach and who worries about her life of hurting others.
A police detective who lost his daughter to drugs finds himself on a hunt for a mysterious vigilante.
A horribly cruel and manipulative professor who is about to be targeted for death.
To set up the complexities of the story Woods rightfully has to put in place some building blocks in the book that take quite a few chapters to come together. Once they do it turns into a tense story with more than a fair share of tragedy, action, and blood. There are times when some of the twists are really too coincidental so that it seems like the whole world somehow has revolved around 20 or so characters, but the dramatic action is sharp enough to let you suspend common sense for a fun thriller ride. And honestly, no one reads books like this to prep for a logic class, so jump on the roller coaster and scream with everyone else.
The series has developed some devoted fans and there are now six books in the series, all with titles built around Fix or Fixed, so we and Malamud can forgive the title of this book and keep an eye out to see if the action continues or gets tired in future books.