Monday, August 3, 2015

The Fixer by Joseph Finder

The blurb:
When former investigative reporter Rick Hoffman loses his job, fiancee, and apartment, his only option is to move back into -- and renovate -- the home of his miserable youth, now empty and in decay since the stroke that put his father in a nursing home.

As Rick starts to pull apart the old house, he makes an electrifying discovery -- millions of dollars hidden in the walls.  It's enough money to completely transform Rick's life -- and everything he knew about his father.  Yet the more of his father's hidden past that Rick brings to light, the more dangerous his present becomes.  Soon, he finds himself on the run from deadly enemies desperate to keep the past buried, and only solving the mystery of his father -- a man who has been unable to communicate, comprehend, or care for himself for almost twenty years -- will save Rick. . . if he can survive long enough to do it.

I'd read the short story that  Joseph Finder co-authored with Lee Child in the International Thriller Writers' collection, but this is my first time to read one of Joseph Finder's thrillers.   I was fortunate enough to listen to Lee Child and Joseph Finder discuss how they worked on the short story and their differing writing methods during ThrillerFest last year.

Finder's latest novel, The Fixer is a standalone novel.  I've spent much of my life in Boston and manage property in the Back Bay and South End, so I appreciated the details that Finder wove into the story.  The descriptions of real estate aren't just spot on, but they helped give me a sense of the different characters.  It certainly added to my enjoyment of The Fixer.

The protagonist, Rick Hoffman, goes through a great deal and his investigative skills help him solve the mystery of the unexplained cash. He takes quite a journey and I'm not sad to say that he got battered up (literally and figuratively) along the way.  To be honest, I didn't much like Rick, but the romantic subplot gives us a good sense of who Rick is.  And it made me like him even less.  Fortunately, this is a standalone and we won't be seeing much more of Rick Hoffman.

I did grow to care for Rick's father  a great deal.  The thing that I loved best about The Fixer was the masterful way that Finder introduced us to Lenny Hoffman and the way that he let drop details of Lenny's life.  The scene in the Supreme Court and the struggles that he had balancing the person/lawyer that he'd hoped to be and the lawyer that he was resonated with me.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Fixer and am looking forward to reading Joseph Finder's earlier novels - as well as what comes next!

About the Author:
Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven previous novels, including Suspicion, Vanished, and Buried Secrets.  Finder's international bestseller Killer Instinct won the International Thriller Writers' Thriller Award for Best Novel of 2006.  Other bestselling titles include Paranoia and High Crimes, both of which became major motion pictures.  He lives in Boston.

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