vendredi 23 mai 2014

The Red Hot Fix by T.E. Woods

After the deadly events of The Fixer, Morton Grant and Lydia are trying to rebuild the shattered pieces of their lives. Lydia has spent a year in rehab, attempting to regain her confidence and to put the truth about her connection to the Fixer behind her, while Mort is embroiled in an investigation into a prostitute serial killer who only kills the men who pay her to sleep with them. As they both try to regain badly damaged confidence and find a way of moving on with their lives, the truth about what they both did threatens everything they have built...
The Fixer was a surprising hit for me earlier this year - a thriller that I picked up on a whim but which worked really well and pushed all my mystery/thriller buttons: an intriguing mystery, a couple of damaged heroes, a twisty-turny plot. When I saw that the sequel was coming out later this year I added it to my To Read List, and when it became available on Netgalley I requested it immediately. Once it was approved I jumped it towards the top of the ever-growing pile of books to read, looking forward to returning once again to the world of the Fixer.

Due to everything that happened in the previous novel, it was inevitable that The Red Hot Fix would be a very different animal. The mystery of the Fixer - while still relevant - is no longer an issue for the main two characters, so Woods introduces a new mystery killer in "Trixie", a prostitute killing her "johns" who is the latest criminal to go up against Detective Mort Grant. While Grant investigates the Trixie murders with his son, Lydia is trying to find a way back into her life now that she has given up her Fixer persona. As the book progresses, though, she begins to realise that giving up her old life may not be as easy as she thought, especially when she is faced with a clear injustice.

The way Woods dealt with Lydia's storyline was very well done. We see her struggle to decide what to do when she meets a little girl whose father is abusing her and planning to sell her through his sick website, afraid of going back to her Fixer ways, but even more terrified of not doing anything. The way the story is wrapped up was excellent, showing that Lydia may be able to use her skills and the mindset she developped as the Fixer, but in a new way that might keep her out of the sort of trouble she found in the first book.

I much preferred this storyline - despite the disgust factor created by the girl's father and his plans - than Mort's cat-and-mouse game with Trixie. The surprise factor was missing, it was pretty easy to figure out who Trixie actually was and the situation was wrapped up very quickly. It felt like the storyline then went into a holding pattern while Lydia's story caught up, which took some of the tension away from the final scenes.

The Red Hot Fix was a good continuation of the Fixer series, bringing back a lot of what worked in the first novel and progressing both characters storylines in interesting ways. One plotline was more interesting and worked better than the other, but overall they both complimented each other nicely and set up an interesting finale. I will certainly pick up the next book in the series - I'm looking forward to see how Lydia puts her new skills to use in different situations. I gave The Red Hot Fix 4 tied-up johns out of 5.

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