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I've enjoyed all of Joseph Finder's books, read/listened to most of them more than once, but this new one, "The Fixer" isn't my favorite, not by a long shot. It's a fairly good novel. In listening, I never once went away with the fairies, never had to backtrack, so it's interesting enough. No complaints there.
But. I'm trying to isolate what the issue was. How about this: there are many of us who complain about books in which the gorgeous young female protagonist, knowing there is a vicious killer lurking out there somewhere, will hear a noise at night, and decide to go outside and investigate, all by herself, right? Well, here we've got her male counterpart.
I'm not sure what the exact diagnosis is -- naive, gullible, too-trusting, not sufficiently cynical or maybe just plain dumb, but this guy gets himself in more "fixes" (how about that?!) than any reasonably aware 30-something would ever do. When we get to the last hour of the book, and once again, Rick heads off by himself into what is obviously a danger zone -- while I'm sure the entire reading audience is screaming, "DON'T GO -- ARE YOU NUTS??" -- he goes anyway. Happily. Confidently. Good grief -- whaddya gonna do with a guy like that? Honestly, his too-trusting character gets almost silly.
One avenue I thought Finder was going to take -- but he didn't -- was typical: At the very beginning, Finder has Rick (who found all this money) go out and make several $9000 deposits into bank accounts at several different banks, saying he knows he's safe from "Homeland Security" if he keeps it under $10,000. Finder might ask former Congressman Denny Hastert how well that kind of thing worked for him. Pretty silly -- or naive -- for Rick to think he could simply obey the letter of the law and Homeland Security would leave him alone. Maybe there's room for a sequel there, when the feds take after Rick which, sooner or later, they surely would.
Two positive things: they chose exactly the right narrator. Steven Kearney's boyish "Aw shucks gee whiz" voice quality is just perfect for the gullible Rick. The narration is great -- Kearney does well on the Irish accents, too. Well done.
And secondly, the novel is a fine meditation on fathers and sons, what sons know about their fathers, how much they don't know, but make judgments about anyway. I resonated with that on my maternal side. I never really knew my mother, wish I'd had the chance Rick had, to discover something about her that would have changed the way I remember her. In that sense, it's a fine novel indeed.
So? Not Finder's best -- "Company Man" remains my all time favorite. But still, worth a listen.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful
Jeff used to be an investigative reporter. He’s currently unemployed. His father has been in a nursing home for 18 years. Jeff finds a large stash of money in his father’s home. He begins investigating. His father cannot speak or communicate.
My only hesitation was why Jeff didn’t carry a weapon to protect himself. He was beaten and his life threatened more than once - because powerful people did not want him digging in the past. One time he knew who beat him, but he did not tell the cops. I wish the author explained motivations for those things better.
I was sooo happy the author wrote this in 3rd person. He has written other books in 1st person. I don’t like reading 1st person.
Steven Kearney was pretty good, but not as good as Will Patton and Frank Mueller. Some of his reading was wooden. For example: “Why don’t you tell me, Rick said acidly.” The narrator read this in a regular tone of voice instead of “acidly.” The recording equipment was good because I did not hear Kearney’s breaths - yay.
Narrative mode: 3rd person.
Genre: mystery suspense.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful