The Fixer, by Joseph Finder

Four stars

In another thrilling one-off novel, Finder pulls the reader into a story of a man who comes to realise that he knows little about the man he’s called ‘dad’ his entire life. Rick Hoffman suffers numerous set-backs, which forces him to return to his childhood home. With a father in a nursing home after a horrific stroke, Hoffman chooses to renovate the house, with the help of a neighbour. What they find in the walls, besides rot and despair, ends up being a sizeable amount of money. Hoffman hides this from everyone and begins using his investigative journalist skills to track down the source of the funds. With a father who cannot speak, Hoffman must look at the business dealings that took place in and around the time of the stroke, slowly getting a better image of the man who put on the front of being a reputable lawyer, but who chose to be a bagman for seedy businessmen, paying bribes where needed. The further Hoffman digs, the more the mystery unravels, moving things from the past into the present. A key piece of information piques Hoffman’s interest, though its discovery has a number of highly resourceful men on edge, who will stop at nothing to keep it hidden. As Hoffman stays one step ahead of danger, he finds himself turning down many pathways covered it pitfalls. It could take a single mistake to end his life and maintain the silence forever. Finder tantalises the reader with this stellar piece of fiction surrounding Boston in the early 90s, packed with a punch that will resonate the further the reader delves. A must-read for any and all who love a good thrill.

Finder uses his capable writing style to bring the reader into the middle of the story from the outset, pinning plausible characters against a plot that develops seamlessly. The reader sees strong shifts in the novel throughout, but the narrative is such that the flow is uninterrupted and the action intensifies. While not based on a series, Finder is able to bring the reader to better understand the likes of Rick Hoffman without needing extensive backstory, but does offer crumbs throughout, keeping the reader curious, yet informed of the character’s development. With Boston as a wonderful backdrop, Finder speculates on The Big Dig and how its creation was surely filled with bribes, lies, and backroom deals. A wonderful piece sure to lure in the new fan and leave them begging for more.

Kudos, Mr. Finder for this great piece. I cannot wait to see what you have in store for your fans in the years to come.