Random House: 6/10/2014
ebook, 288 pages
Justice series #2
A little more than a year after the Fixer killings, Detective Mort Grant of the Seattle PD once again has his hands full. In the last four months, seven men have been murdered in seedy pay-by-the-hour motels: first strangled, then tied with rope and set on a bed of crushed mothball with a red lipstick kiss planted on their foreheads. Speculation abounds that the killer is a prostitute who’s turning her tricks into dead men. The press has taken to calling her “Trixie.”
As Mort follows scant leads in the case, he can’t help but feel continued guilt over his involvement with the Fixer. Though the public holds her up as a folk hero, a vigilante who seeks justice when the system fails, Mort cannot shake the fact that serious crimes have been committed. And though legend says she has vanished, Mort knows exactly where the Fixer is—and he’s conspiring to keep her hidden.
As Trixie strikes again, Mort suddenly finds himself and his family in the crosshairs. Because these new murders are not random, and their perpetrator is hell-bent on luring Mort into a sick and twisted game. If he’s not careful, he’s going to need Fixing.
The Red Hot Fix by T. E. Woods is the very highly recommended second book in the Justice series that began with The Fixer.
Detective Mort Grant and psychologist Lydia Corriger are back! In this exciting second book three different story lines are being developed simultaneously.
Mort is trying to find a serial killer, a woman presumed to be a prostitute that the press has nicknamed Trixie. Trixie is killing Johns and leaving a red lipstick kiss on their foreheads. The body count is rising and Trixie is not leaving many clues.
We are also following Ingrid and Reinheardt Vogel, owners of the Seattle Wings basketball team. The team is in the playoffs, but the star player, LionEl, is giving the owners some headaches - but he may not be the only problem the Vogel's are experiencing.
While Lydia plays a lesser role in this book as she is recovering from injuries sustained in the first book, she does do some "fixing." She is especially tender and loving as she develops a relationship with a young girl, Maizie, who needs a caring adult friend.
Once again Woods does an excellent job developing her characters while keeping the plot engaging and interesting. This time Woods gives us additional character development to some characters we've met previously as well as several new characters. There is also more personal history of the characters shared, for example we learn more about Mort's daughter and Jimmy De Villa.
Woods own personal background as a clinical psychologist continues to give her keen insight into human behavior. She is able to describe her characters and their struggles and flaws, in such a way that they feel like real people. As I said previously, "They all come across as real people, flawed and wounded, but real."
The writing was also superb - again - and the story will keep you engaged right to the end. Woods again keeps the pace quick and allows suspense to build right up to the end.
In the past I've occasionally mentioned that a book is an "airplane book" meaning an engaging book that will hold your attention but you won't cry if you lose it or misplace it and miss the ending. After a recent marathon bout of traveling, I'm adding a new airplane rating: a "stuck overnight at the airport book" meaning this book will keep you up, awake, and entertained with minimum trips to find coffee or a distraction and you will cry if you misplace it and don't read the ending.
The Red Hot Fix is a "stuck overnight at the airport book." I can hardly wait for the next Justice/Fixer novel.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Random House for review purposes.