Saturday, June 7, 2014

Book Review: The Red Hot Fix (A Justice Novel #2) by T.E. Woods

The Red Hot Fix: A Justice Novel
By T.E. Woods
Publisher: Alibi
Published: June 10, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

What do you say, Morton Grant, Chief of Detectives? You got what it takes to find me? Show me a move. . . . Or I’ll have to show you one of mine.
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 mothballs, 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.

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My Thoughts:

The Red Hot Fix is the second novel in the Justice Novel series by T.E. Woods but can be read as a stand-alone book. From the title, I thought the book was going to be another book about the Fixer. I was only partly correct. While the Fixer is in the book, the story is mainly about Detective Mort Grant’s next case.

This time it seems he is after a prostitute who is killing her Johns, leaving them tied up, strangled, set on crushed mothballs with a red lipstick kiss on their foreheads. The press calls the killer “Trixie”.

Mort has the help of his son Robbie on this case as his wife and twins have gone to France to visit her parents for a month. Robbie, an investigative journalist wrote a book about the Fixer killings which has done very well on the market. In reality, he and his wife are taking a break as they have hit a rocky patch in their marriage.

Mort seeks the assistance of a local support group CLIP to learn more about prostitutes for his case, and gets assistance for some of his own personal issues as a by-product.  The case moves along well until there is a killing of a wealthy basketball team owner whose death was made to appear to look like a Trixie killing and Trixie starts to get personal with Detective Grant.

I thought that the author did a nice job of continuing the character development of Mort and his son, as well as following up on the relationships of Mort and Lydia and the aftermath of the Fixer killings from Book 1. We continue to see the struggle that Lydia goes through as she deals with who she was and who she will become as she handles the situation with her friend/lover and the little girl from the library.

There were enough twists and turns in this book to keep you guessing as to whom the murderer might be, and to wonder whether or not The Fixer has truly killed for the last time or will strike again. Can a serial killer stop killing? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy mystery and suspense. I gave it a rating of 4 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the publishers via NetGalley for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

From the author's website
Teri Woods is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Madison, Wisconsin. Her scientific writings are well represented in peer-reviewed journals and academic texts. Her literary works earned her First Place, Fiction at the 2008 University of Wisconsin Writer’s Institute.

Dr. Woods enjoys kayaking, hiking, biking, and hanging around the house while her two dogs help her make sense of the world. Her habit of relaxing by conjuring up any manner of diabolical murder methods and plots often finds her friends urging her to take up knitting. 

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