Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks again, Jill!
Hello, my lovely readers! I feel like it’s been so long, and I have to apologize for that. My life has been crazy as ever recently, and I needed a bit of time off before I could get back into the rhythm of things. But guess who’s back (it’s not Shady) and ready to go!? And what better way to return than with a book review?
I was contacted last month by Jill Amy Rosenblatt with a review request for her novel and I have to say, I was hesitant. Reading the synopsis, I could tell this wasn’t the kind of book that I normally go for. The genre is something very outside of my comfort zone, something I don’t often like reading. However, I took a chance and decided to give it a go. The result? I actually quite enjoyed it!
The Fixer: The Naked Man is book one of a series revolving around NYC College student Katerina Mills, and Miss Mills is in a tight squeeze. With daily expenses that she can’t afford, tuition to cover, and rent to pay, her father’s sudden decision to no longer help her with money could not have come at a worse time. Katerina must come up with the money fast if she wishes to survive, and somehow she finds herself offered a job as what is known as a Fixer. The sophisticated and wealthy men of NYC have problems that need to be dealt with, but need someone who is willing to do the dirty work. And while some jobs are easy, such as following a socialite’s wife, how deep could Katerina find herself going? And how far can Katerina be pushed before she breaks?
The first word that comes to mind with this novel is dark, and one should definitely go in expecting this. There’s a fair amount of sex as well, which I personally didn’t think was needed and probably would have enjoyed the book more without the constant underlay of it. It made so many scenes feel uncomfortable, but that being said, perhaps that was the point. This book is filled to the brim with suspense. Rosenblatt captured the intensity and fear of Katerina’s situation perfectly. It felt so real, as if it were happening to you. Every sense is heightened, everything feels like unknown territory, so maybe that was Rosenblatt’s intention when she wrote the sex scenes. If so, she did her job well. The author shows the reader how quickly everything can spiral out of control. One thing unravels into another and before you know it, you’re in way over your head. While Katerina as a protagonist is somewhat questionable because of her decisions, her fear makes us feel sympathetic towards her. She’s really just a woman who feels abandoned by her father. A collage student who needs to make the money for her bills because she has nowhere left to turn to. A girl who falls into this uncontrollable chaos and has no idea how she got there or how to get out. It’s really quite a stressful story, to be completely honest, which is part of what makes it so enticing.
One thing that I would recommend Rosenblatt do is proofread more carefully, as I found many errors in the novel. They were small, granted. For example, “Her husband would very upset,” to “Kat stayed for a what seemed like a long time”. But while they were small, they disrupted the flow of the story. You were taken out of the world and remembered that you were just reading about it. Fixing these small typos would step up The Fixer’s game.
In the midst of the danger and fear, there are some beautiful poetic touches. One of my favourite sentences of the novel is:
“You want to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight,” he whispered in her ear, “in the morning, don’t say it was dark and you didn’t see who it was.”
It’s such a beautiful passage and it sums up the true message of the book so well. Katerina needs to own up to the things that she’s doing. She needs to admit to herself which morals she is and isn’t willing to abandon and deal with the consequences of those choices. It’s difficult to watch Katerina struggle with this because Rosenblatt makes it easy for us to imagine what life in her shoes would be like.
There were a lot of loose ends left in the final chapter and a lot of answers that we haven’t yet received. My hope is that book 2 will cover these, and give us more insight and depth into the assignments and secondary characters. I’d be very willing to give the second novel a read based on The Naked Man. Out of 5 stars I give Rosenblatt a solid 3.5, and applaud her because as I said, this genre is not normally one that I can find myself truly enjoying. Even if you aren’t into crime novels, I would recommend you give this a chance. You may be surprised!
Thanks again to Jill for the copy of her fabulous book, and thanks for reading!
Sincerely, Fiction’s Mistress