So this should have gone up some time ago, but it was unfortunately misplaced along with a few other reviews written around the same time. They were lost when an old hard drive was corrupted. I was recently able to recover them and so albeit a little late, I decided to upload them.
The Fixer: The Killing Kind is part of the Katerina Mills series written by Jill Amy Rosenblatt, it was the Silver Medal Winner for thriller fiction awarded by Global ebook Awards 2017. The series follows the titular Katerina ‘Kat’ Mills, who is a professional fixer, meaning she handles problems for the rich and privileged.
Much like with the previous novel, what stands out fairly quickly is the strong and distinct characterisation, firstly from Katerina who seems like a real person, she’s not just a collection of tropes common to lead female characters, she’s smart and driven, competent and funny, sometimes in control of the situation, sometimes not, but always a character of obvious depth and merit that is a positive delight to read. She’s not the only one however, each character is given the same treatment, they aren’t always positive, Simon Marcus for example, but they still manage to seem organic and real within the setting of the story.
The Killing Kind is both darker, and more complex than the previous entry, by this point we have the characters on the board, they are established, but this novel begins to build and develop them, and slowly and evenly build the narrative arc. Romance develops, Katerina has started to realise that exposing herself to these negative elements she’s been working for is perhaps not the best idea. But of course there are benefits to it as well. I like that idea as well, she understands what could happen, what the risks are but she’s young, clever enough to want to break the rules, or at least bend them and of course as I mentioned up top when you are making ends meet you don’t want to give it up.
I’ve mentioned before when reviewing that I am a particular fan of the thriller and crime fiction genre, this leads me to be possibly harder on those types of books because I’m more familiar with them and therefore more willing to be critical of them, but Jill manages to capture the style perfectly, carefully managing plot lines and pacing with ease, in fact she has a grasp of those concepts comparable to some mainstream big name writers.
Regarding pacing, it is fast paced, but it isn’t rushed, it just casts out this wide net, in terms of plot and easily captures the reader’s attention from the get go. This can be particularly hard for some writers to grasp, that something can be so engrossing that you can rattle through it, without it feeling like it’s racing through the plot. Jill again manages this quite well, it’s balanced in such a way that each point leads fluidly from one to the next, similar in broad strokes to Chris Carter’s Robert Hunter series.
I praised her descriptive prowess in the last review, and I’m pleased to say she has not lost her touch, it’s vivid without being too much, it’s clear and easy to picture but doesn’t pluck you out of the narrative, and it’s done in such a way that you don’t feel overwhelmed, it’s not a wall of text describing the colour of every drape, or the smell of each and everything the character encounters, it’s just enough world-building, and done well enough to create a scene. I think this is especially beneficial because we encounter a variety of characters, and the descriptions help to make each of them memorable.
Overall, this is a deeply engaging narrative, and a strong second outing for Katerina, the Fixer and I am certain that I will be reading the next installment soon. I think given everything I’ve said above and the improvements made since the first novel I will give this a 4/5. You can check out my interview with the author here, and if you want to grab a copy of the book then head on over to Amazon. I also reviewed the first installment in this series and you can check that out here, and if you like what I have to say about it you can purchase the book on Amazon. Lastly, since these reviews were published the third installment in The Fixer – Katerina Mills series has been released and you can also grab that on Amazon by clicking here.
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