Joseph Finder is a suspenseful novel. What makes this story
special is its unique and engaging emotional human dynamics.
Besides corruption and blackmail, the author delves deeply
into the complex relationship between father and son. The
reader wonders how much of a person’s past is known
even in a close relationship.
Finder explained that he conceived of the story idea while
“making renovations in the house we have. I was talking
to the workers and they told me about finding all kinds of
interesting stuff like money. I thought what would it be like
for a guy totally broke to come upon a chunk of cash in a
house. The book starts off with a classic ‘what if.’
I chose the title because the house is a fixer upper. Rick
is determined to fix his own life. The father and those he
worked with are “fixers” who have helped pay off
Right from the opening pages this book is a real page-turner.
After investigative reporter Rick Hoffman loses his job, fiancée,
and apartment his only option is to move back into his childhood
home. Neglected for years when his father had to move into
a nursing home after suffering a stroke, Rick starts to make
renovations and finds $3.4 million hidden in the walls. Trying
to find out where the money originated and how it was placed
there, Rick finds out that his father had deep dark secrets
and a life he knew nothing about.
The author noted, “My relationship with my dad was nothing
like Rick’s. Rick called his dad by his first name,
Lenny. I called my parents’ dad and mom. Isn’t
it interesting that there is this whole different world that
you are not privy too, a past of your parents that could have
secrets. My own dad died while I was writing this book so
it became a book about fathers and sons. You never really
know your parents, only a slice. I made Rick’s dad have
a stroke because of my dad. That is why I had Rick unable
to talk with his father since Lenny could not communicate.”
As the story progresses, more of the father’s past is
revealed; although it does not make him any more of a sympathetic
figure. This is also the case with the portrayal of Rick as
a superficial and self-centered person, which contributes
to the reader’s initial dislike. Yet, as the story advances,
the reader is drawn to Rick when he finds his moral character.
Even with some bad choices and questionable actions, readers
will develop a fondness for Rick as he exposes corruption
within Boston’s Big Dig Highway Tunnel project of cash
payoffs, political deal making, and cover-ups that followed
the twenty year multibillion dollar project.
Readers got a heads up that Rick could possibly come back
in another story. Finder feels that “as an investigative
journalist he could uncover some mystery or conspiracy. He
has a lot of potential. Maybe Andrea, the female lead, will
also come back since she can use her financial background
skills to help solve other conspiracies. I could make this
exception, something I have not done with the other characters
in my stand-alone books.”
The Fixer blends suspense with a captivating and
thrilling plot. As Father’s Day approaches this is a
good book that emphasizes the father-son relationship. It
is a fast paced book that readers will not want to put down.