Book Review: “The Fixer” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. No. 1 in “The Fixer” series. Teen Fiction, Bloomsbury 2015. Overview at Goodreads.
I can’t get enough of Jennifer Lynn Barnes! Her books are smart, engaging, and so well constructed that she’ll always have your brain reeling. I read “The Fixer” with the hope that it would help hold me over for when “Bad Blood” (“The Naturals” series No. 4) comes out Nov. 1. And you know what? “The Fixer” completely satisfied my crime novel craving!
While “The Naturals” series is a YA version of the show “Criminal Minds,” “The Fixer” series is very reminiscent of “Scandal” (which I love). Tess, the main character, is thrust into a world of intrigue when she’s forced to move in with her “fixer” sister in Washington D.C. Her involvement starts out minimal but soon grows into something of epic proportions. The book has excellent momentum and pacing, and I found it super difficult to put down!
Part of that addictiveness comes from how well it’s written. Barnes is one smart cookie. With advanced degrees in psychology from Yale University, her smarts really translate to her stories — they are written brilliantly! She weaves such a compelling mystery that I spend the entire book analyzing every character to try to figure out whodunit. Barnes is so good at misdirection that I haven’t been right yet, but the beauty is that in hindsight, all the clues were there to figure it out. I’ve never casually read a Barnes book and am always totally engaged, engrossed, and enamored the whole way through.
The mystery was the funnest element of “The Fixer,” but I also loved the characters. If I’m honest, they were slightly more animated than real people, but that only made me like them more. One character in particular, Asher, had me busting a gut left and right.
Overall, Jennifer Lynn Barnes is one of my top authors and a current favorite to recommend. “The Fixer” is just one more example why I think she’s so brilliant.
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