Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Fix by Keith Nixon



The Fix caught me totally off guard. I expected something a little more conventional for some reason. What I got was a story that put two fingers up to convention and how refreshing it was. The story structure is quite slow to build up, normally a frustration, but with this novel I didn't care I was enjoying main character Josh's cynical observations on life far too much. The characters and humour were very much strengths of this novel. Nixon delights in putting his characters through the wringer.

Josh Dedman commutes from Margate to London where he works for a large bank. He despises all of his work mates and his boss Hershey Valentine. His relationship with PR consultant Claire is dead in the water. It’s fair to say Josh has a crap life. When Josh has the opportunity to score a few points over his boss he takes it in hilarious style. Nixon gives us plenty of questions to be answered – Who is the mystery blonde Josh meets on the train? Why is new friend Jack going out his way to help him? Meanwhile the bank is having serious problems with embezzlement issues and an unwilling patsy is needed. Is Josh a Dedman walking? 

The Fix was enjoyable for the anti-heroes as much as much as the heroes. Nixon is unafraid to use strong language and toilet humour at times to make a scene more effective. However, he never overdoes it to the point of gratuity. 

An unusual novel, I hesitate to use the term "crime caper" but the comic element was a major part of the book. The plot was well conceived and ultimately satisfying. There were enough red herrings to keep the mystery readers happy. I for one would love to read more of the adventures of Josh Dedman. A top not read that will appeal particularly to the British sense of humour.

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