Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words
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“Keith Nixon started writing at an early age, it's something he's always done, like tooth ache the need to write never quite goes away.
Keith still has to work for a living but he has been able to travel extensively with his job and meet many interesting people, some of which may be in his books.
His measure of success in life is whether tie, socks and watch have been permanently discarded.”
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“It’s pre crash 2007 and financial investment banker Josh Dedman’s life is unravelling fast. He’s fired after £20 million goes missing from the bank. His long-time girlfriend cheats on him, then dumps him. His only friends are a Russian tramp who claims to be ex-KGB and a really irritating bloke he’s just met on the train. His waking hours are a nightmare and his dreams are haunted by a mystery blonde.”
When I think comedic crime books, my immediate thought is Donald Westlake’s Dortmunder series (perhaps the most well known being The Hot Rock, which became a movie starring Robert Redford and George Segal). In these books, mastermind Dortmunder and his gang of criminals commit a series of well-planned crimes. They’re never caught, yet always end up empty handed in the end. The comedy comes from the idiosyncrasies of the characters and all the ways their best laid plans go awry.
In Keith Nixon’s debut novel, The Fix, the characters provide plenty of comedic moments with their quirks, but rather than a criminal as protagonist, we have a main character accused of the crime who keeps bumbling his way in deeper, providing some humorous moments. The protagonist, Josh, works for a bank, which also has some comedic moments, poking fun at the business world, not unlike what you might see in the movie and TV series The Office. Unlike Westlake’s humor, which at times could be almost slapstick-like and might remind someone of The Keystone Kops, Nixon’s humor is more subtle, as in, “Culpepper, being a banker, was as bereft of emotion as a corpse is of life.” As a former bank employee, this line really hit home for me.
Josh is a likeable character. The reader wants everything to work out for him. Does he manage to come out unscathed? Who stole the £20 million? Does Josh manage to get the girl? You’ll have to read The Fix yourself to find out.
Some adult language and mild adult content.
Uses UK spelling conventions and slang.
No significant issues
Rating: ***** Five stars