Perfect for fans of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter thrillers and the novels of Lisa Gardner and Karin Slaughter, the gritty, action-packed Justice series continues as a depraved mind taunts those who seek retribution on both sides of the law.
I become whatever they want. Whatever they need.
Seattle Chief of Detectives Mort Grant is still reeling from losing his daughter—again. When Allie first walked back into his life, breaking years of silence, he could hardly believe his luck. And after hearing her story, Mort tried to do everything in his power to keep her safe. The only person he trusted with Allie’s life was The Fixer. But, for the first time, The Fixer let him down.
Now Mort has been called in on a gruesome murder case: a beautiful young woman found in a ravine, her body riddled with stab wounds. Within twenty-four hours, the police uncover a snuff film depicting her murder, the killer’s face always just out of shot. When a second body and video are discovered, Mort knows this is no ordinary case.
From a chain of sleazy payday loan shops to the dark underworld of the sex-slave trade, Mort’s chasing a twisted menace to hell and back. But he’s not the only one. Once again, The Fixer is on the hunt—and she’s desperate to make things right.
Fixed in Blood (A Justice Novel)
Thriller / Suspense
I am so excited to have T.E. Woods here with me at The Book Review!! T.E. was nice enough to join me for a little Q&A- So, here goes!
Lydia - Would you
describe her as an “anti-hero”? Is it OK to root for her? Why or
Not to go all Bill Clinton
on you, but it depends on what your definition of “anti-hero” is.
She certainly doesn’t fit the stereotypical view of a hero…which
is male, muscular, handsome, and virtuous to a nauseating fault.
Lydia is an abundantly flawed young woman acting in tortured
isolation. Yet she does
do what she does strictly as a matter of last resort. She acts when
all other avenues to justice have been exhausted. She’s the last
chance for hope for the victims who have been denied their due and
people who reach that particular life-stalling level of frustration
certainly would consider Lydia a hero. I like to think of her more as
a champion. She tucks the battered and shattered under her protective
wing and uses her considerable prowess to avenge them. What no one
offered her when she was being abused, she willingly offers to
others. Who doesn’t love a person like that? So, naturally, we root
for her. Pick up any newspaper on any given day. You’ll read story
after story of innocent or powerless people being denied justice.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a number we could call and set in
motion a quick and justified fix?
Lydia and Allie
are both dark characters. Do you see a parallel between them since
both are connected to Mort?
I do, indeed. Certainly
they’re both loved by Mort. He’s the father-figure to each, isn’t
he? To Allie, Mort is the biological father, ever-dedicated to loving
his girl despite all the havoc she brings whenever she walks into a
room. To Lydia, Mort is the nurturing and steady paternal force who
believes in her much more than she ever believes in herself. Beyond
their connection to Mort, Lydia and Allie are parallel in their
behavior. Both kill. Both hold themselves above the law, ready to act
and prepared to justify their actions on no other authority than
their own internal code. It’s the motivation
of the two women that set them apart. Their behavior may be
identical…I mean a dead body is a dead body, right? But it’s the
reasons behind the
killings that make Lydia someone we hope finds true and lasting
happiness. We hope for something far more sinister for Allie, don’t
Name a few of your
Oh, man. Got a week? How
about I hit the highlights? In my opinion, no one tells a story like
Stephen King. He the master of plain, straight-forward language that
grabs you by the throat, pulls you into the story, and doesn’t let
you go until he’s drained every emotion out of you. I also like
Dean Koontz. Ever notice how many of his plot lines take place in a
single 24 hour period? Man, that guy packs a lot of punch into one
day. Kurt Vonnegut was the guy who, when I was in middle school,
showed me reading could be more than informational or fun. He taught
me a story could change a person. Fundamentally and forever…fiction
can alter the way we see fact and force us to use our own judgment to
challenge what others want us to believe. Like the rest of the world,
I adore Harper Lee’s solitary contribution to the literary world. I
guess we can’t say that anymore, can we? She’s got her second
book coming out after all these decades. Jeffrey Eugenides and Toni
Morrison put me on the floor with their ability to craft a perfectly
told tale out of nothing but perfectly formed sentences. I mean,
where does someone get THAT kind of talent? Janet Evanovich makes me
laugh from my belly. Gotta love that. Ah…I could go on and on, but
then you’d think of me as boring and I certainly don’t want that,
What do you do in
your free time?
Free time…free time…ah,
wait. Yes, I remember. I really don’t have much of it. I have a
full-time clinical practice and I write (my other job) at least
thirty hours a week. But when I do find myself able to carve out
time, my first priority is always the three creatures with whom I
live. There’s my husband, who after all these years still is my
favorite person to hang with. Then there are our two dogs, Tugger (an
eleven year old Cavachon) and Gitch (a year old cockapoo). The three
of us can make a whiz-bang day of things just futzing around the
house, doing our best to make the others laugh. I also kayak (rivers
are my favorite, but I’ll take a lake, too), hike, and bike. I have
wonderful friends. Give me time to sit with nothing other on the
agenda than talk, talk, talk, while sipping a great glass of wine and
I’m in heaven. And I simply love binge-watching good television
shows while sitting in a bubble bath. All my shows are on hiatus now.
I’m feeling the loss.
What are you
The Husband’s Secret
by Liane Moriarty.
What was your
favorite book as a child?
The same book that’s my
favorite as an adult. Like most Americans it’s To
Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read it
first when I was in middle school…assigned by my English teacher,
of course. I thought it was a cool story about how a Southern girl
lived. I re-read it when I was 20. That time it was a story about how
we treat the marginalized in our society. I decided to re-read the
book every year I hit an age with a zero in it. It’s been a
different story for me each time. Perhaps by the time I’m ninety or
one hundred I’ll be able to have stood witness to each and every
one of the layered messages the genius Lee wanted to share. As I say
these words I’m wondering if Atticus’ demands for justice might
have influenced my Lydia’s motivations. Hmmm…I’ll have to think
Coffee or tea?
Dogs or cats? Favorite dessert? Favorite season?
What a delightful set of
questions! De-caf coffee, black is my daily choice. I start early,
drink lots, and stop at precisely noon. Then I switch to iced tea
until 8:00. Then it’s a nice merlot or cabernet. When I’m sick I
like hot tea. Fortunately, I’m not sick often. I’m definitely a
dog person. It has been my experience (albeit rare) to be in the
company of some human and not have a good time. I have never, ever,
ever been in the company of a dog and not had a good time. My
favorite dessert of all time is the crème brule at the El Tovar
Lodge on the rim of the Grand Canyon. I know…odd place to find
gourmet after-dinner treats, but get there and try it. You’ll see
what I mean. As relates to my favorite season, I am blessed to live
in Wisconsin, where the weather is honest. The winters aren’t cold,
they’re damned cold. The summers aren’t hot, they’re damned
hot. Spring bursts forth with such color and sweet lilac scent. And
if autumn was any lovelier I’d need medication. I love them all.
Snowshoeing and dogsledding in the winter, long active days in shorts
and tank tops in the summer, the return of birds and rabbits and
squirrels in the spring, and the low, slanted, golden glow of autumn
lights when I shuffle through fallen leaves, happy to feel the crisp
breeze on my face. There’s not one I don’t look forward to.
Who plays Mort and
Lydia on the screen?
The truth is, anyone the
director tells me is playing them. But in my mind’s eye, when I’m
writing, I see Ed Harris as Mort. Maybe Kate Beckinsale as Lydia. I’d
be more interested in who you or your readers see. How about sharing
that with me?
What are you
working on now?
I’m working on a couple
of things. Of course, the Justice Series continues. Fixed
In Fear, book five in the series, comes out
in October of 2015. I hope your readers will be looking forward to
that. Allie’s making a mess of things while Mort’s looking for
the killer of his friend Larry’s uncle. I’m working on the next
book in the series. Book seven brings Allie and Lydia into a direct
showdown. In addition to the Justice Series, I’m about half-way
through the first draft of a stand-alone mystery novel. It’s set in
Madison, Wisconsin and involves a woman who, while sitting in stalled
traffic, looks off to her right and sees something that, in the blink
of an eye, sets off a series of events that lands her in the police
station trying to explain her connection to a newly discovered body
now laying on a slab in the morgue. Beyond those two main projects,
I’m always working on short stories, articles, and posts for the
blog I do for Psychology Today.
Where can readers
I’m always eager to hear
from readers. I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to connect
with them and hear what they think of my work. There’s lots of ways
they can reach me. My Facebook page is T.E.Woods. My website is
tewoodswrites.com. My twitter is @tewoodswrites.
Is there a
favorite quote you would like to share with us?
what a great question! I’m a woman who collects quotations. I use
them often. So many people, FAR brighter than I’ll ever hope to be,
have said so many wonderful things. Maybe it’s easier to quote
others than to think for myself, huh? Wow. It would be hard to pick a
favorite. I’ll bet the one I use most (remember, my day job is
being a shrink) is one of Dr. Maya Angelou’s. I’m probably not
getting it exactly as she said it, but she once said something like,
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Isn’t that
great? I can’t tell you how often I use that. So many of my
patients get themselves stuck trying to believe that whoever is
hurting them…boss, lover, spouse, sibling…whoever…will someday
change and magically begin to treat them better. So much energy and
time is wasted needing someone to be other than who they’ve shown
you to be. When someone shows us who they are, we must believe them.
Hmm…perhaps one of my characters needs to remind Mort of Dr.
Angelou’s sage guidance.
T. E. Woods
is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Madison, Wisconsin.
Her scientific writings are well represented in peer-reviewed
journals and academic texts. Her literary works earned her first
place for Fiction at the University of Wisconsin Writers’
Institute. Dr. Woods enjoys kayaking, hiking, biking, and hanging
around the house while her two dogs help her make sense of the world.
Her habit of relaxing by conjuring up any manner of diabolical murder
methods and plots often finds her friends urging her to take up
Fixed in Blood
by T. E. Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Fixed in Blood by T.E Woods is a 2015 Random House/ Alibi publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Finally! It's been a long wait between books and I have been dying to know what would become of the relationship between Mort and Lydia, which ended on a very sour note in the last installment.
As the story opens we find things have not gotten better between the two, but when a young mother is found murdered and the bodies keep piling up, Mort and Lydia find themselves once more working on a disturbing murder case. How did Lydia get involved ? When one of her patients calls in obvious distress and promptly disappears, she does a little investigating of her own and runs right into Mort in the process. So, for Auld Lang Syne the two are back together again working to find a murderer, and hopefully Lydia can refrain from sliding off the wagon, so to speak.
And of course we will get an update on Allie and it's not a positive update, as she has gone from bad to worse, causing Mort and his son great distress.
This series is one my favorites. I love the dark themes and Lydia is always a unique character study, and is an interesting parallel to Mort. Allie is out of total control now having completely given herself over to evil, drawing yet another interesting parallel between these two women. One of which is pure sociopath and the other well... I'm not really sure how to define Lydia, and the two are connected by Mort.
Snuff films, something we have all come to believe is really a urban legend, seems to be given some credence with this story as young women are forced into prostitution to pay off debts, then found murdered, then for kick and giggles a recording of the murders surfaces. It is of utmost urgency that Mort find this sick killer, never in his wildest dreams thinking he could somehow be connected to the case in a personal way.
This installment was worth the long wait. There are hairpin turns, huge and shocking developments, very atmospheric, and a truly twisted story.
This series has everything a good thriller should have with a psychological angle that sucks you in and keeps you entrenched in the drama as much as you are in the crime solving element. I love that the main female protagonist, Lydia, has this calm professional exterior but hides an impulse that sets her apart, making her character border on the anti-hero side of things. “The Fixer” is most assuredly controversial, but I can't help but cheer for her and I even understand her brand of justice, even if I might not actually condone it.
I was happy to see Mort and Lydia working together as a team again, putting their issues in the past. I have a feeling Mort is really going to need Lydia now as more details leak about about Allie. But, I know for sure I can't wait for the next book to come out.. I hope the wait isn't too long though....hint, hint. 4.5 stars