Detective Mort Grant of the Seattle PD has finally decided to sell. The home where he and his late wife raised two kids feels too large and too full of old memories. His son is married and raising a family of his own, and despite desperate efforts to find her, Mort has lost touch with his wayward daughter. That is, until the day she walks back into her childhood home and begs for his help.
For the last four years, Allie Grant has been the lover—and confidante, confessor, and counselor—of one of the world’s most powerful and deadly men. But a sudden, rash move has put Allie in the crosshairs of a ruthless Russian crime lord. Mort knows of only one place where Allie will be safe: with The Fixer.
As a hired desperado, The Fixer has killed twenty-three people—and Mort was complicit in her escape from the law. She has built an impregnable house, stocked it with state-of-the-art gear, armed it to the teeth, and locked herself away from the world. But even The Fixer may not be able to get justice for Allie when real evil comes knocking.
The third in T.E. Woods’ Mort Grant series, The Unforgivable Fix returns us to Seattle and Mort and Lydia. We find them recovering from the events related in The Red Hot Fix. There is a general air of moving on and letting go, as Mort finally sells the house he shared with his beloved wife and Lydia is trying to leave The Fixer behind and to forget Oliver, her sort-of-ex-boyfriend. Yet however much we might want to forget our past, the past often doesn’t want to let us go, as Mort finds out when the day he leaves his house his prodigal daughter returns. And when Lydia decides to return to her practice, she learns that with The Fixer gone, it’s far harder to deal with cases that hit too close to home than it was before.
As in the previous books, we get additional viewpoints beyond Mort and Lydia, with Lydia once again taking a far more central role in the narrative than in The Red Hot Fix. In The Unforgivable Fix we get the additional viewpoints of Allie, Patrick, and a mysterious person who is involved in a conspiracy to murder. Who we don’t see as much of in this book are Mort’s colleagues Jimmy DaVilla and Micki Petty and his son Robbie. I missed seeing them around, because I really enjoy the interactions between Mort, Jimmy and Micki a lot and I missed them. Then again, their absence only underlines how much of an off-the-books operation Mort’s protection of Allie has to be, so that she isn’t traced by the drug lords that are out to get her.
The Unforgivable Fix contains two main plots, one centred on Mort and his daughter Allie and one that centres on Lydia and the case of a sexually abused girl she is asked to evaluate. Yet, where in The Red Hot Fix Lydia’s timeline seemed almost tacked on, in The Unforgivable Fix the stories are far closer intertwined, especially since Mort uses Lydia’s house as a safe place to shelter Allie while he works on extricating Allie from the situation she’s gotten into. And she finds herself in quite the predicament, because Allie has become the lover and emotional anchor for one of the world’s most powerful drug lords, a drug lord who has pissed off the wrong people. Yet even if she manages to get free from the cartels, there is a large chance of her having to do time in prison in the States, something that Mort desperately wants to prevent. Because Mort? Mort just wants his little girl back, the one he loved to pieces and who reminds him so much of his late wife. A fact that blinds him to the person Allie has become, something Lydia can’t help but see, which will put her friendship with Mort to the test.
Lydia’s own storyline and the case she gets drawn into is far more complex. After some prodding by Mort and the request of a friend and colleague to mentor one of her students, Lydia decides to rebuild her practice, which had been flourishing before she was injured in the previous book. I found this process fascinating and the cases she was assigned were interesting as well. Lydia’s mentoring of Zach gave Woods some leeway in explaining some of the processes of therapy and the responsibilities of a therapist to the reader. In Zach we have a likeable foil for Lydia’s experience and professionalism, but one who isn’t exactly ignorant of the theory and practice of psychology, which works really well.
Woods incorporates some of the history of Lydia’s home town of Olympia to construct her plot, not only lending more depth to the setting, but also creating a host of additional connotations and motives to the cases she works on. In the end the sexual abuse case turns out to be far more convoluted than it seemed at first blush, being connected to far more cases than just that of the initial report. Through the case Lydia meets Detective Paul Bauer, of the Olympia Police Department, and while she is instantly on guard, she’s also very much attracted to this imposing and capable figure. I’ll be interesting to see where this connection will go and whether Lydia will be able to let down the barriers she’s built around herself.
The Unforgivable Fix ends on a bomb shell and though the cases are resolved and questions are answered, we end on a cliffhanger as far as what will happen next. The final pages of the book left me shocked and hurting for both Lydia and Mort and I hope we’ll be able to find out what happens next soon. The Unforgivable Fix is another strong entry in a compelling series. While the book can be read as a standalone, I’d suggest reading the previous books to get the most from the story. Plus, it’ll only save you the time of going back to them after you’ve finished The Unforgivable Fix, because Lydia and Mort are characters you can’t help but fall in love with.
A Fantastical Librarian is just the first of the stops on this blog tour. Please visit the other stops for different views on the book and giveaways.
Monday, October 6th: A Fantastical Librarian
Monday, October 6th: Kritter’s Ramblings – Red Hot Fix
Tuesday, October 7th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, October 7th: Kritter’s Ramblings – The Unforgivable Fix
Wednesday, October 8th: Patricia’s Wisdom – Red Hot Fix
Friday, October 10th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, October 13th: Patricia’s Wisdom – The Unforgivable Fix
Tuesday, October 14th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage – Red Hot Fix
Wednesday, October 15th: Back Porchervations
Thursday, October 16th: FictionZeal
Friday, October 17th: Mystery Playground – “Drinks with Reads” guest post
Monday, October 20th: She Treads Softly
Monday, October 20th: My Shelf Confessions – Wonderfully Wicked Read-A-Thon Giveaway
Tuesday, October 21st: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, October 22nd: Bibliotica
Thursday, October 23rd: The Novel Life
Thursday, October 23rd: Mockingbird Hill Cottage – The Unforgivable Fix
Friday, October 24th: Queen of All She Reads