The Fixer: The Killing Kind

Kat’s back and in over her head with cops, criminals... and killers.

Christmas is around the corner but professional “fixer” Katerina Mills isn't feeling the holiday spirit, juggling college classes, a lovesick cop, and demanding clients.

Obnoxious hedge fund manager Simon Marcus wants Kat to get his prized Porsche back from his vengeful wife—but Simon isn’t the only one after the car.

Rock star writer Paul Patel needs something “special” to finish his next bestseller—something that will send Katerina straight to prison if she gets caught.

And what about mysterious Thomas Gallagher? His jobs are simple and easy. Is he just a bored billionaire, or is he watching Kat’s every move, making his own plans for her?

Katerina needs help. Enter handsome, elusive thief Alexander Winter. He’s back, tutoring Kat in all things criminal. But is that all he’s going to teach her?

Katerina Mills is still haunted by her first assignment...and her first assignment is about to come back to haunt her...a deadly enemy who’s closer than she thinks...

Critic Evaluation

Cover Design Score: 8

The Cover design of " The Fixer: The Killing Kind" is appropriate to it's intended genre.  It gives the first impression of a book of intrigue. 

The background design,( a city in distant silhouette ) brings to mind spy novels ,while the scene in the foreground of a white porche in a winter forest (taken from the story itself) brings more dimension and detail to the cover.

Bright colors( especially red) add to the effect of the title itself. Red being a garish color in certain shades , can make words like 'killing' really jump off of a bookcover.

The drop of blood signifies the presence of a murder within,so the reader looking for a murder mystery will be drawn in to purchase the book.

The words 'A Katerina Mills Novel' indicate it is one a series ,making it easy for repeat readers to identify it right away as the next book they need in thier 'collection' of Katerina Mills Novels.

 

Book Blurb Score: 8

The book blurb for 'The Fixer: The Killing Kind' is adequate for the story. 

The description draws the reader in by mentioning story points and hinting at intrigues within.

I notice at the  bottom of the blurb ,in the last paragraph, the word  haunted is used twice in reference to 'the first assignment'.

It reads"Katerina Mills is still haunted by her first assignment...and her first assignment is about to come back and haunt her..." ,- but how can it come back to haunt her if she's already haunted by it??

So perhaps a suggestion would be to re-word the paragraph and adjust it slightly,for example:

'Katerina Mills is still off-set by her shadowy first assignment...and it's about to come back to haunt her...a deadly enemy , who is closer than she thinks.'

Formatting Score: 8

Book is formatted cleanly.  Margins are decent.  Line spacing is good,and paragraphs are tabbed at the beginning.

Chapter  headings are in place and in a plain font.  Most books place a chapter heading 3" from the top of page,these are higher.

Front Matter is formatted well. Title page/Copyright/Dedication/Acknowledgements/Table of Contents are in place.

Body of book is in plain font and easy to read.

However, some of the chapters are very short and feel more like an interruption in the flow of the book.  Chapter 78 is only 12 lines long.

Chapters 85-86-and 87, are also very short and since they are all part of the same scene/event in the storyline,could easily be combined into one chapter.

The software that creates an ebook file(like this one is , as a .mobi) automatically creates a 'pagebreak' between each chapter.  This create a blank page between each chapter in your finished ebook,  So if a chapter is only half a page long,you  have that half blank page,plus the blank 'pagebreak'that comes next to click past to get to the next chapter .  It actually feels like the short chapters slow the b ook down in this way. Combining some of the shorter chapters ,where appropriate to the storyline, would improve the flow of the book.  Especially for an ebook version.

Grammar & Spelling Score: 10

Grammar and spelling in 'The Fixer: The Killing Kind' are both satisfactory.  It is well-written, with good sentence structure and grammar.

Plot & Structure Score: 8

In the beginning of the book,you're on the edge of a mystery.  As it continues,the mystery takes a  back seat and you become acquainted with the cast of characters, in a stroy of a college girl in over her head in a job she's not quite cut out for.

Over the first ten chapters you get a good insight to how the heroin thinks.  Some of her thinking is clear and certain,some of it flawed and uncertain, ( a human condition the reader can identify with).

The two subplots present which add interest: One  of them the heroins' missing father,who is possibly a Drug King-pin) and The stolen painting, both add detail to the book and keep the reader reading.

The airport mix-up in Chapter 43 is entertaining. Katerina picks up the wrong passenger and draws the reader into an unexpected adventure with the mob.  It is a very good interaction of certain characters which ,otherwise, would have had no interaction.

This also gives a really great example as to what kind of chaos can happen for a 'Fixer' on assignment...

The book had a good ending,with some plot aspects done and ealt with but still a story un-finished with potential for continuation, as there are now two murders, (both unsolved)and a heroin leaving departing an amtrack station for parts unknown.  Plus unfinished business between Katerina and Winter with possible romance.

Character Development Score: 8

The main characters of the book developed throughout the story, Katerina, college-girl,innocent and scared in some ways, and savvy in others, grows as she deals with the difficulties of being a 'Fixer'.

In the first part of the book, the male lead-characters are fighting for rank it seems (in the heroins mind) but by the end of the book,are fairly set in thier prospective character positions, with Detective Ryan in the background,and Winter in the foreground as Katerinas' protector.

The rest of the cast of characters fill out well and support the growing story as it progresses toward it's end.

Originality Score: 7

The storyline seems original enough , and although it makes mention of some literary works, it doesn't steal plots or ideas obviously from other mysteries or adventures.

Pacing Score: 8

The pace of the story was slow at first, (you're waiting for the mystery to begin unfolding), but it gains momentum after a few chapters. 

As the heroin does her 'jobs' and deals with clients you learn the layout of the story and get drawn into the 'Why' and 'Who' of the first murder.

The second murder however, in Chapter 14, brings you back from the routine stress of the  heroins work,and reminds youthat this is a murder mystery in progress.

The books pace feels like it actually picks up alot at this point and propels the reader forward,gaining speed as it goes.

By chapter 43 ,it's hard to put down and remains faster paced through to the end.

Use of Language Score: 7

Use of language is decent.  The author uses languagae and terms of the day to set the story in it's correct time frame.

The cellphone texts throughout the plot are worded as they would be now ,on anyones cellphone,keeping the story anchored in this era well.

Dialogue is fluid and communication between characters is clear.

Villians speak villianously (if on occasion somewhat vulgarly)and the College Professor in the book speaks as a scholar, drawing the main character into higher debate.

Overall Readability Score: 7

Overall readabilty is fair.  Once into the book, it moves quickly.

Each scene is well-described without being too distracting from the storylines' action at hand.

This book received a critic's score of 79 out of 100 possible points.

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Curator Evaluation

Cover Design Score: 6

<p>First of all, I’d like to let you know ahead of time that I am the same curator that read “The Naked Man” so if some of the comments seem similar, that’s why.</p>

<p>The cover is very busy.&nbsp;&nbsp;I still feel that the NYC skyline is ok, but not very unique and the forest with the Porsche doesn’t seem quite right to me.&nbsp;&nbsp;Its oval shape and the shape of the road make it look like it was pasted in quickly but not really edited to fit correctly.&nbsp;&nbsp;I think the road is the main culprit- it’s a dead end in front of the car and doesn’t wind through the trees, and the curve on the bottom right doesn’t line up with the oval perfectly.&nbsp;&nbsp;It makes it look a little too cartoony.&nbsp;&nbsp;My favorite part is actually the realistic drop of blood that’s hanging down.&nbsp;&nbsp;That is eerie and cool looking.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I have a few suggestions of things to try here- I think simplifying the cover would make it stand out better.&nbsp;&nbsp;For example, if you keep the skyline and get rid of everything in the oval, the drop of blood could hang off of the K in Killing, and you could use the same realistic silhouette of Kat from “The Naked Man” and a white Porsche in a similar style.&nbsp;This would keep your series looking more cohesive.&nbsp;&nbsp;Or, you could go the other way if you’re set on the forest and blow that oval up to be the entire cover- but I would do something about that dead end road.</p>

Book Blurb Score: 7

<p>I didn’t read the blurb before reading the book and the result was that each event and encounter with her clients and other characters, felt more suspenseful and exciting because I didn’t know what to expect next.&nbsp;&nbsp;So, I have similar feedback on the blurb as I did for “The Naked Man”.&nbsp;&nbsp;I would delete everything that gives away plot details on who she’ll be working for.&nbsp;&nbsp;The blurb could be rewritten to say something like this:</p>

<p>Kat’s back and in over her head with cops, criminals... and killers.</p>

<p>Christmas is around the corner but professional “fixer” Katerina Mills isn't feeling the holiday spirit, juggling college classes, a lovesick cop, and demanding clients.</p>

<p>Overwhelmed in a world full of thieves, drug lords, murderers, and now the mob, Katerina needs help.</p>

<p>Enter handsome, elusive thief Alexander Winter. He’s back, tutoring Kat in all things criminal. But is that all he’s going to teach her?</p>

<p>Still haunted by her first assignment, Katerina Mills is about to discover that a deadly enemy is much closer than she thinks...</p>

Formatting Score: 8

<p>Overall, the formatting was very well done.&nbsp;&nbsp;The pages that have the smaller font for text messages or notes, those messages would look better on the page if they were centered.&nbsp;&nbsp;They all seemed to be too far to the right and it looked odd.&nbsp;&nbsp;At the end of the book, you mention the other books in your series- this would be a great place to put an excerpt from each one to hook your readers.&nbsp;&nbsp;Also, the additional table of contents at the end of the book isn’t necessary and the links don’t work.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

Grammar & Spelling Score: 8

<p>Overall, very well done. However, I discovered a handful of typos- mostly missing punctuation:</p>

<p>Page 22 into 23- “…an mirthless laugh.”</p>

<p>Page 29- There are double quotes within a quote- “There is no “we” detective…”</p>

<p>Page 30- It says “John Reynolds expression was blank…” Should say Reynolds’</p>

<p>Page 180- It says “…rolled the down the window…”</p>

<p>Page 189- Missing period at the end of “…discreet corner of the lobby, she waited”</p>

<p>Pages 222, 270, and 303- All have a missing quotation mark:&nbsp;</p>

<p>222-“You look good,” he said…</p>

<p>270- “…he wants your car instead.”</p>

<p>303- “There’s always next time, Danny…”</p>

<p>(I converted this to a pdf and read it that way, so if my page numbers are slightly off, that’s why.)</p>

Plot & Structure Score: 9

<p>After reading “The Naked Man”, I immediately snagged this book because I had to know what was going to happen.&nbsp;&nbsp;I was NOT disappointed.&nbsp;&nbsp;You continued with a fantastic sequel, answering just enough questions, while keeping so much suspense and cliffhangers for the next book to dive into.&nbsp;&nbsp;This was entertaining, twisted, and nerve-racking, from beginning to end.&nbsp;Some parts of it did get slightly confusing because there were so many conflicts within it- I just found myself trying to remember the details of each part and getting a little mixed up.&nbsp;&nbsp;For example, I don’t remember who hired Luther for her- or why.&nbsp;&nbsp;But that could just be my faulty memory.&nbsp;&nbsp;I was a little surprised that more didn’t come out about the Gallagher storyline since the book started off with that mystery of what he wants her for and why the other girls couldn’t handle him.&nbsp;&nbsp;I actually found myself forgetting about him throughout the book until he would be briefly mentioned again.&nbsp;&nbsp;Please hurry up and write book three!&nbsp;&nbsp;I NEED IT!</p>

Character Development Score: 9

<p>Katerina seems to evolve in this book, more from the first.&nbsp;&nbsp;She’s still fighting with ethics and the morality of her job, but she’s sucked into this life.&nbsp;&nbsp;There were several times when she could have gotten out, but she used her savvy to stay in and get ahead.&nbsp;&nbsp;For example, MJM left her for dead at the end, and she used that to manipulate Jasmine into paying her an extra fee.&nbsp;&nbsp;I love that she has street smarts and book smarts and that even though she’s afraid she has the guts to do whatever is necessary to get the job done.&nbsp;&nbsp;The supporting characters were also very well developed.&nbsp;&nbsp;I feel as if I got to know Winter and Lisa much better.&nbsp;&nbsp;Also, I fully expected that Reynolds would be behind the murders- I wasn’t surprised by that at all.&nbsp;&nbsp;But, his reveal was sinister.&nbsp;&nbsp;I felt Katerina’s panic and surprise even though I knew that would be coming.&nbsp;&nbsp;He was believable and creepy.&nbsp;&nbsp;Very well done!</p>

Originality Score: 9

<p>There are a lot of layers to this with all of the conflicts that Katerina faces- everything from her multiple problems with her criminal line of work to her personal relationships and inner conflicts on morality.&nbsp;&nbsp;I love that she wants to be a lawyer with ethics and morals, and yet she’s drawn to this life of crime.&nbsp;&nbsp;All of these things together make her a unique character and I believe that many different types of people will be drawn to this series.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

Pacing Score: 10

<p>The storyline moved along nicely.&nbsp;&nbsp;It was always full of suspense, drama, or additional conflict that kept me wanting to turn the page to find out what would happen next.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

Use of Language Score: 10

<p>This was extremely well written and easy to read.&nbsp;&nbsp;The dialogue, vocabulary, and style of writing were fantastic.&nbsp;&nbsp;Katerina’s thoughts and language were believable and really helped to develop her character.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The dialogue between characters was believable and entertaining.&nbsp;&nbsp;(Moose cracked me up!)</p>

Overall Readability Score: 10

<p>This was never boring, and I always looked forward to reading it and seeing what would happen next.&nbsp;I’m impatiently waiting for the next book… is it done yet? :)&nbsp;</p>

This book was curated by clahud

This book received a critic's score of 86 out of 100 possible points.

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