Friday, April 14, 2017

The Fixer: The Killing Kind (The Fixer - Katerina Mills #2) by Jill Amy Rosenblatt | Blog Tour | Book Review

The Fixer: The Killing Kind by Jill Amy Rosenblatt on Tour April 1-18, 2017

The Fixer: The Killing Kind

by Jill Amy Rosenblatt

on Tour April 1-18, 2017

Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Crime
Published by: Jill Amy Rosenblatt
Publication Date: November 28, 2016
Number of Pages: 348
ISBN: 1539839443 (ISBN13: 9781539839446)
Series: Fixer - Katerina Mills Series
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 

The Fixer: The Killing Kind by Jill Amy Rosenblatt
Kat’s back and in over her head with crooks, cops... 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 his prized Porsche back from his vengeful wife. The job is hard enough until wise guy Anthony DeSucci shows up and orders her to bring the car to him.

Rock star writer, Paul Patel needs something “special” to finish his next bestseller, something that will get Katerina a “Go Straight to Jail” card 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?

As the jobs heat up, handsome, elusive thief Alexander Winter re-enters Kat’s life to tutor her in all things criminal. But can she trust him?

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...

The Fixer: The Killing Kind (Katherine Mills #2) by Jill Amy Rosenblatt | Blog Tour | Book Review by iamnotbookworm!

Today is Good Friday. We may reflect on our lives this Holy Week and change the things we need to change. I think the essence of the Holy Week is forgiveness but it is easier said than done. I for one admits to that. 

Yesterday, Holy Thursday, we went to visit seven churches--popularly known as "Visita Iglesia". It has been a custom and tradition for us to do that every Holy Week. We were supposed to walk from one church to the other as a form of penance and sacrifice in celebration of the Holy Week. For the last two years, we haven't done the walking part. We rode our mini-van. The reason for the change is because my mom who is already a senior citizen is not anymore able to walk very long distances and she has to be accommodated which is just convenient for the rest of us.

The book to be featured today may have little to do with the Holy Week. If we talk about changing for the better then this is right on the mark. The main character, Katerina Mills, is not exactly the model citizen. In fact, she is living a double life. One, being a student and the other is how she pays for her studies. Let's just say she run errands. Her clients are the rich and powerful and she gets paid in thousands in commission after completing a job.

Katerina Mills is in a way a female version of Jack Reacher only her assignments skate on the thin line between legal and the not. Oftentimes, they lean on the illegal. Like Jack Reacher, she makes the impossible doable. In this story, she got herself so deep into the thick of things that she may not be able to perform her assignments or even get out alive. Talk about interesting? Katie doesn't only have an interesting life but a very complicated and chaotic one. But only a few people know that. Her best friend doesn't even know. People who belong to different groups who are involved in shady dealings are her clients. Each of these group have interests in Katie's assignments which she had to meet. She felt like she is stretched to her limits and even if she doesn't want to admit, she needs help. 

The Killing Kind is the second book in the series. Though, I have not read the first,  this installment is coherent enough to understand what the story is about. Katerina Mills is one bad-ass and smart heroine. She may not exactly be a model citizen but she still has a conscience. In this story, the complexity of her assignments and the dilemma she is facing because of them has often made her think if she has to continue in this line of work or leave. But leaving is not easy. Either she disappears for good or the agency will do it for her if she can't finish the assignments as to the clients' requirements. This story revolved around Katie's difficulties in completing her work orders. The knowledge of some information that she should tell the authorities and the sense that things are getting out of her control and are way beyond her expertise are like signs telling her to pursue a different career. 

Katerina Mills is a not exactly the usual heroine you root for but you will pray that she comes out of the web of deceit and danger alive. You will hope that she will get out and leave this high-stake and high-paying job for good. Her wit and her ability to charm people to help her out are her strengths. She may not be a heroine worthy of emulation but she is definitely one you can't put down. This book will take you from one dangerous and deadly assignment to the next, one overlapping the other. Katie has to juggle all these requirements and the needs of her clients while staying alive. Her adventures will leave you breathless as you run with her from one place to the next. Eluding people tailing her and  trying to keep out of danger's reach. A lot of things are happening at once but it was not at all confusing or made the story hard to follow. Things got out of order here for Katie to iron out but in the end she was able to complete them and wrap them up like Christmas presents tied with red ribbons. 

The ending was a clear indication that things are to be continued in the next book. I am looking forward to know what dangers are lurking in the alleys waiting for Katie. Now, I am curious as to what happened in the first book. I will have to read my copy to know. 

I give this book 4/5 white Porsche cars. This is not-your-usual-damsel-in-distress story. Katerina Mills is one woman spelled with a lot of complications. A complicated life and a complicated job. Even her love life is complicated. And these complications made her story different. If you are into a fast-paced, thrilling and anything-can-happen-kind-of adventure, then this story is for you. I enjoyed this and I am wonderfully thankful that I did not get dizzy by all the tight situations Katie has gotten herself into. This was a very entertaining read.

"The gods? There are no gods in the heavens, Professor. They're living here. And they look down from the penthouse. And they move the people like pieces on the chessboard."
-  Jill Amy Rosenblatt, The Fixer: The Killing Kind -

Thank you PICT for the copy.

“Again?” Katerina asked as a whipping wind whistled around the parked car. “This is the fourth time.”
“There’s been a delay,” Jasmine said.
A few weeks earlier, Jasmine, MJM Consulting’s “Iron Maiden” gatekeeper, had called late at night. Thomas Gallagher, one of New York’s billionaire one percent, needed an assistant. Except he probably didn’t. Katerina Mills had already learned the first rule of a fixer. The job is never the job.
“Does he want a consultant or not?” Kat asked, her mouth overruling her mind. Careful Katerina. Don’t antagonize. You have to stay in. It’s too dangerous to be on the outside on your own. Not after the last assignment...
“Yes,” Jasmine said. “Any other questions?”
Katerina answered by clicking off the cell phone. Burrowing deeper into her coat, the heavy bangs of her short blond wig brushed her eyebrows as she focused on the apartment building diagonally across the street.
“Bad news?” came a voice behind her.
Katerina didn’t bother turning around. On the floor of the backseat, her current client, Lester Callahan, rearranged himself, kicking the back of Kat’s seat. She sighed.
“I hear you,” Lester said. “It’s tough. People are no good, you know? They give their word, it don’t mean shit.”
Katerina assumed Lester spoke from experience.
A pretty woman, swathed in a fur coat, exited the building and hustled to the corner, her hand in the air to hail a cab.
“Is that her?” Kat asked.
Rustling from the back seat. “Nope.”
Katerina crushed herself further into her coat. She didn’t want the work but she had to keep her hand in this world, to protect herself. And I need the money. But instead of a steady windfall of cash, the jobs had been few and far between. Lester needed an item retrieved; but she didn’t know what the item was. From his babbled tale of rambling half-truths, Kat pieced together a picture: Lester had dangerous connections, something had gone wrong, and he needed to disappear. He was about to board a Greyhound bus when he realized he had forgotten something.
“You know it’s not easy to get lost.”
“So you said,” Kat answered.
“Yeah, people don’t understand how big their digital footprint is, you know? Take you for instance. You’re a young girl. You on social media?”
“Dating sites? Not that you need one.”
Lester shifted again; Kat’s seat lurched forward. She sighed.
“You’re smart, you know. There’s a lot involved. I hired a professional to help me. Rebel One.”
“Yup,” Kat said, glossing over the sound of Lester’s voice. Am I smart or did it just work out that way? she thought, reflecting on her training by her first boss, shady lawyer and ex-lover, Philip Castle. Stay away from the computer unless it can’t be helped. Never leave a trail. Katerina realized Lester was still talking.
“It’s a stupid name but I didn’t say that. I didn’t want to hurt the kid’s feelings. Anyway, Rebel One can make you disappear. You don’t realize you do a thousand things every day and leave clues how to find you: the phone, the credit card, the bank account, your magazine subscription to Cosmo... everything.”
“I don’t read Cosmo.” My college transcript. My library card. Could I get away clean if I needed to?
They sat in silence.
“You have a family?” Kat asked.
“Yeah? And you’re just taking off?”
“It’s okay, I made arrangements, you know? I left some cash, told the wife we’d get a condo when I got settled.”
“Is that what you told your girlfriend?” Kat mumbled.
“I’m sensing judgment coming from the front seat. I don’t think you’re supposed to do that.”
“Sorry,” Kat said.
As they fell back into silence, Kat’s thoughts turned to her father, William Mills. She had plenty of judgment for him. After walking out on her mother weeks earlier and breezing through the Big Apple with his new bimbo, where was he now? Had he left a digital footprint? Could he be found?
Her father wasn’t the only one to pull a Houdini. Where was Lisa, who had brought Kat into this life as a “fixer”? Where had she vanished to? And then there was Alexander Winter. If it hadn’t been for him...
She relived the robbery in her mind; Winter taking her by the hand, leading her through the break-in to retrieve the client’s requested item. He had schooled her, protected her, and brought her home safe. Kat realized that not a day passed without her thinking of him. Except for a post-robbery “all clear” text, he had disappeared. Where is he now?
A young woman, rock star groupie attractive, wearing leopard Ugg boots and a winter-white fur coat over black pants exited the apartment building.
“Is that her?” Kat asked.
Rustling from the back seat. “Yeah, yeah, that’s her.”
Katerina shook her head. This anemic, two-bit hustler is hooked up with the jailbait leaving the building. “Let me guess. You bonded over shared interests.”
“You know, sarcasm is not attractive in a woman. It shows a lack of self-esteem.”
Said the man hiding on the floor of the back seat. “Uh-huh.”
“You got the code, the key, and the phone, right?”
“Yes,” Kat said, her heart racing like she was on the track waiting for the flag to come down. She slipped on her sunglasses, fussed over the wig hiding her long, chestnut-colored hair, and shrugged a large black bag onto her shoulder.
“Call me as soon as you’re in the apartment,” Lester said.
Katerina cracked the car door, checking for oncoming traffic. Getting out, she slammed the door and crossed the street. Punching the numbers on the keypad, she slipped into the building.
Remember, keep your head down. There are cameras everywhere. She made a mental note to change out her coat afterwards. The elevator chimed, the doors opened, and Kat ducked inside.
Getting out on the fifth floor, Kat stole down the hall. Apartment 512. She slipped the key out of her coat pocket, letting herself in. Taking the phone from the bag, she punched in the number. After two rings, Lester picked up.
“I’m here,” Kat said. “What am I getting?”
“Go into the bedroom,” he said.
Kat entered a room drowning in feminine pinks. “Okay, what?”
“You don’t see it?”
“Obviously not,” she said. “Is it a bill, a laptop, a deed to the apartment?”
“Go back into the living room.”
Katerina retraced her steps and froze in her tracks. A West Highland white terrier stared at her, its head cocked to one side.
Don’t bark. For the love of God and all that’s holy, do not bark.
“You didn’t tell me there was a dog in the apartment,” she whispered. What I wouldn’t give for a Snausage right now.
“Okay, good. You got it.” “I wouldn’t say that—wait … what? I’m here for the dog? You’re leaving—and you want the dog?”
“No, no,” Lester said. “The dog has a microchip in it. I need the chip.”
“Because if the dog is scanned, the chip has my information. They’ll find my wife and then, you know—they find me. Digital footprint.”
Katerina blew out a mouthful of air. Still staring, the dog sat down.
“The chip is implanted by the right shoulder blade,” he said. “It’s the size of a grain of rice. It’s nothing to take it out.”
“I left my veterinary degree in my other purse.” Moron. “And what do you suggest I use for a scalpel, a Ginsu knife?”
“If you think that’s best. I’m not really attached to the animal. I don’t think she is either, truthfully. I mean, look, she doesn’t even take it with her when she goes out. I paid a shitload of money for that thing.”
Katerina clamped her eyes shut.
“I was told you agency girls are up for anything. Anything. I need the chip. Get the chip.”
Katerina clicked off the phone. She stared at the dog. It raised a paw as a greeting, then lay down on its back, baring its belly for a scratch.
Katerina hustled into the car, depositing the bag on the passenger seat. She revved the engine and took off.
“Did you get it?” Lester asked.
“Yup,” Katerina answered.
Katerina dropped Lester Callahan off at the Greyhound bus terminal. Then, she parked the car and sent a text.
Done. W. 42nd. 8th Ave. Thanks
She got out of the car and walked away. The text had gone to Luther, an entrepreneur with his own limousine service. Luther’s clients paid in cash. Luther saw nothing, heard nothing, and asked no questions. Luther had a lot of clients. He had gotten the car through Moose, a man Katerina had yet to meet. The car would disappear and turn up somewhere else: different state, different plates, different color. Five thousand of Kat’s take had already gone for payment for the service. Contacts liked to be paid up front. That was a problem; she didn’t get paid until the job was done.
Kat passed the Plaza and entered an elegant, gleaming office building. A few minutes later, she was standing in the empty, dark paneled anteroom of MJM Consultants.
“Come in, Katerina,” she heard Jasmine’s hard-edged voice call out.
With her bag slung over her shoulder, Kat entered the small, immaculate office. Jasmine, wearing her signature black Chanel and pearl teardrop earrings, glanced up from her laptop; she didn’t bat an eye at the wig on Kat’s head.
“The job is finished,” Kat said.
“The client called.”
I know. I was there. Right before he got on a bus.
“And then he called back again.”
“You never showed him the item he wanted retrieved.”
Katerina caught the hint of a smirk on Jasmine’s lips. Is this part of the ‘probation’ test? You are not cheating me out of my money. Think fast, Katerina.
“The client never said he wanted to see the item. He just said retrieve it. I retrieved it.”
Jasmine was about to speak when Kat’s bag moved, a sliver of fur peeking through the top. The smirk vanished. “Is that a dog in that bag?”
“You’re not a pet person?” Katerina asked.
“Is that the item?”
“It’s the item that contains the item.”
Opening a desk drawer, Jasmine removed two rubber banded packets of bills. She held them out to Katerina. “Get it out of here.”
Katerina took the money, turned on her heel, and left.
Stepping out of the building into the bright, chilly day, she placed a call.
“Whatever it is, it’s gonna cost you a lot of money,” the raspy voice said through the line.
“Morning, Doc. I need something removed,” Kat said. “But the patient isn’t human.”
The raspy voice broke out into a low gutteral laugh.
Katerina watched over the sleeping Westie. A clean-cut man, wearing surgical gloves and a gown, used a feather touch to perform the procedure. He held up the forceps, showing Kat the tiny chip. Moving to the microwave on the counter, he placed the chip inside, closed the door, and hit a few buttons. Kat watched the plate rotate. A few sparks later, the chip was cooked.
Kat turned to Doc, perched on a stool, his frame struggling under the weight of his bulging stomach. Between wheezes, he puffed on a cigarette.
“Thanks, Doc,” she said.
“Don’t bother. You still have to pay me.”
Kat nodded. At least he’s honest. This little act of benevolent kindness is about to take another healthy bite of my take-home pay.
A woman entered the room without knocking. Dressed to the nines, she looked to be in her late sixties, a cross between a gracefully aging Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O., complete with swing coat and pillbox hat.
“Miss Kitty, this is Gertie. She provides pet relocation.”
“Charmed, I’m sure,” Gertie said with a flourish of her hand. “Now darling, time is money. You want a major city or you prefer something rural?”
Thousands of criminals in the city and I get the Dolly Levi of pet theft.
“What do you have?”
“Oh, honey, it’s carte blanche. I always have a waiting list for Westies; very popular breed. Lucky you came along. People are so careful these days. Owners almost never leave them unattended.” “You steal to order?”
Gertie’s eyes opened wide. “Steal? I beg your pardon,” she said. “Darling, I connect pets with loving families. I provide a service. You think Social Security pays enough to live on? A girl’s gotta get by. I used to be in the garment business—before they moved everything to China—no disrespect.” She gave Kat the once-over. “I can get you a coat at cost. You’d look to die for in a Saint Laurent Chesterfield. You want a coat?”
Kat shook her head. “No thank you. Any location far away from here will be fine.” She wanted to apologize. It wasn’t judgment. Kat didn’t know why, but she never quite felt prepared for the world she found. Even after what she had seen so far, she could be surprised. Maybe I’m not up for anything. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes.
The man finished scrubbing at the sink. Drying his hands, he turned to Kat.
“How long have you been a veterinarian?” Kat asked.
The man smiled.
Oh shit. Kat turned to Gertie.
“Meet my nephew,” she said.
The family that steals together... that’s one my father missed.
“Still lots to learn, Miss Kitty,” Doc said. “Lots to learn.”
Katerina glanced over at the sleeping dog. Pulling out the packets of money, she counted out fifteen thousand, half of her cut.
A girl’s gotta get by.
She certainly does, Kat thought, watching Gertie and Doc divvy up the cash. And not for the first time, she wondered how she would get by.

Jill Amy Rosenblatt

Jill Amy Rosenblatt is the author of Project Jennifer and For Better or Worse, published by Kensington Press. She has a Masters Degree in Creative Writing and Literature from Burlington College.

“The Fixer” mystery/suspense series is Jill’s first adventure in self-publishing. The Fixer: The Naked Man (Katerina Mills, Book 1) is available in e-book and paperback formats. The second book in the series, The Fixer: The Killing Kind, released on November 28, 2016. She is currently at work on the third book of the series, The Fixer: The Last Romanov (when she’s not watching NY Rangers hockey).

She lives on Long Island.

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