Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer

BURN NOTICE: THE FIX by Tod Goldberg


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 Burn Notice, featuring Jeffrey Donovan in a role that seems made-to-order for him, became my favorite television show during the summer of 2007. With support characters like the incredibly sexy Gabrielle Anwar and Bruce Campbell flanking him, I am constantly in awe and in love with every episode. I’ve yet to feel slighted with last year’s season or this year’s.

Tod Goldberg, brother to Lee Goldberg who has written the Diagnosis: Murder and Monk tie-in novels as well as a few episodes of the latter, was chosen to write at least three tie-in novels featuring the Burn Notice crew. The first, Burn Notice: The Fix, is set to release on August 5, but I found a copy this week and burned through it during a plane flight.

One of the things I enjoy most about the television show is the quirky humor. Another is the first-person narrative in which burned spy Michael Westen talks to the audience and explains spy thinking and the realities of the world. Oh – and the gadgets. LOVE the gadgets.

Goldberg’s book, thankfully, is chockfull of the humor and the inside knowledge that brims from the television episodes. The book reads like an episode of the television series, only it’s played out longer and deeper than any 43-minute episode could equal. There are a lot more players in this one, and Goldberg plays them all well. The blend becomes exciting and intoxicating immediately.

I loved the setup of the book that got everything underway. Michael is having lunch with his mother and notices too many people watching him. Since he doesn’t recognize any of them, he knows they’re not there for him. In a split-second he reasons that they’re there after Fiona Glenanne, his ex-lover and present/sometime partner. She used to be an IRA bomber and now supplements her income buy selling illegal weapons in Miami where the US government quarantined Michael.

In no time at all, Michael is also involved with another ex-lover/ex-enemy who blackmails him into getting three million dollars for her. She says she’s in debt to the people she works for because they think she’s been trafficking in illegal goods and keeping it off the books.

Then Sam Axe (played by Bruce Campbell) drops by to ask Michael for help on a project that dropped into his lap via his girlfriend Veronica. Since Sam’s a retired Navy SEAL, he’s biding his time sleeping with rich women that keep him in the lifestyle to which he’s become accustomed until his Navy pension kicks in.

One of Veronica’s women friends, Cricket O’Connor, has been preyed upon by her husband, who turns out to be a real louse. I could feel Michael’s frustration on every page as his world comes apart while he deals with his problem and all the problems his family and friends insist on dumping on him. Even more than that, Fiona is jealous enough to kill the woman pressuring Michael, and he’s thinking maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad deal.

Goldberg is spot on with this one. As I read the witty dialogue, snappy patter, and gleaned the twists and turns that hammered Michael and that he manufactured, I saw the television episode unwind inside my head. Goldberg has the characters down cold and there wasn’t a false move throughout. He plays them off each other perfectly.

After this romp through the novel based on the show, I’m really looking forward to the next pair. Hopefully, though, the books will become an ongoing enterprise. Although the summer season is going to feature 16 episodes this year, eight in the summer and eight in the winter, there’s still a lot of time in between. Tod Goldberg’s novels will definitely help cover those months for fans of the show.




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