The Fix is very much a Nick Earls novel. Set in Brisbane, with a side trip to the Gold Coast, and rich in textural detail of the inner city and West End. More up the serious end of his comedy-drama range, but plenty of humour for those who like their Earls funny.
This time the misfit everyman protaganist is Josh Lang, driven home to Brisbane from London by the Global Financial Crisis. He still holds hopes of making it as a journalist, backed by a regular quirky blog in an online newspaper and occasional success on his hunt for freelance gigs. But he has bills to pay, so accepts an offer from his patronising older brother of a short term contract for a law firm client to wring the most positive publicity possible from one of their lawyers winning a bravery award for stopping a disgruntled client with a gun. It’s only on the way to their meeting with the client that Josh learns that the hero lawyer is Ben Harkin, his ex-best friend and son of a recently deceased disgraced businessman.
As Josh prepares Ben and his bosses for the media attention that he is lining up, he notices holes in the official story but is distracted by Hayley, law student by day, exotic dancer Jett by night. In a master stroke of multitasking Josh arranges for his mini-golf tour of the Gold Coast, organised for a feautre article, to also serve as a quirky backdrop for Ben’s Who Weekly photo shoot and an opportunity to spend some quality time with Hayley. In the surreal environment of the putt-putt courses of the tourist strip where Ben’s father made his ill-gotten gains, the truth comes out.
Side note – Cafe Checocho, frequently mentioned cafe inhabited by poets and chess players, is a place very dear to my husband, and we were gifted one of the decoupage tabletops (but not the one described) when it changed hands. This is why I was not allowed to give this book away in my work book regift Secret Santa, even though I had speed re-read it the weekend before the party in preparation for parting with it. I gave another Nick Earls instead. A great gift for a booklover from anywhere, but especially Brisbane. The recipient was very happy.