The Fixer: Joseph Finder
Sometimes we do not know the one person closest to us until it’s too late. Sometimes that person hides the truth from us about himself/herself in order to shield us. Leonard Hoffman was a lawyer who led a duel life. Appearing as a lawyer that worked hard to help his clients little did most people know that there was another side to his business dealings. Leonard Hoffman was a lawyer in Boston. Now in a nursing home due to a stroke, Leonard is unable to communicate with anyone. But, does he or can he understand what is being said? What is the hidden side of this man as his son Rick is about to unravel a mystery that will endanger not only his life but others too?
Rick Hoffman lost his job at a well-known magazine. Not because he did not perform his duties properly but because the magazine would no longer have a print copy and was going digital only. But, Rick is about to enter a world that is new to him but not to his father. Living in his father’s rundown house, not able to find a buyer, Rick has to settle for filth, disaster and a “decaying interior.” But, the house just might surprise him and the messages he finds and what lurks behind a wall will set off a chain of events that will take Rick into a world filled with corruption, murder, betrayals and deceits.
Enter the Back Bay, the glossy magazine he worked for dedicated to the rich and famous in Boston, owned by a man named Morton Ostrow, had a great place to live and a huge salary, now lived in squalor. While a thick blanket of dust filled the air little did Rick know that he was about to make the discovery of his life. Within the area where he now lived a man named Jeff Hollenbeck owned a company that would help fix up and repair his father’s home. But, dealing with would prove unsettling and the end result quite startling. Imagine placing your hand within a hole in a wall and finding a hidden treasure. A huge pile of bills hidden inside the wall and a pile of papers and possibly files that he did not want anyone to know about and tried hard to conceal in front of Jeff. But, this man was astute and even though Rick claimed that what he found was just old receipts you could tell that did not wash with Jeff. What do you do with money stuffed inside of a wall? Well, Rick took a handful of plastic shopping bags and started filling them from the broom closet. But, just how many bags would it take to house over three million dollars? What would you do if you found inside of a wall 3.4 million dollars in cash? Would you try and figure out where it came from or whom it belonged to? Not Rick! He decided that he needed a cash flow and that this money belonged to his father or maybe not! He filled the bags, took some a deposited under ten thousand dollars in several different banks and then rented a storage locker for the rest.
Trying to make a deal with Jeff to repair his father’s home turned out to be not what he expected. Payments in cash and a deposit of 8000 dollars was required letting Rick know that Jeff was aware of the money but not of how much. As things started to come together with the repairs someone was watching his every move and found his way into his house. Kidnapped, beaten, threatened and seriously in danger, Rick was now in someone’s radar and that person will not stop until he gives up on finding out where the money came from and more about what his father was into. Joan Breslin was his father’s secretary who protected him and covered his dealings. Andrea Messina an old girlfriend bumped into him in the supermarket. How does this all tie together is quite interesting.
Returning to his father’s house on Clayton Street would be a challenge since someone was watching him and the workmen looked suspicious. Andrea worked for Goldman Sachs at one point and then started her own business called Geometry Partners which focuses on kids that need help in math by creating a program that would be more hands on and exciting. But, while on a date with Andrea talking about their respective careers, Rick goes overboard with spending on dinner, talking about his life and then makes one fatal error. Three and a half million dollars would be a lifetime of no financial worries to most but paying Jeff, keeping some for himself and the dinner depleted the amount by quite a bit. But, Ricky was determined to find out where the money came from and the startling truth would land him in trouble. Jeff knew about the money but did his workers also know and who was following his every move? Kidnapped again, taken to a deserted place, threatened with bodily harm, someone wants to know where the money came from, where it is and much more.
Injured, afraid and definitely needing medical attention, Rick finds his way back to the Charles Hotel. But, he would no longer be safe anywhere and his whereabouts are known. Joan Breslin is the one person that could help him and she has the durable general power of attorney forms needed to help him while he had to close and dissolve his father’s accounts. But, when you meet Leonard at the nursing home, learn more about him a revelation will be made about his condition that changes it all. His father worked with shady clubs, cash business and although it looked like he billed for work, the work was never done. Letting Joan know that his father had money and wanting to protect himself and his father, Joan’s explanation of it’s a dirty business did not cut it. May 27th, 1996 was the day his father had the stroke but what really happened? Documents in place finding a ledger or gook for that year he learns more. Client invoices quite revealing and going to an old friend helpful. Jugs DBA La Grange Entertainment billed in the amount of 30,000. Billing eight separate clients for 295, 000 dollars in May of 1996. Big money but why and did his father only bill for work he didn’t do?
Checking his father’s computer, business account, recording checks written to an electric company and others seemed standard. He billed for 295 thousand dollars for work he never did. Enter Alex Pappas and the Pappas group. His father was the only lawyer working for this man but how, for what and why? So, why and how did he make the state rich? But, things started to come together and something about his father’s condition was odd as the doctors decided to try Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and realized that he was hit over the head, had a Traumatic Brain Injury inducing his stroke. With Chapter 27 the method is explained and then we get to know Monica Kennedy a definite asset to Alex show information bank is extensive and whose knowledge of Pappas is vast. His father was working for Pappas who got money or cash used for bribery. Suggesting his father was as the title states: The Fixer: The person that provides the cash for specific political deals, bribes, corruption and the rest. Trying to intimidate Rick, knowing that the interview was not what he claimed it to be; just how far into what was happening to him was this man? How far would he go to hurt him until he backed off?
A car accident that killed three people would tie it all in place as the truth behind what happens, what was covered up and why some people got paid off explains why Leonard was attacked. A simple light fixture disconnected in a tunnel, hit the top of a car and three people were killed.
The Donegal Charitable Trust paid Rick’s father’s care in the nursing home through Alex Pappas. Cash-bank Business: collecting cash and giving out bribes, making deposits of cash in the bank or putting it in a safe.
Paul Clarke was one of his father’s closest friends and Rick was about to pay him a visit. Just what did his father need Clarke to do and what did it have to do with the accident? Accumulating assets, to gather cash, allowing Leonard a new identity and have some left over for Rick and his sister, Wendy. His father was called the Fixer and he saw himself as a First Amendment lawyer. Leonard Hoffman was two people and one had to disappear. A hero and someone who refused to cover up the cause of the accident that killed three people. People came to his father for help and kept coming. But, what about the money and who was the client? A police Sergeant that is at the helm of this and his blackmail of the construction company that did not replace the fallen NuArt florescent light fixture at the heart. But, what was Jeff’s take on this whole thing and would he be discreet when asked to learn more about what happened and who the contractors and electricians were?
A confrontation that exposes it all and then an encounter that could end his life as Rick finds himself in the hospital badly injured. Just whom can he trust and who is the client that wants him dead? With Andrea’s help and connections and a veiled threat that could end it all author Joseph Finder delivers a powerful ending that is not only explosive, dead on target and a killer that will stop at nothing to make sure that Rick becomes another silent victim. A Rick was asked to create a story on a man named Thomas Sculley a hidden truth about this man comes out and the ending that will prove that money makes people doing just about anything and the truth behind his father’s stroke is more than revealed. When Rick enters his father’s house the greeting will astound readers and the end result is so powerful you just won’t see it coming.
Who profits? Who loses? Who will become the Ultimate FIXER? Once again author Joseph Finder creates a plot so filled with the unexpected, twists and an ending that will let you know that Rick just might be back again. What happens to the money? What would you do if you found 3.4 million dollars in a wall in your house and you knew that it might belong to your father but not sure if it’s legal? Would you chance keeping it? Rick Hoffman: entered a world filled with danger, corruption and graft! What would you do?
Fran Lewis: Reviewer