There’s no indication that The Big Fix is a series finale although it reads like one. The fifth book in Mary Calmes’ Torus Intercession series, it’s about the head of the agency, Jared Colter, and the Torus tech member, Owen Moss, who’s been a part of Jared’s life since he saved him as a child.
Jared has always been that person who’s been a bit of an enigma. The voice on the phone, the brief meeting in his office, and cringing mention by another Alphabet agency personnel who has been told to do exactly as Jared wants. He’s been the fearful respect looming in the background.
I think , for the series, he actually operates better that way.
Getting to know him here, while that makes him a believable, more realistic human being, takes away much of the image Calmes has built up for him over four books.
The Jared Colter here is 56. When all the action is required, the heightened danger that requires the senses honed by years of stealth, battle, and espionage, he’s rusty, slow to act, and clearly been behind a desk for a long time. Field work isn’t his friend, due to age and lack of practice.
Realistic? Yes. It certainly makes him relatable, especially since he comes across as spectacularly clueless in his interpersonal relationships.
All of which makes him a businessman removed from the day to day reality of his field agents. It just doesn’t mesh with the character as he’s been portrayed over the previous stories.
This disconnect continues with his behavior towards Owen Moss. Owen, 32, has a well known crush/love for his boss that everyone sees but Jared. They even live together. But Jared treats Owen like someone under his guardianship rather than an employee or adult.
Owen’s personality and their relationship comes across as parental too . The arguments less that of a 32 year old but someone younger.
Their relationship aside, along with the odd mistakes made, given their history and professionalism, there’s a lot of action, foreign scenery, foreign governments and law enforcement to ignore, as well as familiar characters from other Mary Calmes novels that arrive to help out Jared on his rescue mission.
There’s Darius Hawthorne from Late in the Day, Dante Cerreto from Again, US Marshals Sam Kage and Ian Doyle from the Marshals series. George Hunt and other names pop in too. I did enjoy my time spent with those wonderful people and mention of their partners and home life.
But as the story belongs to Jared and Owen, that aspect dragged. Not the entertaining rush to rescue (with torture scenes fyi) but their actual time together. That felt less believable and grounded.
So from just a pure rush of adrenaline shootout/blow um up storylines that I enjoyed to the less impactful main characters and relationship, I liked The Big Fix but it’s not a favorite in the series.
If you’re a fan of Mary Calmes, the series, then this book is definitely in your wheelhouse. For others, The Big Fix with it’s multiple storylines, characters that you need to have their novels read to understand, and lack of continuity in places, might be more complicated and less fun than anticipated. You decide.
Torus Intercession series:
✓ No Quick Fix #1
✓ In a Fix #2
✓ Fix It Up #3
✓ The Fix Is In #4
✓ The Big Fix #5
Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.
Philanthropist. Humanitarian. Soldier. Spy.
Jared Colter, the head of Torus Intercession, has a secret life he left behind, one that only his closest confidants know about. Normally, the past keeps its secrets, but not this time. Old ghosts come calling to the very doorstep of his new life, when Owen Moss, the person closest to him, goes missing. A carrot left dangling to lure Jared out and into the hands of an unknown enemy.
Owen Moss was once a scared, orphaned boy saved by Jared, but he’s no longer a child even if Jared is having trouble seeing him that way. He’s thirty-two now, in love with Jared, and as Jared’s obliviousness keeps butting up against Owen’s desire, the tension between them keeps escalating. Something has to give, and soon.
With a bounty on his head, Jared races through the brutal underworld of Southeast Asia, in search of Owen. It’s a maze of treachery and murder, where one false move means death. The answer is tied to the man Jared used to be, taking him into the heart of the lion’s den, where he’s forced to face the darkest questions about himself to save the man he loves.