BURN NOTICE: THE FIX by Tod Goldberg

As a fan of USA Network's Burn Notice, I've wanted to read this tie-in since last November, when I heard Tod Goldberg was tapped to write it. The Fix has burned spy Michael Westen reluctantly helping an aging socialite who's been swindled out of a sizable chunk of her fortune. He also encounters a femme fatale from his past who accuses him of implicating her in a crime. This last has to do with the falsified dossier (from the TV series) that got Michael burned in the first place.

Goldberg has a good handle on Michael's wry, seen-it-all tone as well as his relationships with Fiona, Sam, his mother, and brother. I envisioned a two-hour episode of Burn Notice as I read. The book does indeed give fans their fix. My only quibble is with Michael's narration. Of everything about the show, the voiceover has the least legs. On screen it can be broken up by action. The page has no such recourse. First-person is necessary to smoothly deliver Michael's spycraft know-how, but the book can read like one long voiceover with meandering sentences early on that I didn't expect from Michael.

I still recommend The Fix to fans of the show and of spy fiction in general, and I look forward to where Goldberg takes the characters.

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