The Fix is the first Burn Notice novel by Tod Goldberg.
- Clients: Cricket O'Connor
- Bad Guys: Natalya Chopin, Eddie Champagne, Dixon Woods
Michael is threatened by a Russian ex-operative with whom he once had a complicated history; Sam convinces him to help track down a con artist who has stolen a rich socialite's fortune.
- If you want to know how well a woman knows her husband, ask her the size of his pants. If you want to know how little she knows about him, ask her the same question.
Sam convinces Michael to accompany him on a mission of mercy to Fisher Island, to help a friend of Veronica's. The friend is Cricket O'Connor, a widow in her late fifties whose elegant manners can't quite hide her desperation. A "For Sale" sign has been placed outside her mansion against her will, and the interior is almost stripped bare of furniture. Michael asks her to calm down and tell him what her problem is:
Once upon a time, Cricket's life was perfect. She had a loving husband, a beautiful son, and more money than she knew what to do with. Then her husband died of a sudden heart attack and she learned that he was a profiteer who made his fortune by eating up small companies; she also learned about his nine or more "pseudo-wives" and semi-regular mistresses scattered around the country, and an equal number of illegitimate children. Settling these children's claims against her husband's estate took a big chunk of her fortune, but she still had more than enough to live comfortably. Then her son enlisted in the military and died in Iraq.
For a while, Cricket was a minor celebrity around Miami, feted as the mother of a genuine war hero, and very active in several important charities. But she was also very lonely, and that's when Dixon Woods came into her life. To Michael and Sam, the name "Dixon Woods" is vaguely familiar, and Cricket explains that Dixon is a former Special Forces soldier now working for a private security firm in Afghanistan. She says she met Dixon through an internet dating site for military family singles... Michael interrupts and cuts to the end of her story: she married Dixon, then he stole all her money and now he's disappeared. Cricket collapses into a chair and adds that now other men have been visiting her house and extorting money from her, money which they claim Dixon owes them. She has given them nearly everything she has, out of fear that Dixon, whom she still loves, will be hurt or killed if she doesn't.
Michael is on the verge of walking out, having little or no sympathy for Cricket's plight, until she runs upstairs and comes back with a sheaf of photos and thank-you cards, showing young men in wheelchairs or missing limbs, and their families. These are the survivors and surviving families of her son's old Marine Corps unit, and she has been supporting them with mortgage payments, psychological counseling, medical treatment, everything. Of all the charities Cricket has ever done, these families probably need the most, yet they ask for so little. Without Cricket's help, they will lose everything.
For Michael, who has served in the military, this is the chink in his armor. He agrees to help Cricket, but only if she is willing to accept two harsh truths: first, he will get back enough of her money for her to live, and to help those families, but he is not going to restore her to her life of luxury and celebrity - no matter how things turn out, those days are over for her; second, she had better let go of any attachment she has to "Dixon Woods" - the man, whoever he is, is a criminal who has been using her, and Michael would be very surprised to learn that he really has been in Special Forces, that he and Cricket are actually married, or even that Dixon Woods is his real name. Cricket breaks down sobbing, and Michael and Sam make a tactful exit. Outside the house, Sam compliments Michael on his rousing speech, while Michael grouses that people like Cricket get themselves into these despicable fixes because they never appreciate what they have - money, good health, and independence - instead they only bemoan what they don't have (i.e., true love).
- Dixon Woods
- Eddie Champagne
- Natalya Chopin
Memorable Quotes Edit
- Cricket O'Connor: I hate to be a cliche...
- Michael Westen: You're not a cliche, you're a foregone conclusion. That's worse, I'm sorry to say.
- Cricket O'Connor: I understand, Mr. Westen, that you think I'm a fool, but I wonder, have you ever found yourself in a situation beyond your control?
- Michael Westen: ...There've been occasions.
- Fiona Glenanne: When I was robbing banks for the IRA, it wasn't so difficult to move money. You walked in, shot a few people in the knees, locked a few others in the vault and took what you needed. You drove down the street, ran up the stairs of the flat, dumped the money out on the bed, rolled around a bit and then went out for a pint.
- Michael Westen: When I said, "get rid of her," I didn't mean via a bullet to the back of the head and then a watery grave.
- Fiona Glenanne: I envisioned a threshing machine. No bullet at all, very little residual evidence.