book recommendations

Mindspace Investigations

In a dark future Atlanta, a disgraced telepath must stop a serial killer who murders with the mind. Can our hero stay on the wagon long enough to lead the police to the killer?

So reads the introduction to Alex Hughes’ Mindspace Investigations series. I stumbled across the first book – CLEAN – on Twitter and immediately knew I had to read it. And damn; CLEAN is a fast-spaced novel that sucks you into a different world, but one that feels enough like ours to be familiar.

The series’ protagonist is a telepath struggling to battle a drug addiction… and the things he did while lost in the haze of drugs. He works with the Atlanta police force, questioning suspects and using his ability to tap into “Mindspace” – a telepathic lay over of the real world – to gather the mental impressions killers leave behind.

When he and partner Cherabino investigate one such murder, he finds impressions that hint that the killer is another telepath. That’s something unheard of since the Guild formed, as the establishment is supposed to keep dangerous telepaths under control. Then he gets one of his few glimpses into the future… and foresees his own death.

And out of the office, he finds himself more and more attracted to Cherabino, whose ability to ground him while he’s in Mindspace leads to an illegal mental link. He has to keep that secret, himself and Cherabino alive, and bring a killer to justice before any more people die.

I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars.

My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it—real scary.

Now the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust me, a serial killer is stalking the city—and I’m aching for a fix. But I need to solve this case. Fast. I’ve just had a vision of the future: I’m the next to die.

In SHARP, protagonist finds himself without the one thing that makes him special – the psychic ability – threatening both his position with the department and his own sanity. Then, to make matters worse,  partner Cherbino is being hunted by a cop killer.

Both CLEAN and SHARP are fast, sharply written stories that engross you completely. The descriptions of “Mindspace” make it seem like a real thing. And the plots – that of the investigation, the struggle against personal demons and the fragile relationship with Cherbino – are seamlessly interlinked and balanced. In short, Mindspace Investigations is one of the best and most promising series I’ve read this year.

As a Level Eight telepath, I am the best police interrogator in the department. But I’m not a cop—I never will be—and my only friend on the force, Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino, is avoiding me because of a telepathic link I created by accident.

And I might not even be an interrogator for much longer. Our boss says unless I pull out a miracle, I’ll be gone before Christmas. I need this job, damn it. It’s the only thing keeping me sane.

Parts for illegal Tech—the same parts used to bring the world to its knees in the Tech Wars sixty years ago—are being hijacked all over the city.  Plus Cherbino’s longtime nemesis, a cop killer, has resurfaced with a vengeance. If I can stay alive long enough, I just might be able to prove my worth, once and for all…

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