Read Clean by AlexHughes Online


A RUTHLESS KILLER—OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND 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 normalsA RUTHLESS KILLER—OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND 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....

Title : Clean
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451464750
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 340 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Clean Reviews

  • ☘Misericordia☘⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ❂❤❣
    2019-04-02 12:22

    Q:When the Telepaths’ Guild kicked me out, I had all the tests, all the ratings, all the gold stars a man could get. Level Eight, seventy-eight-P, I was a stronger telepath than most of the elite, and could predict the future correctly better than three times out of four...(c) A boy wonder telepath working with the police. Q:From the tape they’d given me, I’d pegged Esperanza as a control freak. So I threw the paper down crooked, spilling it everywhere, adding the pencils so they rolled along the table, then slouched back in the chair. I grabbed one of the pencils just before it hit the floor and started tapping it on the table. Tap, tappity-tap. Tappity-tap, tap, tap. Just for fun, I altered the pattern every now and then to keep it grating on her nerves. (c)Q:A bit of advice: if you must throw a telepath off your trail, be nice and recite multiplication tables or something. Concentrating on an out-of-tune rock song like the last suspect had just makes me want to hit you. (c)Q:We talked about inconsequential things while her happiness started to bleed over into me. I basked in it—stood under it joyfully like a warm sunbeam on a chilly day.I loved this, her happiness, her openness—I couldn’t name the last time I’d seen it. (c)Q:For crying out loud, I could keep a secret. You couldn’t be a telepath without being able to keep a secret—well, not and not end up with a lynch mob after you. (c)

  • Felicia
    2019-04-04 10:16

    Taking a break from the more lady-driven books I've been reading lately, I picked this urban paranormal book up with a male protagonist, solely on the interesting world it seemed to have. And I highly recommend it! It's a world where tech has collapsed and telekinetics have evolved, and our protagonist is a junkie who works for the police force. Now, our protagonist (who remains unnamed almost the whole book because it's first person) is not the most uplifting character, but his struggle with his addiction makes for a great character arc (especially since I was quitting coffee while reading this, haha!). The mystery is really interesting, as are the characters and the pressures on the main character. If you like gritty urban fantasy you'll enjoy this new series.The only thing I didn't love was the love interest character, I just never clicked with her as someone I wanted to root for, but it's definitely set up for a great followup and I'll be there to read it!

  • Lisa Bouchard
    2019-04-15 14:12

    This is a great book. I read a lot of science fiction, because I love the new and different worlds and the problems that are often so different from my own. Clean is different because the best part of this book is the main character. Even with all his problems, he’s a guy you want to know and a guy you’d want as a friend if you were in trouble. I love his emotional vulnerability and how he continues to do the right thing, even when the personal cost is very high. And of course, I still love the hover cars and telepathy and gritty, post-Tech-war world Hughes created

  • Brandon
    2019-04-25 08:09

    A deeply-flawed, drug addicted telepath acts as a police consultant to help bring down a serial killer. The stakes are raised when a vision puts him in the killer’s path. Can he bring down this murderous monster or will his premonition come sooner than expected?I received a review copy from the author in exchange for a fair review.Alex Hughes has crafted a compelling universe for her characters to play in. A self-admitted cop show junkie, Hughes mashed her love of police procedurals together with speculative fiction to create Clean, the first novel in her Mindspace Investigation series. The story picks up sixty years after the devastating Tech Wars, an event fought with computer viruses and self-aware machines. If it wasn’t for the psychic powered force known as The Guild, we’d all probably end up like Neo, floating in a pink sack powering our mechanical masters.Where Hughes’ talent truly lies is in her world building. She’s clearly put a lot of time and effort into constructing the Atlanta of tomorrow. The scenes in which characters descend into Mindspace – a tool used by telepaths to detect changes and abnormalities in our environment undetectable by us normies – were fascinating and easy to grasp (fishbowl analogy was excellent). Given the events of the Tech Wars, the US government has scaled back its overwhelming reliance on technology. Heavy filtering procedures are in force when sending emails, net access is limited and hard copies are once again essential when it comes to paperwork. It’s not often you read a novel based in the future featuring flying cars but with reduced levels of technology.Hughes mirrored a lot of the great hard-boiled protagonists by saddling the telepath with an addiction – a narcotic dubbed Satin – he cannot easily overcome. Knowing he’s only one mistake away from finding himself out on his ass, it leads to some intense scenes where he’s teetering on the edge without much to keep him grounded. That being said, the only real constant in his life is Swartz, his addiction sponsor, who is determined to keep him on the straight and narrow. While their interactions are minimal, their importance keeps the story moving forward. I would’ve actually liked a little more between the two.Aside from his feelings for his partner Isabella Cherabino, he doesn’t have much going for him. In fact, my only real gripe involves some of the back and forth between the two. There’s clearly some chemistry there, but I found the telepath came across as whiny or annoying when he pined for her. I’m not advocating for the roles to be reversed – I’d dislike it either way – I guess I just wanted less romance; something that while not overwhelming, disrupted the flow of the story.I’m very interested to see where this goes from here. Luckily for me, I’ve got the sequel on deck!**Sidenote** The telepath does indeed have a name but it’s being withheld in this review as it would spoil one of the strongest moments in the novel.Check out my interview with Alex.

  • Mandi Schreiner
    2019-04-11 12:03

    This world is a dystopian world, kind of light on the sci-fi. Years ago, (in recent enough memory for people to still remember) there was a huge Tech War, where super-viruses split people’s minds from the inside, resulting in a huge death toll. Half a century later, no one trusts computer chips. So it may take days to send one email and the now small web is regarded with fear and much respect. Not to say there are no advancements in this world. They have some cars that fly and there are telepaths and telekinetics. Told in our hero’s point of view, he is a Level 8 telepath, which means he is really strong and also has precog abilities. Due to an extremely bad drug habit when he was younger, he was kicked out of the Telepaths’ Guild. He now works as a consultant for the police department in Atlanta, brought in to interview suspects in custody that won’t crack with other investigators. He can get into their mind, make suspects admit guilt and has a high close rate. Due to his drug addiction, he is a regular member of Narcotics Anonymous and meets with his sponsor often. It is a daily struggle for him to stay clean.His ‘partner’ for lack of a better word (he is only contracted with the police department) is detective Isabella Cherabino. She goes by Cherabino for most of the book so I’ll call her that in the review. She is a die-hard detective, a workaholic and puts up with the hero’s attitude, even though she is often exasperated. Currently she has a string of six dead bodies, with no clues to go off of. Having a gut feeling that they are all related, they pull our hero onto the scene of the most recent murder to see if he can gather any clues. He can go into what’s called Mindspace, kind of blocking everything out around him, and picking up the mental residue of what was recently left behind at whatever place he is at. So as he stands in this alley where a person was murdered, he can tell if the killers had used ‘Ability’ or some sort of telepathic means. From here the investigation goes to some dark places and our hero and Cherabino fight to stay one step ahead of the bad guys.I really enjoyed this book. Our hero and his relationship with Cherabino reminds me a lot of Harry Dresden and Murphy, as he consults with her on cases. The chemistry between is very similar. There isn’t romance in this book per se, but you know eventually these two have to explore that little flicker of interest they have. We learn a lot about Cherabino and her past too. She is a big character in this book. Our hero has such strong telepathic abilities, he is able to be in Cherabino’s head…a lot. Much to her frustration. He often answers questions before she verbally asks them, and she punches him in the face more than once for his interference. She is a tough cookie and I really enjoyed her role in this book.Our hero struggles with drugs and I love how it is portrayed in here. He thinks about his drug of choice, Satin (a drug he experimented with the Guild, until he became too addicted and started his downhill slide into a complete drug addiction) all the time. Daily. Probably hourly. He has been clean for six years, except for one time when he fell off the wagon. Because of that one time, he no longer directly receives his paycheck, nor has any personal belonging he can barter for drugs. Not even a bed – just a worthless cot that no one would want. This is how desperate his situation is. He calls his Narcotics Anonymous mentor daily, and we see him interact with him a lot in this book. He takes it very seriously.He made me come up with a list of three things I was grateful for every week – I had to tell him three brand-new things at our usual weekly meeting, or he’d give me this look, all disappointed. And the feeling I got from his mind was worse, like “ungrateful” was an insult of the worst order. So, I studied. I thought. And for six years running now – not counting the two weeks I’d missed the last time off the wagon – every week I had three new things. This week I was having trouble.He really looks to his mentor for approval. Almost childlike (and there really isn’t anything else childlike about our hero. He is definitely all man).I really think his despair at certain points of this book is done really well. It brings a certain humility to our hero. He is this all so powerful telepath, who has hit rock bottom and is learning to rebuild his life. He is learning how to apologize, and how to work through his depression and the pressure of his abilities, to lead a better life. Reading it you know he is a good guy and you root for him to overcome his addiction.This book moves at a steady pace. I will say the beginning is a little heavy with the world building, and it took me awhile to get a grasp of what exactly our hero is capable of and what the world consisted of. But once we got going, I didn’t want to stop reading. At the end of the book, I reflect back and see our hero as someone who has much to give – both professionally to the police with his abilities, and emotionally one day to Cherabino (at least I can hope). We have started with him on a journey of self-discovery that I found really fun. Looking forward to book two next spring.Rating: B.

  • He110Ne0
    2019-03-29 15:14

    I couldn't finish this book. Approximately 80-90 pages into what should have stayed on someone's desk as a rough outline of a good idea, I wanted to scream at my monitor. I skipped to the end of the book and read the last 3 chapters instead.Here we have all the elements for a good sci-fi/urban fantasy/destroyed-future concept. Telepaths who answer to a different government known as The Guild, the recovering modern (but future) America after Technology Wars that were based on data corruption and loss of information, and a main character who himself is a recovering addict and full of self-loathing. Written in first person, it fancies itself a futuristic crime-noir thriller but instead trips all over literary cliches, confusing sentence structure decisions, and far too many emo sentence fragments. Like I said before - the good ideas are here but they come and go like power in a windstorm. The descriptions of the mental space, the Mindspace, are quite interesting. It seemed that the author was particularly proud of her imagining of that concept and it shows because it is described over and over in growing complexity. The other beacon through the darkness is the building of an addict. Adam, the main character in whose head we rest for the entirety of the book,is recovering from a life lost from being an elite Telepath in service to The Guild due to his crippling addiction to a drug known as Satin. The torment Adam is going through isn't ending anytime soon, and really shows how addiction is not something that can be flipped on and off like a switch. However this is a complete hodgepodge of ideas. It's like Hughes didn't know which concept she wanted to make the focus of this story - the addiction, the serial killing, or the partnership between Adam and the woman he infuriatingly refers to only by last name even when they've clearly grown a fondness for each other? The most genuine parts for sure are Adam and the descriptions of MindSpace. Everything involving the police station and discussions about the shadow-ops of The Guild made me want to barf. There's an informant named Joey The Fish who speaks with the voice of an Italian mobster you might find in Batman Saturday morning cartoons. There's the NA sponsor who sips coffee, smokes cigarettes, and ends every other sentence with "kid." I expected Morgan Freeman to show up and pat Adam on the shoulder and say "It'll be alright, son." There's the ridiculously and overly tough female cops who not only are the equivalent to their male counterparts, but are assholes about it to boot. Someone please explain to Hughes that you are capable of being a police officer as a woman and not go around punching your consultants in the face or emphasizing the fact that you don't cry? The final breaking point for me was when Adam breaks down and realizes that the killings that have happened so far need to be reported to The Guild based on the nature of the attacks. In this gigantic organization manned by so many people that run all these super-secret things in America, who does he land up being assigned to as his attache? His ex-fiance. No. Since the crime thriller portion of this story was a spark that never seemed to light no matter how many times the author struck the match (and I doubted the story was going to end in a threesome between Adam, his partner, and his ex fiance), I decided I'd had enough cliche set-ups for one book and had to tap out.If you've read this whole review to this point, good job. You may have noticed at the beginning that I said I skipped to the end of a 250+ book after approximately the 80-90page mark? I was able to almost completely splice together what happened despite how much I skipped. I'm sure I skipped lots of other things along the way, but I guess that's just my loss. I couldn't stand another 100+ pages of needlessly chopped up sentences, fragments of thoughts that were supposed to count as mature conversation, and mental self loathing from a character who never seems to be positive about anything. It becomes such a huge downer that after awhile you'd like to get into the head of someone else even just to get a break. This was not a dark character, this was the literary sketch of one. This wasn't realistic crime drama (even in a futuristic setting), this was fan fiction scribbled down during any number of cop shows. These weren't even fully formed sci-fi ideas, just well spliced bullet points pulled from what-if scenarios that reek of Wikipedia research and an afternoon or two spent at the library after getting a wild notion to "see how brains work." Yes, this is a series. Yes, this is the first book. However, I can't see myself going back. I have way too many other highly rated things on my TBR list calling for my time.

  • Dany Burns
    2019-04-03 16:17

    I thought this was an enjoyable book to read. At times the characters frustrated me, or I thought the book moved too fast or too slow at some parts but overall it was an enjoyable mystery type novel. The main character whose name you don't know until the end of the book was an interesting character and I thought he had a lot of dimension. He could be frustrating but I think if that adds to the character than its okay. He could be a bit too pessimistic for my taste at times but for him and his life I could understand it. I didn't love the love interest in this book. I thought she was an interesting character and I liked her personality enough but I don't think she went through much character development. I liked the mystery in this book. I thought it was well thought out and interesting. At times there was a lot going on and I got a little lost but only very rarely. I also like the main characters struggle with his drug addiction. I think the author did a good job telling that side of the story alongside the bigger mystery. This definitely wasn't my most favorite book in the whole world but it was very enjoyable and still a very fun book overall.

  • James Knapp
    2019-04-12 07:58

    I really enjoyed Clean. I provided a blurb for the jacket - here is the full review the blurb came from:Hughes's world is an interesting mix of old and new, a world of flying cars and noir-ish, steamy streets that are a fun blend of Chinatown and Blade Runner. The cat-and-mouse murder investigation between those who can both kill and hunt with the power of the mind is fascinating, and while Hugh knows how to unfold a mystery to be sure she never loses sight of her characters' humanity. She understands the nature of addiction, and has a keen understanding of the human condition with all of its desires, fears, and frailties. Her take on telepaths and especially ‘mindspace’ are very interesting (her Guild of telepaths made me think of Bene Gesserit a couple centuries before they went totally mystical) and I thought she did a really good job with the protagonist and not just his abilities but his weaknesses, his hopes, and the quiet way in which he pined for his partner – he never waxed on about her, he just knows every little detail about her because he cares, and he pays attention, and that says it all. Wrap that in a telepathic murder mystery? Good stuff. I look forward to jumping back into mindspace again.

  • All Things Urban Fantasy
    2019-03-26 09:07

    Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyCLEAN is a cool book. That’s all there is to it. It has the kind of worldbuilding you can sink your teeth into, a damaged anti-hero who falls for an even more damaged anti-heroine, and an investigation to catch a teleporting serial killer.The procedural aspects of CLEAN are sharp and interesting even for a reader who doesn’t normally go for procedurals. The real hook, however, was the worldbuilding. A small percentage of the population has an Ability. They can be telepaths, telekinetics, or teleportors. Some have a small Ability, others–like our protagonist–have a frightening amount of power. That is until he got hooked on an experimental drug that got him kicked out of the Telepath’s Guild, living in a closet sized apartment devoid of anything he might hock for drug money, and stuck working as an interrogator for the police.He’s a wonderfully messed up character. Some of the best passages in CLEAN are where he’s wrestling with himself about whether or not to get high. He’ll plot out exactly how he’ll do it, even knowing that it’ll destroy his life and irrevocably sever the tenuous relationships he’s been building at the department with his boss and also Detective Cherabino. The protagonist (whose name we don’t learn until the end of the book) is very much a Harry Dresden type character, and Cherabino is a more angry version of Murphy. There is a romance that they dance around, but there are a lot of pretty significant issues keeping them apart like his drug problem and inability to stay out of her head. But I liked these two messed up characters a lot. I’ll be rooting for them in the sequel.If you like The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, this series looks to be tailor made for Harry and Murphy fans. Since I can’t read Alex Hughes’s mind, I’ll have to wait for the next book in the Mindspace Investigations series which is titled SHARP and will be published on April 2, 2013.Sexual Content:Kissing. Mild sensuality. References to rape

  • Terence M
    2019-04-13 10:12

    Audio Book - 1 star - Did Not FinishI have never really read any fantasy or science fiction books, nor have I been enticed to. When I started Hunger Games Book 1, I did not know it was Young Adult and/or Fantasy, but I did finish the three books in the series and found them enjoyable, I think. I don't know what enticed me to use my precious library's resources to download this book but I did and I really persevered for three and a half hours of a nine hour book, but it's now on the DNF shelf.Written in the first person, the main character and, can I call her his "love interest", although nothing sparky seemed to emanate from either of them, wander around following the author's script, which wanders around trying to stitch together a story line, which ultimately lead me to say "enough". Actually, I didn't give up on this book because of it being Fantasy or Sci-fi as I was sort of intrigued by the notion of someone being a "Telepath". I think the opportunities for an interesting story were there - they needed to be grasped by an author who could write without wandering and not leaving me wondering.Edited to add: I have just noticed that I downloaded all four books in the series, so I am going to follow the comments of some reviewers and try Book 2, "Sharp".

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-10 11:57

    This pleasantly surprised me. It's not high literature, but it hit the spot for me, since I'm out of Harry Dresden, Alex Verus, and In Death books to read. This was an entertaining sci-fi police procedural in a world in which technology connectivity and AI have intentionally been limited, and an organization like "Babylon 5"'s Psi Corps exists to educate and regulate those with psychic abilities. I'm hoping that, like the series I mentioned, that the series gets deeper, and that I fall in love with the characters as they have more books to develop.

  • Text Addict
    2019-04-23 13:12

    I've held this review for over a week now, because I've been trying to explain to myself why it's a five-star book to me. All I've got is this: give me a character who grits their teeth and pushes on through internal and external devastation, back them up with decent world-building and secondary characters and plot, and I am yours, authors. Write more books for me, please. Our hero - I can't remember or even easily find his name, a hazard of the first-person narrative - regularly attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings. He used to be middle class, a professor at a private college; now he's a county police department consultant. The overall setting is The Future; this is, in essence, an SF police procedural. Our hero isn't actually a cop, though - he's a former professional telepath college professor in disgrace (having turned into a junkie). So actually it's an SF police procedural with the whole panoply of traditional psi abilities. The geographic location was a bit of a problem for me, since I hear "DeKalb County" and think Chicago - and the fact that there's a DeKalb County in four other states doesn't help. Adding "Decatur" doesn't really help, either, because there are probably dozens of places called Decatur in the US (one of which is in Illinois). So I kept wondering why it was so hot in Chicago ... Eventually I managed to nail down that we're talking about Metro Atlanta. (But not really Atlanta, because Decatur is a separate city.) This is by way of saying that the author's really very good efforts to identify the place were hampered, for me, by the fact that I know too much geography and too little about Georgia.At any rate, in this future U.S., advanced computer technology is highly restricted and regarded with paranoia because it wasn't very long ago that millions of people died in the Tech Wars because of their dependence on (and physical connection with) computer-enhanced gadgets that were under "supervirus" attack. Which I think is a clever way of creating an SF setting in which technology doesn't solve all the problems almost instantly. And these issues with tech are woven into the story with aplomb. There is a Telepaths' Guild - now there's an old psi SF trope. This one was apparently instrumental in holding advanced-region civilization together during and after the Tech Wars and has an uneasy relationship with the regular government, not to mention regular civilians. It's a bastion of wealth and privilege if you're (a useful) part of it. Interesting creative bit: Telepaths are an essential part of getting artificial glands and organs to work with the bodies they're put into. Psi abilities are integral to the plot in lots of ways,too; they're not just interesting SFnal window dressing. The story revolves around a series of peculiar murders, which (this being a novel) winds up involving the Guild, illegal tech, and our hero's personal history. I think it should've been a little less closely tied to our hero's personal history - it ties together a little *too* closely for my taste - but that's not a fatal flaw, in my opinion. The investigation plot is well done, with a few believable mistakes and misunderstandings keeping things from being resolved too soon. But for me, it's the main character and his fraught interactions with, well, everybody (including himself) that hold the book together. Some people (a lot of people) are rather hostile to telepaths; his assigned partner has troubles of her own and tolerates him as long as he's getting the job done; he has an ex-wife; and he has to work hard to stay clean. I did put the book down for a while, because I hate when visions of the future are unalterable. But I had to know what happened, and it turned out that the future *did* change somewhat because our hero knew about it and tried to get people to try to avoid it. Gritty (I balk at excess grit)? Probably a bit melodramatic (especially toward the end)? Yup. But what can I say, "the only way out is through" is my favorite theme in literature, and the rest of the book supports it just fine, thanks.

  • Susan
    2019-03-31 08:11

    The world setting is very good -- a bit like NEUROMANCER -- the dark and gritty urban setting that I'm partial to. The characters, however.... The protagonist is more than a little bit of a Gary Stu. He's whiny but a 8 star or something that makes him better than even the "elites" in their system and he can read the minds of 90 out of a 100 people at a time (I kid you not the book says this) (how is he not crazy yet) (oh wait that maybe explains some of this) and the BEST non-official detective there and everyone hates him and is mean to him etc etc (how many tropes have I hit so far?). Officer Cherabino is potentially interesting as a female character except she shows more tendencies of making like Debra Morgan (from DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER the book, not the TV series -- I've never seen the series so I don't know how she is there), meaning the author hints she is a Strong Female but in reality she is cranky and incompetent due to being Clueless. The protagonist spends every spare moment either craving drugs or whining about how hard his life is. A MILLION LITTLE PIECES is, in my opinion, a MUCH better read for a story centered around addiction. Not to mention in this case? I don't care for the protagonist, so I don't care, period, which makes all the whining...annoying.

  • Katherine McIntyre
    2019-04-07 10:56

    So, I got this book as part of the First Reads program and was anxious to give it a try. I love urban fantasy and the story sounded really fun. The writing is solid and the book contains some interesting and unique worldbuilding. The whole system of telepaths is well thought out and works well within the story. I had two big issues with this book. First off was that the first half felt very reminiscent to 'Stormfront' by Jim Butcher.But the biggest problem I had by far were the characters. Cherabino, the love interest, was harsh, which can work with some characters, but since the main character was passive, it just felt like she was being rude and mean over minute reasons. The main character was the reason this book was difficult to get through. He switches back and forth a lot complaining about the weather (too hot, too cold), his headaches, his non-relationship with Cherabino and how he's craving drugs as an ex-junkie. Most of his problems through the book are self made and while I can appreciate a flawed character, he talked really big but didn't actually do a whole lot.All in all, not a bad read, but I was hoping for more out of the characters.

  • Gergana
    2019-04-09 10:23

    Read from September 10 to 11, 2015 DNF at 26%. Too bored, not enough action, too much thinking/talking/analyzing for my taste. Just not my cup of tea. Crime thriller is a genre I tend to avoid unless there's enough fantasy/supernatural stuff going on to keep me interested. Not this time. Clean is a good book, but not MY kind of book. Moving on.

  • Laurel
    2019-03-31 10:24

    Urban sci-fi crime noir? Whatever it is, it hits all the high points I like in a good book. Excellent character development, a nice pace, well developed plot, great suspense and plenty of action. I'm in!Style wise, I'd recommend this to Dresden and/or October Daye fans. A really great debut.

  • Amyiw
    2019-04-22 13:01

    Ended up really, really liking it even with my complaints at the 1/2 way review. Most of the points are still valid with the drug addiction but I think his addiction was handled pretty well and the investigation was quite good. Continuing on in the series, I hope that the people he is surrounded by start giving him a little more respect. I still don't like his partner much and hope that she will becomes less of a strike out and ask questions later type of person. He likes her so I would hope I would at least start to like her (tolerate her) also. It is the only thing that makes this not tops for me. It is 4 1/2 stars and I will be reading on. For a first book in the series, I am bumping it up for the world and start. Hope it stays there.1/2 way in and this is pretty darn good. This only issue is the drug addict and getting into the mind. It is nothing new and I'm kind of tired of being in an addicts mind, Unholy Magic, Dirty Magic, and then there is Angel of White Trash Zombie, her addiction is cured by Zombieism but then she finds a Zombie drug in book 4 or so, then once again into the mind of an addict. Still those are pretty good also, only Unholy Ghost did I stop reading because it was just too much though I'm on the edge with Prospero's War too. I love Angel so it would take a bit, still I came to love her after a couple of books without the addict mindset. So this is really, really good, the world is a world after a tech war where the psychics guild ended up winning the war for people and now they are like the corporate boogeyman in control of psychics. The main character is hooked on some psychic drug and has been clean 3 years. He has a police partner that helps ground him during mindspace investigation. This link has formed a bond that he does not tell his partner about because she hates mind invasion and he did not know that the bond would happen. Now, they are on the trail of a serial killer, or killers, and some of the personal and professional is straining him to the edge. No one trusts him anymore because they know he is on edge, yet he is an asset that they are pretty harsh on. I can see why he is on edge and I would tell them to take a flying fuck but hey, he feels responsible and definitely is connected on a personal, and attraction way to his partner. I don't like his partner much. I do like him which is hard to do for me if the character is constantly jonesing for a fix. I have little patience for alcoholics or drug addicts, I've spent time in Al-anon, and wouldn't put myself there in anyway even in a book. Still I like him and feel there is more behind this drug and his addiction. Even in the blurb of the book it states that it is not totally his fault. And I do have the question of... if they can manipulate mind passageways so the vision, memory, etc... can be fix after an accident, why can they not do the same for addicts? Hmm...? Maybe it'll go in that direction as the book is called "Clean", hopefully we don't have this addict stuff overwhelming the future books. I hope not because I am really enjoying the storyline and would probably not continue with the series if it isn't somewhat resolved.

  • Stefan
    2019-04-03 10:18

    Adam was a successful and talented member of the Telepaths’ Guild until his drug habit got him kicked out. Now he works for the Atlanta police department as a consultant and interrogator: after all, a Level Eight Telepath like Adam, who can quite literally get inside a criminal’s head, helps immensely when it comes to extracting confessions. Despite being one of the most successful interrogators on the force, his ongoing struggles with his addiction as well as the mutual distrust between “normals” and telepaths create an uncomfortable work situation for Adam. He’s kept on a tight leash, regularly meeting with his Narcotics Anonymous sponsor and relying on the police department for food and clothing because he can’t be trusted to handle his own paycheck.Adam’s workload suddenly increases dramatically when Atlanta is shaken by a series of random murders, especially when it becomes clear that a telepath was involved in the killings. At first there’s no discernible pattern to the deaths, and the homicide department is careful to avoid using the words “serial killer,” but it won’t be long before the media gets hold of the story and public panic sets in. The pressure threatens to send Adam over the edge and destroy his precarious hold on sobriety.Read the entire review on my site Far Beyond Reality!

  • Aya
    2019-04-24 12:23

    Mindscape Investigations: 1This story is told in first-person, which isn't weird except that the reader doesn't find out the main character's name until the end of the book! Seemed like a cheap ploy to have a cutesy end scene. None of the people he interacts with ever calls him by name, not even his off and on partner of six years, with whom he's fallen stupidly in love with. The relationships in this story don't make sense. There is a sense that the main character is close to Isabella, but she is alternatively attracted, repulsed, and violent with him, while he pathetically tries to stay on her good side after mass amounts of abuse. Main character is an over-emotional idiot who keeps making bad decisions. This is not a happy book, it is angst-ridden, depressing, and there's no humor to lighten any of it. I couldn't sympathize with the main character at all, even though he was struggling. There is not even a moment of triumph at the end, bad guys vanquished, no, only more angsting, this time with guilt. Good writing technically, but this book has no heart. I have no interest in continuing this series.

  • Hilary
    2019-04-05 09:59

    I love finding great books through random pickup at the library! Take a typical mid-range police procedural (grittier than Agatha Christie and less weighty than Colin Dexter), then throw in a few twists: society is recovering from the Tech War, we have flying cars, psi-talents and the protagonist is a consulting telepath partnered with a homicide detective! So, maybe it's Lisa Gardner/Anne Perry crossed with Jim Butcher.I'm looking for book 2 right now...

  • M Hamed
    2019-04-02 15:23

    I'm just impressed she knew what stasis field or anti-grav was

  • Bonnie Randall
    2019-03-31 10:07

    Grit-lit meets urban fantasy. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I connected with the telepathic protag immediately; he’s vulnerable, fallible, occasionally witty (albeit in the most exasperated sort of way), and he has a hugely legitimate bitch: The Guild he’s been loyal to not only (inadvertently) got him hooked on a narcotic called Satin (which appears to have heroin-esque properties), but then threw him out because of it, essentially cutting him off from his culture and forcing him to navigate through a world of ‘Normals’—who appear to find telepaths vaguely abhorrent. The only thing that made me gnash my teeth was his love-struck, twitter-pated hero-worship of cop Cherabino. Adam, my man, you can do *so* much better. ‘Annoyed’ is Isabella Cherabino’s mood du jour every day of her freakin’ life, and not only does she consistently treat Adam like warmed-over dog shit., but she’s rarely straight with him, is frequently bitchy, and not once is she grateful when he helps her again and again. Adam, my friend…go give Kara another toss in the sheets. Even if it’s just recreation. Or start visiting laudromats and grocery stores. Find a nice girl. Cause Cherabino….well, Cherabino’s a bitch. (sorry, not sorry, man)Beyond Adam’s intensely shitty love-judgment, though, I loved his story, can’t wait to hear more history about the Tech Wars and the ‘scary’ Guild, and am working on Book II as we speak. Cool read. 5 Stars

  • Kim
    2019-04-20 08:04

    A excellent dystopian novel. After the Tech-Wars, tech is gone and what is left is The Guild that overlooks a sect of people who have abilities and then there are the norms. The whole novel takes place in Atlanta. for me Atlanta is home so it made the story just that much better. The protagonist is a strung out ex-junkie who is a high level telepath. He consults with the police to solve crimes. Amazingly this sets the story for a relationship that's not really a relationship with a cop he works for. Confused yet? :) Really the story is not confusing at all. The world building that Alex Hughes does is phenomenal. There are a series of murders that are all connected to our junkie/telepath along with The Guild itself. As the story unravels, we learn about each of the characters in turn and how they are important to the story and each other.A great read, can't wait for the next in the series. 4 stars.

  • Dr susan
    2019-04-19 16:04

    Wow! I will write a full review in the morning... As a child, I loved science fiction. Clean is not what I loved as a child; it is everything I love as an adult. Although I am not fond of post- apocalyptic books, this world snuck up on me. The scary apocalypse is not 'in the reader's face', but is presented gradually as the hero struggles to find his place in this world. Written in first person (I admit I love this point of view), the reader understands the characters from the telepath hero's perspective, and sees how those characters feel about his addiction. The story, the characters, the world, all sucked me in; March is very far away (the novella Payoff will be released).... and Clean is still so very good on a second reading.

  • Michael
    2019-03-29 15:09

    I won this book in a recent giveaway. I really enjoyed this book. It is a cross of detective novel and science fiction. It takes place in Atlanta in a not so distant future. It has interesting charters and plenty of action. I live in the south and have been to Atlanta several times. It is a refreshing change for the book to be set there instead of New York or Los Angeles like so many other books. I am looking forward to reading more books in this new series.

  • Stella
    2019-04-26 09:15

    Clean is the first book in Alex Hughes new exciting gritty urban fantasy series: the first in the Mindspace Investigations novels. We are sometime in the future where things are a bit changed and unfamiliar (artificial organs, anti- graviton generators for flying cars, drug-assisted telepathy), but not too far-fetched or unrealistic to make it difficult for the reader to picture or comprehend them (like deadly toxic rainwater). However it is interesting to see that due to the horrible Tech Wards when technology turned against mankind, now computers and other IT electronics are considered evil and kept at the most basic unharmful level:“So if it took three days to send an e-mail through all the layers of Quarantine, if the small Web was regarded with the same respect/ fear as a pit viper, if even Cherabino had to have a thorough background check and be monitored constantly in the Electronic Crimes works for fear she’d come across something truly dangerous, well, a lot of people had died in the Tech Wars.”The world-building of the series is fascinating and I still feel that it wasn’t explored to its full potential in the first book: we got a few mentions of the different kinds of abilities special people have like telepaths (‘teeps’), teleporters (‘jumpers’), etc. and there are even different categories within these classes:“Psych, Off, and Construct.” When her eyes narrowed, I explained. “Psych is trained in psychology and telepathy; they treat mental illness. If you want somebody to lose their mommy issues for good, you call Psych.”“So schizophrenia and stuff?” she asked.“No, schizophrenia is actually a brain-chemistry or mind-structure issue—Biochem or Construct. Psych treats the more normal kinds of mental illness, usually the severe ones talk therapy doesn’t touch. Off is Offensive Battle, the black ops guys. They’re trained to kill, because, well, that’s what they do for a living. They’re all at least a little crazy by definition, and mostly you hope it’s not at you. And Construct—the deconstructionists—well, we’re the structure guys. The mind, not the brain, though the two influence each other. If you want a criminal to literally not be able to think about molesting children again, or if you’ve lost your ability to see color from a brain injury and you want it back, or if you want to literally upgrade your personal memory and remember more of what you see, we’re the guys you call.”The story is narrated by our nameless hero, who has worked for the Guild (a mysterious kind of Ministry of Magic) as an extremely high telepath but since he was fired due to his drug addiction, he now works for the local police department, helping the cops with interrogations (comes in handy being able to see/hear what the suspect is thinking about ) and especially assisting Isabella Cherabino, a tough and efficient detective.I really enjoyed the voice of the hero in Clean, first of all I found it very unique and refreshing to have a male protagonist in an urban fantasy (besides Clean I have only read one other with a hero narrator: Master of None by Sonya Bateman), and I found the tone of his narrative honest and unreserved.“I was not the guy I was ten years ago. I was not the golden boy, the genius professor, the idealist anymore. I was a drug addict, a cynic— a doubter.”He was truthful with his shortcomings, his weaknesses and doubts, and getting a glimpse into the mind of an ex-addict was enlightening. It was interesting to see his constant never ending battle against his addiction, that it is an everyday nonstop thought in the back of his head. I finally understood what addicts mean when they say that they remain addicts forever for the rest of their life, they just strive to be sober for one day at a time.On the other hand I am still ambivalent about Cherabino, our heroine. She is a strong woman lives for justice and doing her job, but she came off rather bitchy always hostile and cranky towards the hero and the world. That’s why his affection for her was like a self inflicted punishment. I hope that in the next books Cherabino will accept and make peace with their connection and let him closer to her, not just for the sake of some romance (which I would love to see of course!) but also for her to achieve some peace and contentment. She had an awfully traumatic past and I get that she is still scarred and broken, that’s why she needs to have someone care about her.“I thought of Cherabino. Beautiful Cherabino, strong, angry, quiet, sad Cherabino. The woman who’d brought greenhouse-grown lilies to her husband’s grave. The one who’d taught me that being beaten up wasn’t the end, and how to fight back. The woman who’d dragged me kicking and screaming into a healthy life, again and again, with no regard for the consequences to herself. The woman who’d called me a failure and meant it. Cherabino in the living room with the silky robe, her hair loose and beautiful, her body . . . I moved that one aside. Cherabino.”Despite Clean being rather a dark and gloomy urban fantasy story the hero’s honest, self-deprecating and sarcastic sense of humour made me chuckle several times:“I have to be at the . . . You’ve already set up a meeting with Kara?” she barked. “What did you do, send a psychic message by pigeon?” “Something like that.” Most people called it the phone, but if I got social capital from the mystery, so be it.Swartz let me sit for about thirty seconds before grilling me. “So, what are you grateful for this week?”“Puppies. Sunshine. Rainbows.”Regarding a cop having been kidnapped:“Rumor had it [the captain] had told her getting herself kidnapped was against department policy. An amateur mistake.”Verdict: Clean is a dark and gritty urban fantasy with fascinating and rich world-building, a unique and genuine hero who has weaknesses and self questioning and does not gloss over his doubts and insecurities. I am very much looking forward to the next novels not only to read about another heart-pounding mystery but also to discover more about the secondary characters and get a more complex understanding of them (and of course to see a relationship blossom between the hero and Cherabino).Plot: 7/10Characters: 8/10Writing: 9/10Ending: 9/10 - perfect last lines :-)Cover: 9/10 - very memorable and gives a good sense of the storyI give Clean 4 stars!

  • Kathy Davie
    2019-04-08 13:26

    First in the Mindspace Investigation urban fantasy/police procedural based in a dystopian world that fell apart when computer viruses, well, "ate" the world. The series is based in Atlanta.My TakeThere was a very real quality to the story, enhanced by Hughes' treatment of his male protagonist. Adam screwed up. Big time. Now he's struggling to cope with his addiction, the scorn from everyone with whom he works, and his own attraction to his partner.Hughes certainly paints a depressing picture, and yet it feels so accurate in terms of someone battling an addiction. Kicking at the 12-step process, kicking at the whole apology requirement, kicking at everyone else who wrecked his life. We get a hint of what started the downward spiral, and even that is couched in terms of someone else's fault. I am curious as to whether it turns out to be a "plot" to take him down. It would be consistent. It appears as if no one likes the guy, and yet he still has some ethics left from which he won't back down.The story is very much from Adam's point of view. It's all I, I, I, BUT don't let that or my comments above leave you thinking he's self-obsessive, it's simply a convenient device to get us into his head. It certainly provides interesting insight into how to interview suspects! And there's the struggle he endures to explain his telepathy to his hostile co-workers. Oh, boy.I enjoyed how Hughes used the telepathy to create issues between Adam and Cherabino as he keeps inadvertently picking up conversation that's only in her head and responding to it. It sets up the antagonism very quickly. It becomes more interesting when we learn she's also attracted to him, but doesn't want to be.Hughes does well in setting up this world and providing enough backstory that I didn't feel lost and yet leaving out enough to make me want to come back for more. In fact, most of the story is all about setting up the series with the case Adam and Cherubino are working holding it together. And held together very well. There is no sense of the dreaded info dump! Yeahh!! I didn't pick this up until I started going through my notes.It's a future with flying cars, but everyone is terrified of computers. Getting an email forces you to go through layers and layers of security---and no one would have it any other way.Oh, the going gets a little tough, and he weasels out?The StoryIt starts with Adam's typical day: interviewing suspects using his telepathy before being dragged out to "read" a scene where a NOTa-serial-killer-victim's body is found. As much as Adam might want, the clues ain't lyin', and no one wants to call in the Guild. Least of all him.The CharactersAdam is a highly qualified telepath, a Level Eight, who got kicked out of the Telepaths Guild due to his drug addiction. Due to politics, he's still under the Guild's jurisdiction because of his high skill level and must walk a fine line between openness with the police while hiding Guild secrets. He's employed as a consultant with the police, mostly interviewing the hardcore. Swartz is Adam's 12-step sponsor. They meet daily, sometimes twice daily besides the frequent check-in phone calls. Man, that'd be enough to keep me from getting addicted! How does he have time to have a life?Detective Isabelle Cherabino holds his chain. She's supposed to be Homicide, but also works Electronics. Pete is/was her husband and an assistant DA. "Sergeant Branen is the head of Homicide and Cherabino's boss." Annnd, he doesn't like Adam. Lieutenant Maria Paulsen is Adam's boss. Michael is a junior cop with a lot on the ball. Claudia Piccanonni is the GBI lead profiler. Bob has an implant, a cybernetic worker, who can process computer data almost faster than the computer. He's shunned because of the implant. Ethan Ricks is a jerk, too interested in throwing his weight around. Bellury seems to be one of the few cops who are okay with Adam. Andrew specializes in accounting issues and has a small Gift.Joey the Fish is a small-time operator who rose in the ranks due to Adam's spilling on all the big fish. Maloy is his absent boss. The Darkness is a crime family in Atlanta with Garrett Fiske head of the Southeast group. Kara Chenoa is the Guild's public relations attaché, Adam's former fiancée, and the one who ratted him out. Logan is her current husband. Dane was the friend who died, sending Adam into that desire to drug away the pain. Stewart was Dane's friend and researching drugs to improve telepathy. Adam's source. Jason Bradley took over from Dane. Jamie Skelton is the sergeant's ex-wife and the woman who ran the Precog department for more than twenty years. Neil Henderson is a practical joker, worked in research, and more recently as a Tuner. Rashim is one of the black ops guys.Jonathan Evans is the head of gland production for Ultrate Bioproducts.The Tech Wars almost destroyed the world when superviruses ran amuck---think Terminator. The Koshna Treaty Accords let the Guild police their own---when they do it---and gives them Homeland Security-type powers. Yup, life and death in their hands.The CoverThe cover makes me think of John Taylor from Simon R. Green's Nightside series---a man in a white overcoat has his back to us, his arms away from his sides as though he's going for his guns against a lit-up city backdrop of skyscrapers.The title is sweet. Adam battles his desire for a hit throughout until the end when he discovers the reasons he wants to be Clean.

  • Sionna
    2019-04-04 13:24

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I can't say I liked the Mc for the majority of the book, but in the end, he grew on me. He is rough around the edges and going through hell, but he is working on it. Cherabino is more my speed, but we don't get into her head as much as I'm used to in books. I don't think this is a bad thing though, more something that will be brought up in future books. The characters really seemed like cops to me and made the book more realistic. The plot was interesting and in fact suspenseful. I found myself sucked into the story, blood pumping and gasping at times. This was really unexpected. I did not think I would get into the book and form attachments to the characters that much, but I was! The reason I didn't think I would be brought in all the way, was because for most of the book I felt disconnected. There is much mention to the Tech wars, but we aren't told exactly that was. Nor, when telepaths and such were made public, or if everyone always knew. At times, I felt that this pulled me out of the book or that I was reading book #2. Yet, when thinking about it, it makes sense. Why would the MC explain the Tech Wars to himself? The brief mentions and peeks into what happened make much more sense. I believe the background is something that will continue to be unfolded as the series continues. There is some explanation on telepaths, teleporters, etc. which I felt was needed, so I lapped it up. It is quite interesting. It does make me wonder why some of the new things our MC is going through weren't already made public... at least to him. So, at this point I'm kinda invested in the characters and I want to see where this story goes. Definitely one I'd recommend in the future :) I look forward to reading the next book when I get the time.

  • Marlene
    2019-04-05 16:22

    Originally published at Reading RealityThe first book in Alex Hughes’ Mindspace Investigations series is one of those stories for which the concept of “book hangover” was invented. I was so completely absorbed by her vision of near-future slightly-dystopian Atlanta, and not just because I used to live there.This is a dark and gritty landscape in a paranoid post-Tech Wars future. Admiral Adama (Battlestar Galactica) would feel right at home, because what little Tech they have left is not allowed to network with much other Tech, for fear it might get itself together and fight back. Again.But in order to fight off the viruses created in the Tech Wars, they unleashed something even more potentially dangerous. Some people have developed telepathic powers. And in return for bringing the Tech Wars to an end, the Guild of Telepaths won the right of self-governance.They seem to be a “state within a state”. Some people with Ability don’t have enough to be more than sensitive. Others are forced to register with the Guild and live under Guild jurisdiction for the rest of their lives. It can be a pretty cushy life, unless you screw up.And then there’s our hero. The story is told from his first-person perspective, so we don’t know his name until the very last line of the book. (You don’t call yourself by your name very often, do you?)Our hero is a consultant with the DeKalb County Police Department. And he is way beyond screwed up. He used to be the darling of the Guild, until he got addicted to a very dangerous narcotic called Satin. Now he clings to sobriety by his fingernails and by resting a little too often in the Mindspace of his police detective partner, Isabella Cherabino.Until his past comes hunting for him, racking up a body count all over the county. Someone in the Guild has a score to settle with him, and he doesn’t even remember why. All he knows is that he has a vision of death that he has to prevent, any way he can. Even if no one trusts him enough to believe him.Escape Rating A+: I loved Clean so much I bought the novella, Payoff: Novella, the instant I finished. The world that Alex Hughes has created is absolutely awesome, and I want to wallow in it. I wouldn’t live there if you paid me, but I want to keep reading until my eyeballs fall out.Her flawed hero is somebody special. The darling who forgets who he stepped on when he was climbing up, and then gets kicked on the way down. All the way down. He’s vulnerable and wounded and still trying so damn hard to just get through each day clean. Sometimes he fails, and we feel his control slipping. He reminds me a lot of the variation of Sherlock in Elementary; the addict who is using his cases and being needed to solve them as an alternative drug. Hughes’ hero has fallen further and broken harder, he’s also cracked open more and has learned the value of some of the social niceties. But there’s a kinship.Cherabino seems like the classic combination of tough chick and by-the-book cop, until we find out what made her that way, and then this hidden core of pain is revealed. She’s still tough and she’s still by-the-book, but there’s so much more to her character.Someday there might even be a romance, but in the fine tradition of urban fantasy, I expect to wait an excellent long while for it.About the case itself...this was a time where the first-person perspective worked very well (it doesn’t always). Our hero doesn’t remember why the villain is targeting him, so he can’t reveal what he doesn’t know. And the villain is more than a bit off his rocker. Adding to the tension is the need for the hero to decide how many of the Guild’s secrets he can afford to reveal to his police employers in these particular circumstances, where a telepathic serial killer is dumping bodies all over the landscape, bringing the attention of the newspapers to secrets the Guild would rather be kept, well, secret.Cops, killers, telepaths and stellar worldbuilding. What’s not to love?

  • Kristin Taggart
    2019-04-21 16:22

    I don't use star ratings, so please read my review!(Description nicked from B&“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.”When I first picked up this novel, I thought it was going to be a case of an unlikeable narrator and that the main thing I’d need to be watching for was whether or not the author made me like him in spite of his issues. That’s not quite the case here. The main character (unnamed until the last page of the book) is no longer using drugs, and he’s more than two years clean, but he still craves a fix through most of the book. The author keeps this from being too intrusive by making it clear that the case he’s working on is stressing him to the utmost, which is the kind of situation sure to test the resolve of any addict.I found the relationship between the main character and Detective Cherabino to be one of the more interesting and unusual ones that I’ve seen. A lot of this is because readers aren’t coming into the relationship on the ground floor; it’s stated in the story that the two have known each other for at least five years. While it’s odd to not see the development of a relationship that’s so central to the story, it’s also a refreshing change to see a pair that doesn’t fall head over heels for each other after only knowing each other for a few days. These two have a history, and even though we haven’t seen that history for ourselves, it’s easy to see that it’s the foundation for everything in the story.The worldbuilding is an interesting mix of high-tech and low-tech. They have things like flying cars and computers, but the Tech Wars, which haven’t been gone into in much detail, have made people afraid of technology that’s too complicated. Many functions that used to be taken care of by technology are now overseen by the Guild—the gap left by the Tech Wars is a natural place for a powerful organization to move in and take over, and it doesn’t feel like the Guild is in a place where it wouldn’t naturally be. What I hope to see in future novels is more backstory on where the telepaths came from and how they came to be known to the rest of humanity. I liked the way police procedure works in this story given the existence of telepaths. The main character is in an interesting position: there’s a lot that he can do to find evidence with his talents, but he’s not trusted due to his past drug use. He does sometimes work with Guild telepaths, and that brings up the chains of evidence and proof that are required. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about how police gather evidence of crimes, but the mix of real life and fiction in this novel seems plausible to me.Clean is a novel that delivers a good story and promises to unveil some intriguing mysteries in the future. There’s plenty that’s unique in the intersection of technology and telepathy, and it creates a full and nuanced world. I’m looking forward to the next novel in this series.This review originally appeared on Owlcat Mountain on April 29, 2013.