Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book Notes: "Clean" (Mindspace Investigations #1), by Alex Hughes

Clean, by Alex Hughes, is a sci-fi detective novel set in a futuristic Georgia. Our hero is a disgraced telepath, fighting to stay clean after kicking a drug addiction. He contracts out his services to the local police department.

Usually, he spends his days in the interview room of the police station, trying to get confessions out of the assortment of thugs and petty criminals that the cops drag in. But then some strange murders start happening, and he gets caught up in the hunt for a serial killer.

There were two things I really enjoyed about this book. The first is that it gave me what I like to call "good book hangover." That's when you're going throughout your day, and this taste floats through the back of your mind. It feels kind of like the tune of a song you've forgotten, but liked. It's just an atmospheric sort of an emotion, but a good one, and you think, "What is that? What does that remind me of?" and you realize, "Oh, it's the way that book I was reading made me feel."

I liked this book because it gave me Good Book Hangover. The emotions of it came into my mind when I was away from it, and it was a pleasant reminder. (Which is weird, because serial killers are not pleasant, right? But any story can be told well.) It wasn't OH MY GOODNESS I AM RUINED FOR OTHER STORIES book hangover, but "Clean" definitely resonated with me in a good way, and there are plenty of well-told stories that never manage to do that.

The other thing I really liked about this book was the way that Hughes was always juggling about three different plot threads: the murders, the hero's fight against his addiction, and the hero's relationship with his cop partner.  All three of these threads were always weaving in and out around each other, and in ways that made interesting patterns. Hughes never dropped any of them, or forgot about any of them, but juggled them gracefully, and in ways where each thread made the other ones more interesting because of how they interacted. (And they all came together nicely in the climax of the story.)

If you don't like sci-fi or mysteries, you might not like this. But if you like both, you probably will. Recommended.

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

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