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Clean: A Mindspace Investigations Novel (edition 2012)

by Alex Hughes

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1851763,896 (3.54)9
Member:darkpurpose
Title:Clean: A Mindspace Investigations Novel
Authors:Alex Hughes
Info:Roc (2012), Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
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Clean by Alex Hughes

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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Clean reminds me of [b:Unshapely Things|388793|Unshapely Things (Connor Grey, #1)|Mark Del Franco|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309138300s/388793.jpg|378412]: the main character, a telepath, is damaged (an addict in this case, a loss of ability in Unshapely Things), who got kicked out of the Guild (people with abilities in this book, Fae in Unshapely Things) and who is now working for the police as a consultant.
I didn't get the character's name until the very end - the last two lines of the book. It's Adam. Weird. When I've read those lines, my first though was "Who's Adam?"



( )
  Aneris | Apr 22, 2017 |
It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that managed to give me so many mixed feelings!

The narrator of Clean is a drug addicted telepath. After getting kicked out of the Telepath’s Guild, he makes a living by working for police, mainly by using his telepathic powers to tease information out of suspects during interviews. But his routine begins to fall to pieces when a new killer starts stalking Atlanta and he’s called upon to help investigate. All signs point to the killer having some form of psychic powers, but otherwise clues are sparse.

I first saw Clean in my college’s book shop, under the section for books by faculty and alumnae. I did a bit of investigating, and it’s written by a grad of my college and set largely in Decatur! That means I’d actually been to some of the locations in the book, which is always a ton of fun.

In general, I really liked Clean’s world building. While I’d originally pegged it as urban fantasy, it turns out to have a good dose of science fiction in it as well. The novel’s set an unspecified amount of time in the future, after the Tech Wars shattered the West’s faith in technology. Usage of computers and networking is highly regulated and practically nonexistent for the average person. I also enjoyed the idea of a Telepath’s Guild and how psychic powers were worked into the narrative. The blending of genres made Clean one of the more original urban fantasy novels I’ve encountered.

The narrator became addicted to drugs before the start of the novel and has been in recovery for several years, although he had a couple of relapses. I don’t know enough about addiction to say how accurately it was depicted, but I did find that it helped the protagonist stand out from the crowd. I started off liking the protagonist, but as the book went on I found myself getting angrier and angrier with the narrative choices the author was making.

Aside from the narrator, the most important character is his partner, Detective Isabella Cherabino. She repeatedly tells him to stay out of her mind, but he deliberately and repeatedly snoops around in her head. Oh, and she’s also his love interest, which made his lack of respect for her personal boundaries that much more disturbing. Combined with how obsessive he was about protecting her, it honestly reminded me of those lists of abusive relationship warning signs.

But what really gets me is how the narrative justifies his behavior! Cherabino gets kidnapped and the narrator has to snoop in her head to rescue her. He actually wonders if he should force his way into her mind when she resists him. As if that’s not bad enough, a number of related narrative choices are throwing gasoline on the fire. First of all, she was kidnapped specifically because of her close relationship to the protagonist, making her feel totally damselled. Secondly, the narrative keeps heavily implying that she would have been raped if he hadn’t saved her in time. Can these plot choices get any more disgusting?

I was enjoying Clean in the beginning, but by the end I was pissed off. I’m not recommending this one.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page. ( )
  pwaites | Mar 1, 2017 |
A different type of setting -- the future where tech is shunned. A telepathic criminal investigation plot -- very inventive. Enjoyed the first person writing and was drawn in to having good overcome evil and for Cherabino. ( )
  skraft001 | Sep 15, 2016 |
This is a story set some time in the future where society has drawn back from Tech because of the destruction of the Tech Wars.
The hero is an extremely powerful telepath, working for the police on sufferance because he's been thrown out of the Guild because of a drug addiction he's constantly fighting. He's not trusted by anyone, and with reason as he's very much an addict.
He's involved in a very dangerous investigation against powerful enemies which reaches back to the Guild itself and they don't appreciate the investigation, especially by him and he really doesn't want to bring himself back to their attention. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
Okay, so, I read these as audiobooks.

I..... think I love this narrator. He is who should have subbed in for James Marsters in the Dresden series when he wasn't available. And he brings the same level of resigned determination to his narration that Marsters does, which gives this book a flavor that reminded me very strongly of Dresden.

You might argue this isn't urban fantasy. It is, but with a sci-fi, techy feel to it. Telepath in an anti-telepath's world.

Either way, I devoured this series -- what's available of it. I loved them. And I can't wait for more. I can't believe these are as poorly known as they are. ( )
  lyrrael | Oct 17, 2015 |
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To Paula Gillispie and Julie Gray, because I promised.  To Dan Marshall, because he deserves it.
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My first interview of the night was Esperanza Mensalez-Mar, a thirty-something woman dressed in a pink-pressed suit I suspected cost more than my last paycheck.
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"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" -- p. [4] of cover.… (more)

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