Thursday, April 18, 2013

ARC Review: Sharp by Alex Hughes

Author: Alex Hughes
Publication: Roc (April 2, 2013)

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...

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this second entry into Alex Hughes' Mindscape Investigations series. I liked watching Adam grow and make some tough choices. In his last case, he had to deal with a telepath who was also a serial killer. This brought him to the very negative attention of the very secretive Guild of telepaths. 

This story begins with Adam being called to the scene of a murder and finding out that the victim was one of the students he accidentally stripped of her telepathic powers when he was under the influence of the drug that got him kicked out of the Guild. The Guild would really rather that he had died on the streets from an overdose of the drug. 

Adam is clean now in part because of the devotion of his Narcotics Anonymous sponsor Jonathan Swartz and in part because he has found a purpose for his life working with the police department. He is especially close to Isabella Cherabino with whom he accidentally formed a mind link. This has really freaked Cherabino out because, like most people, she doesn't trust telepaths and doesn't want to share her mind with one. He is slowly rebuilding trust with her. Then the Guild comes calling because they might want him back and certainly want to monitor him to make sure he isn't telling any Guild secrets.

Adam has lots of stresses in this story which isn't good for a man who still fights everyday to stay drug-free. The police department is down-sizing due to budget cuts and his job could be on the line. He is at odds with Cherabino who is a strong, sane, helping hand when he is down. His NA sponsor suffers a major heart attack. One of Adam's students was murdered. The Guild plants a tag in his mind so that they can make sure he isn't a danger to them which increases suspicion in the police department and the FBI is investigating him. There are other stressors to but edge into spoiler territory. 

In the world that Hughes has created, technology went wild and killed millions when a madman took control of the semisentient computers and spread computer viruses to people's implants. Tech is not allowed and is greatly feared. Now someone is hijacking components that could be used to recreate that Tech and it gets mixed up in Adam's murder case.

Fans of urban fantasy who want a main character who isn't a superhero will really enjoy this story. I can't wait to read further Mindspace Investigations novels.

Favorite Quote:
She had to swallow. It was like the weight of the world, of someone she loved, was sitting squarely on her, and I hurt to see it. This was Cherabino, for all our differences. This was the woman who'd given me a chance, and a new life. I'd do anything for her. Anything.
I received a copy of this ARC because I am on the blog tour for the book. You can buy your copy of the book here

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