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Clean: A Mindspace Investigations Novel Mass Market Paperback – September 4, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


“A fun blend of Chinatown and Blade Runner.”—James Knapp, author of State of Decay

"An unnamed telepathic hero battles bad guys and his addiction to super-drug Satin in this tightly written futuristic detective story set in an alternate Atlanta…. This crisp debut marks Hughes as a writer to watch." - Publisher's Weekly

"Well-paced and tightly written with plenty of suspense, this should appeal to fantasy and mystery fans alike." - RT Book Review.

From the Back Cover

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Mindspace Investigations Novel
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Original edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451464753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451464750
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alex Hughes, the author of the award-winning Mindspace Investigations series from Roc, has lived in the Atlanta area since the age of eight. Her short fiction has been published in several markets including EveryDay Fiction, Thunder on the Battlefield and White Cat Magazine. She is an avid cook and foodie, a trivia buff, and a science geek, and loves to talk about neuroscience, the Food Network, and writing craft--but not necessarily all at the same time! For all the latest news and free short stories, join Alex's email list at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Martin VINE VOICE on September 8, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
CLEAN is a new urban fantasy with a unique main character. He is a very powerful telepath who has been kicked out of the Guild because of a drug habit. The Guild controls, educates, and certifies for employment those who have strong psychic abilities. The Guild saved Western Civilization during the Tech Wars but had to get very scary to do so. Now, by treaty, they govern their own and keep their own secrets.

Our hero now works for the police primarily as an interviewer and battles his addiction. Because of a recent lapse in sobriety, he is not trusted by very many of the police officers he works with. But when he and his partner/mentor Isabella Cherabino are called to the scene of a recent murder, our hero recognizes that this has to be a crime committed by psychics. Besides being a telepath, our hero also occasionally has precognitive visions. He has one that tells him the he and Cherabino are in danger from a psychic attack in a warehouse that greatly damages Cherabino and kills him. He is determined to watch Cherabino even though she doesn't really trust him and hates the idea that he could be reading her mind. Our hero also has to work with his ex-fiance at the Guild when he needs information from them to track down the one who is doing the killing.

This was a tense, action packed thriller as the police and our hero have to track down a killer. The world building was interesting. The anti-technology bias and the rising power of the Guild were there in contrast to police procedures that would fit right in with any contemporary mystery novel. Psychic gifts from telepathy to telekenisis to teleportation to precognition were all present in this world. Those with psychic gifts were generally feared and avoided.

You will note that I haven't given our hero's name.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By JK on September 6, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Hunkins on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
'Clean' is a wonderful read that richly details a Sci-Fi future, characters with weaknesses to match their strengths, a murder mystery with personal stakes, a true conclusion that satisfies, and provides a great beginning to a series.

The revelations of everything from character traits to world details and clues are revealed remarkably well. Too often I find this information feeling force fed and I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of detail here contrasted by the subtlety of the delivery.

This is simply an amazing first novel. I've pre-ordered the next book <a href="">Sharp: A Mindspace Investigations Novel</a>.

It's nice to see that the next book already has a release date. It indicates to me that the author has a well conceived plan to match the beautiful story telling style demonstrated here.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anna Lemkau on September 14, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Our hero is a telepath and he use to work for the guild until they banned him for his drug abuse. Nowadays he works for the police, specifically with Isabella Cherabino. Cherabino's recent case is a hard one. Six different murders and she's stumped. She will need our hero's telepathic help to catch the killer.

Good read! I loved the setting and the world-building was excellent. For me there was slow patch at the beginning. But all in all Clean was an intriguing story, with a complex hero. I quite liked him. While he is pretty messed up, he came off feeling very realistic. As for the love interest (if you can call her that) Isabella Cherabino was a bit of a crab ass. From the moment she appeared, she rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't care for her at all. If you enjoy a good murder mystery with a dash of science fiction and urban fantasy then you'll want to check out Clean.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Fred on May 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to confess, I found this book a bit of a slog to get through. The main character, who has had struggles with addiction, is fairly unlikable. He's supposed to be a good guy, but he came across as weak. I suppose it was because he represented the addict trying to go on with his daily life, with the constant pull of addiction always in the back of his mind. Still, it got repetitive and grating. I found it hard to relate. I did not care for the defacto "love interest" at all. Her defining personality characteristics were a) angry and b) damaged. And the surrounding cast was interchangeable and shared the personality traits of being jerks, distrustful, and ill-defined.

The protagonist's job is as an outside interrogator to the police department. But he can't use his powers, only he threat of them? It's bizarre, and other than initial scene or two, never gets described again.

The Abilities (telepathy, teleport, telekinesis) were ill-defined, and the world-building was very vague. Other than a brief description of polluted rain, I did not get a clear picture of what this world was like.

Finally- the plot....huh? People are getting killed, but motivations and any villains are hazy and/or indeterminable at best. I get that the book is told through the perspective of the main character, and he wouldn't know motivations of anyone else, or what they might be thinking unless he was present. I respect the author for sticking to that. Still, there's a balance, and I'm not sure this worked.

Clearly, judging by the number of decent reviews this book has garnered, I am in the minority in my opinion. But, it's my opinion, so there you go :)
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