Sharp by Alex Hughes (Mindspace Investigation #2)
April 2, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
Going by the number of Goodreads and Amazon reviews for this series, I say – this is the best series you are not reading. It’s like JD Robb meets Jim Butcher. Set in the future, with a strong murder-mystery suspense element, the world is the result of a Tech war, where millions died and technology can no longer be trusted. Our hero, Adam is a very high-level telepath who consults with the police department. His partner, Cherabino is a very tough detective who Adam is attracted to, although let me stress the romance is VERY light in these books. It reminds me of early Harry Dresden and Murphy’s relationship. Thrown together not really willingly but it makes for a fun partnership.
In Sharp, the second book of this series, Adam has many things going on. First and foremost a woman was strangled, her husband is missing and Adam and Cherabino must figure out who murdered her. The victim is someone Adam knows from the Guild. The Guild plays a big part in this book. Adam was a professor at the Guild, until an accident where he accidentally destroyed the minds of three of his best students. Thrown out, turning to drugs, Adam eventually became a consultant with the police. His sobriety is a daily struggle (something I think portrayed so well in this series). Even though he was tossed out of the Guild, he is such a strong telepath, they refuse to just let him go and they are an annoying presence in his life. With budget cuts coming to the police department, Adam fears he will lose his job. His job means everything to him. It’s that thin thread that gives him purpose and motivation in life to not fall back on drugs.
Told only in Adam’s POV, he is such an intriguing character. He carries such guilt with him for being addicted to drugs and changing the lives of his three students for the worse. He does his best to lead a good life now, but the weight he carries is so, so heavy. He relies heavy on his AA mentor and his job. Due to past events in book one, his telepath gift is weak and he has a telepathic connection to Cherabino that he wants to keep on the down low. His powers are not strong, yet he can’t let onto anyone that this is the case, further weighing him down. His relationship (if you can call it that) with Cherabino is almost all professional, except the times she catches his thoughts about him thinking about her boobs or something else unprofessional. They have great banter back and forth and one day I can’t wait to see Cherabino drop her defenses and give into her attraction (which I know is there!)
The suspense and mystery plot is well done in this one. I love the idea that in this world “Tech” which is a combination of technology and biological warfare that decimated half of the population is still feared. Any technological chip of any kind can make the most powerful scared. It’s a cool world, and one that is definitely open to more exploration.
So if you like a futuristic, murder-mystery driven world, with a male protagonist that definitely has his share of woes and misery, give this series a shot. I recommend starting with book one, Clean. You can read my review here.