Review: Clean (Mindspace Investigations #1) by Alex Hughes

September 7, 2012 Review 3


(Mindspace Investigations, #1)
by Alex Huges

Genre: Urban Fantasy|
Excerpt: YesBook Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail| Source: Netgalley

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (September 4, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0451464753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451464750


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content

Kissing. Mild sensuality. References to rape


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.


CLEAN is a cool book.  That’s all there is to it.  It has the kind of worldbuilding you can sink your teeth into, a damaged anti-hero who falls for an even more damaged anti-heroine, and an investigation to catch a teleporting serial killer.

The procedural aspects of CLEAN are sharp and interesting even for a reader who doesn’t normally go for procedurals.  The real hook, however, was the worldbuilding.  A small percentage of the population has an Ability.  They can be telepaths, telekinetics, or teleportors.   Some have a small Ability, others–like our protagonist–have a frightening amount of power.  That is until he got hooked on an experimental drug that got him kicked out of the Telepath’s Guild, living in a closet sized apartment devoid of anything he might hock for drug money, and stuck working as an interrogator for the police.

He’s a wonderfully messed up character.  Some of the best passages in CLEAN are where he’s wrestling with himself about whether or not to get high.  He’ll plot out exactly how he’ll do it, even knowing that it’ll destroy his life and irrevocably sever the tenuous relationships he’s been building at the department with his boss and also Detective Cherabino.  The protagonist (whose name we don’t learn until the end of the book) is very much a Harry Dresden type character, and Cherabino is a more angry version of Murphy.  There is a romance that they dance around, but there are a lot of pretty significant issues keeping them apart like his drug problem and inability to stay out of her head.  But I liked these two messed up characters a lot.  I’ll be rooting for them in the sequel.

If you like The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, this series looks to be tailor made for Harry and Murphy fans.   Since I can’t read Alex Hughes’s mind, I’ll have to wait for the next book in the Mindspace Investigations series which is titled SHARP and will be published on April 2, 2013.

Titles in Series

  1. Clean
  2. Sharp

Similar Titles

  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

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3 Responses to “Review: Clean (Mindspace Investigations #1) by Alex Hughes”

  1. Raine

    All of the sudden, I can picture a live-action drama for this one. 😀 Very interesting world. I’m curious about this daily struggle of his on trying to get high and even mapping it out and what aspect of his character that makes him stop while making his dues to the society. I’ve heard of Dresden Files and was trying to sort of find book 1 first than pick up a title already in the middle of the series. Will be listing this down in my TBR pile. 😀

      • Raine

        Thanks for the rec 😀 I hope someone will make/turn this into a TV show. Maybe JJ. Abrams? This sounds like something he might be interested. hehe