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.
©2012 Alexandra Hughes (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Bought the title on sale and enjoyed the narrator and the narrative. Adam is a junkie and spends a fair bit of time resisting the siren call of his drug which happens just enough to empathise with his guilt and his pain. The narrator has the right voice for the character and makes it work well for the narrative. Plenty of strong female characters, and the story crackles along at great pace. Told in a non-linear style many of the reasons for Adam's thoughts and actions don't become clear until well into the story. I like that in an author, making a reader think and wait a while. Dresden Files fans may enjoy this entry in the genre.
Paranormal-urban fantasy book lover!
Unique & interesting story but over use of many phrases and lines. Off the top of my head, here are a few. "She took in a deep breath and blew out a line of air" used way too many times. The main character, Adam, smokes and constantly complains about his lungs and how hard it is for him to breathe when he exerts himself but never speaks of quitting and in the next scene is smoking again only to complain more. He also talks about "The one thing you learn in the Guild is..." And throughout the book points out MANY of the one thing the Guild teaches them. It's little things like this that put me off to the book but the storyline is interesting enough that I went ahead with the second book. I have to say I had a hard time following the second book starting halfway through. But that will be in that review.
The narrator did a good job but his voices for the women needs work. I'm sure it's hard for a man to do justice to a female voice but his portrayal for the women was just awful except for the main female character.
I'm not sure if I would recommend this book. If you are ok with the over use of phrases and so on then give the book a chance, it may not be as annoying to everybody else as it was to me.
I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.
Probably not again, but I will listen to the next 2 books in the series.
I would say at the end, the way the book was tied together. Poignant and clever.
Fantastic job. He captures the regret of the main character without making you feel sorry for him. This book was surprising to me. It is part film noir, part X Files but it does not feel derivative. It feels familiar, enjoyable and the characters feel like new characters. It is dark but the crime scenes are not gruesome or uncomfortable. The author hit just the right notes and I look forward to the next 2 books.
I rarely do that but I did find myself listening to it when I usually don't listen to books. This indicates that I was involved an entertained.
I am not someone who listens to crime or paranormal books. I am a Sci Fi fan, but I thought I would try something new. I am glad I did. The characters are great, which is ultimately what makes any book worthwhile for me. I found myself invested in the characters, the story was interesting and the narrator was fantastic.
This was a totally engrossing, interesting book. The future envisioned by the author was believable and convincingly written. The main character is an addicted telepath that is currently clean, but at times coming close to losing his sobriety because of job stress and personal stress. He is very human in his weaknesses and it makes the story more interesting and draws you more fully into his world. The narration was good and did not detract from the story in any way. I am looking forward to adding the second book in this series to my library and listening to another good book!
I loved the story line. I am glad to see someone with great abilities with issues beyond their control. I could not understand why the book was called "Clean," until his addition struggle was over shadowing his every thought. I also enjoyed the ending not ending with the capture of the bad guys becoming the main focus of the book.
I read mostly read/listen to nonfiction. Some of it is fun, like Amy Stewart’s 2013 “The Drunken Botanist.” Most of it is detailed, thought provoking, and sometimes difficult to understand – like Simon Baron-Cohen’s 2011 “The Science of Evil” or Marc J. Seiffer’s 2011 “Wizard”, which is a biography of Tesla.
When I need a break, I listen to light fiction – mostly murder mysteries. I thought I was just getting detective fiction with a future twist with Alex Hughes’ 2012, “Clean: A Mindspace Investigation Novel, Book 1”. Clean is set in a future Atlanta after a tech war reminiscent of James Cameron’s “Terminator” movies. Human telepaths save North America. After the war, ‘The Guild’ (of telepaths) enter into a treaty to govern and discipline themselves.
The hero/narrator was kicked out of ‘The Guild’ after developing a serious ”Satin” drug problem. “Satin” sounds a great deal like heroin, and ‘Satin’ could easily be ‘Satan’. Hughes’ spends a great deal of the novel talking about the pull of ‘Satin’ and the deadly temptation to return to the drug. The future has Narcotics Anonymous and the same 12-Step program we have today.
As a means of redeeming himself personally, the protagonist uses his telepathy to help the police with investigations. The techniques and training Hughes describes are imaginative, and not improbable.
I liked Daniel May’s Audible narration. It reminded me a bit of audio versions I’ve heard of Dashiell Hammett’s books. Hardboiled. I don’t know what May looks like, but I would have expected him to do this narration wearing a grey suit with a narrow tie, and a fedora.
With “Clean” I was expecting a bit of distracting book candy. What I got was a dystopian thinker and a real description of addiction. It was a little rough to follow in places, but I liked it well enough that I’ll get the next book in the series.
Sci-fi with personality.
When Adam faces his poison, and decides he wants to be clean.
Really great characterization. Recognizable voices that I could easily tell apart. Good level of emotion. This character goes through a lot, and May portrays it without getting overdamatic or crazy-sounding.
Sections of it were. It was so fast-moving and high emotion that I ended up needing a break sometimes.
I thought the world building was interesting. In a place without technology, mind-powers are more prevalent. Loved that people were basically afraid of things like cell phones, etc. And she did a great job of maintaining it throughout. Finished it this morning, already downloaded book 2. :)
I saw Alex on a authors panel at C2E2 last weekend. She was so funny and interesting. Her love of science really came through. I actually bought the book sitting there in the audience. I now wish I could go back in time. At the time I didn't understand the references or questions, now I do and I have my own questions. For such a happy, funny person, she created quite a dark character with very serious issues. In many ways he reminded me of Harry Dreasdon. I can't to listen to the next one and what she has in store.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
The title is very accurate. It clearly identifies two of the overriding themes in the novel:
a) the struggle to overcome addiction (and all the baggage that accumulates with an addict), and
b) the difficulties faced by a recovering addict when investigating murders - given a)
The fact that is is set in an urban fantasy world - and has tech/abilities that don't exist (yet) - doesn't change the fact that this is primarily a strong detective novel with a flawed main character. The setting has changed from the traditional noir detective novel, but the story is still a noir detective novel.
There was a lot of self-absorption from the main character but that was logical since he is a recovering addict - and a moderately unwilling one at that. There was a lot of "baggage" from the past that is never explicitly defined for the reader - this baggage affected the main character's relationship with his current partner, his job, his past, and even with the bad guy, but we are not given any of the details around this. We are told only that "main character has a past, was kicked from the guild for it, and lost his fiancee because of it", and we know that every decision he makes or action he takes now stems from that past. One would think this would ruin the story, but it does not. It's the traditional noir "flawed detective" except the source of the flaw is a weird drug (rather than the usual alcohol) and the residual effects on his life revolve around his experiences in the guild and his remaining ties to it (rather than the usual military, PTSD or childhood abuse rationale).
Overall, this was a wonderful find: I like urban fantasy, I like noir, and I like flawed main characters who are fundamentally good. I will be reading the rest in the series.
The narration is very good. There is some violence but no gore, no swearing and no sex.
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
"Clean" is an excellent start to what I hope will be a long-running series.
It succeeds on many levels. It is a gripping story of a police investigation of a serial killer that draws upon familiar archetypes - a cop/consultant with a shady past and an addiction problem who has a strong, beautiful, karate black-belt partner (also with a painful past) who stands up for him because it's the right thing to do but still doesn't want him in her head - while breathing enough personality and context into them to make them feel fresh.
It skilfully builds a picture of a future Atlanta, coping with doing things manually after the Tech Wars have devastated the Western World. The ideas are seeded carefully without resorting to clumsy info-dumps.
It gives an insight into a Guild of people with "abilities" in Mindspace - telepathy, teleportation, and telekinesis - amongst other things that is original, credible, intriguing and left me hungry for more.
The prose is crisp and clear. The action scenes, including the ones requiring special powers, are exciting and fully visualised. Best of all, Alex Hughes' first-person story-telling is as compelling as any noir-fiction writer I've ever read, including Chandler. I loved that we barely get to find out the main characters name because he already knows it and seldom has to bother introducing himself. The main character is flawed in a very unglamorous way. He is often self-absorbed. He lacks social skills. He is an addict who constantly craves his poison. He is also brave and loyal and trying hard to get his shit together.
I listened to "Clean" as an audiobook. It's perfectly suited for the medium and Daniel May does a great job in giving the main character a a convincing voice.
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