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Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Spotlight: Review & Giveaway - SHARP by Alex Hughes


Sharp Blurb

A Mindspace Investigations Novel, Book 2

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…

Sharp Review
Sharp was an unexpectedly good read. This is the first book I Have read  by Alex Hughes, but I’m sure this one won’t be the last.
Sharp is the second book in The Mind Space Investigation series. It is written in first person POV. The series follows Adam, a telepath, and recovering drug addict. Adam lives in a post apocalyptic like world where technology is banned. Sharp is set 60 years after a “tech” war on the planet, which led to technology being outlawed.

Adam is an interrogator, and investigative consultant for the police department. He is thrown into a murder investigation involving someone from his past, while dealing with his addiction, an uncomfortable mind link with his partner, and falling in love with his addiction anonymous sponsor. On top of that, his mind powers have severely diminished due to burning them out on a previous case. Adam won’t give up though, he’s determined to solve this case, and as his powers slowly return he will risk everything to see this case through.
This is the second book in the series, and in my opinion a great addition. I didn’t read the first book CLEAN, but I was able to follow this story with no problems. The author gives you enough information, and I didn’t feel lost.

Adam is a flawed character with a lot of issues, but you can’t help but love him. From what I could tell, he grows a lot in this second book. I really liked the world building in Sharp; the author did a good job with that. It was all believable, and fresh. There was some twist in the story that I wasn’t expecting, and the ending actually shocked me.
I will definitely be picking up the first book CLEAN and the next installment when it is released.

Guilt – an excerpt from Sharp, Mindspace Investigations Book #2
By Alex Hughes

You okay? came Cherabino’s thought again, frustrated. Tap, tap, her mind against mine, tap, tap, as if she could somehow feel my distress and reacted with impatience instead of care. Tap, tap, along the long yellow line back to the real world.

I followed that line, hand over hand, inch by painful blind inch, laboriously surfacing, one overwhelming moment at a time. She kept tapping. She kept pushing. It was the only thing that got me all the way there.

I woke to the clear view of the floor and my knees, twelve inches from the bloodstain, my nose overcome with bad smells. I hadn’t thrown up. I could say that much. And—mind shaking, aching, shivering in reaction pain, I realized I was back to mind-deaf. My head rang with pain, pain—but no emotion. I was deaf and blind again.

“You okay?” Cherabino asked.

I shook my head—and immediately thought better of it; the movement made the world spin.

My eyes caught the victim’s foot, her bare foot on the tile, and I saw a small tattoo, a circle of wavy lines, neurons, encircling a stylized S and Q. I sat down hard, on the tile. I knew that tattoo.

I knew that tattoo, and in combination with it the female mind, or who she’d once been. Her name hadn’t been Hamilton when I’d known her, but she hadn’t been married. Emily, her name had been. Even through the overwhelming pain in my head, I couldn’t let go of the thought. Emily had been one of my best advanced students, years ago. Before it all fell apart. Before her mind twisted into a knot—into something not an Abled mind anymore. Before I’d done the unthinkable.

“Are you okay?” Cherabino repeated.

I fought the guilt and the disorientation of seeing Emily again, seeing her dead. I fought the exposure sickness, the injury. I sat on them, hard, and built a barrier between us with bleeding fingers. Cherabino couldn’t know. She knew too many of my failures as it was.

One small knee shuffle at a time, I moved back, away from Emily. It wasn’t her fault she smelled of urine, dried blood, and darker things, but it wasn’t mine either.

“Well, did the husband do it?” Freeman asked.

“Are you okay?” Cherabino repeated.

I pulled myself to my feet and fished out my sunglasses over my now-light-sensitive eyes. “Unless the husband’s an ex-SEAL or something,” I said in a rasp, “somebody else did it. And now, unless there’s some kind of emergency, I’ll be in the car.”

Uncaring of reactions, I stumbled out of the devil house, away from the seat of every failure I’d ever had, down the stupid steep stairs, and climbed into the backseat of the cop car. I needed to be horizontal. Now.


1 copy of Clean (US ONLY) is up for grabs at each tour stop. 


Alex has written since early childhood, and loves great stories in any form including scifi, fantasy, and mystery. Over the years, she has lived in many neighborhoods of the sprawling metro Atlanta area, including Decatur, the neighborhood on which Clean is centered. Her work is dark, complex, action-filled and a little funny. Her Mindspace Investigations series has been called "A fun blend of Chinatown and Blade Runner" by James Knapp, and Publisher's Weekly called her "a writer to watch." 

When not writing you can find Alex in the kitchen cooking gourmet Italian food, watching hours of police procedural dramas, and humming to delightfully obscure music.

Learn more about Alex and her work at www.ahugheswriter.com.

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