Alex Hughes

Books: Fantasy | Mystery

Mindspace Investigations: Clean (2012)

Mindspace Investigations

Clean (2012)

I started this, dropped it, started it again, dropped it again, had it as my lunchtime book and then finally got into it.

I found this book troublesome.

On the plus side, I really liked the world building. I generally despise dystopias, but this wasn't really a dystopia, but more along the lines of Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniel's world, where a vast change has happened and this is how things shook out afterwards.

I focused instead on the stupid hard-copy forms, line after line, box after box filled out in pencil in block caps so the secretaries could read them. Hard copy, for all it was dumb, was necessary. Nobody remembered losing all their records in the Tech Wars the way the cops did. Electronic quarantine and antivirus, separation and security— they were all good to have and the cops were fanatical about them. More important was keeping data and transmissions separate, checking every byte of new data, every new program as if it was the new End of the World. Because once it had been.

Biology, artificial organs, physics, anti-graviton generators for flying cars, drug-assisted telepathy— the world might be perfectly fine with those kinds of technologies. They didn't talk to one another. They didn't grow minds of their own. But computers? Data? Tech? A complete WorldNet with instant e-mail and a phone system connected to the computers? Not in my lifetime. People were just too afraid, with too good a reason.

The spontaneous development of AI is an idea that has fascinated me for years. Considering how little thought we have put into that possibility, the chances of something going terribly wrong are not small. IMO anyway.

So, I liked the world building.

I also liked that the main character was an addict and struggling with sobriety. That was pretty fascinating, and made an already difficult situation far more stressful.

The mystery, however, was all over the damned place.

As were the reactions of the humans. The department hired him as a telepath. His abilities are known and actually rated. But when he has precognitive flashes, everyone ignores him? When he learns things telepathically they mostly ignore what he's told them, because they can't “use” it legally. Well, damn. If you're being given the likely serial killer, even if you can't prove it, you should be able to do SOMETHING.


So, it was uneven as hell, and as much as I liked the world-building, the mystery was just too frustrating to be any good. So, it was a nice try, but I'm done.

Publisher: Ace

October 2018 | Rating: 5.5/10