Payoff by Alex Hughes
Series: Mindspace Investigations #1.5
Source: Personal shelf
Being a telepath, I should have seen the hell I was getting myself into…
I used to be one of the most powerful telepaths in the guild. That was before my drug addiction and before they kicked me out. But I’m not a bad guy. Now I help the Atlanta PD solve murders. And even though there are only a few people I call friends, I’d do most anything to keep their trust.
So when a judge asks me to help investigate a missing college kid, I’m down for it. No questions asked. No problem. But in this dark world, things are never easy and a favor is never just a favor. Turns out, politicians don’t like being murder suspects. And it’s bad to anger someone with more power than you. I thought I had nothing to lose… I was wrong.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
It’s the last week of class at my university, which means I only have two more classes to teach this semester! I’m pretty excited so I’m going to celebrate with an extra post this week, in the shape of a discussion about the enovella that recently came out in Alex Hughes’ Mindspace Investigations series. Set a few weeks after Clean, the first novel and Hughes’ debut (which I discussed last month), Payoff is a short story set between Clean and the just-released Sharp. As such, this post will contain spoilers for Clean so you might now want to continue until you’ve had a chance to read Clean or just don’t mind spoilers.
With that out of the way…
Payoff deals with the ramifications of the main character’s actions in the final battle in Clean, which wiped out his telepathy for who knows how long. He’s forced to lead an investigation for a judge when said judge calls in an old debt, and Adam (the main character) really feels the lack of his telepathy throughout the novella. It was really interesting watching him struggle through life like a regular person, and to see him realize just how much he relies on his telepathy in his day-to-day life.
I spent a significant portion of the read enjoying the fact that I can finally call the main character Adam in my reviews instead of writing out “the main character” each and every time since Hughes revealed his name at the end of Clean. 🙂 I also enjoyed the way Adam and Cherebino’s back and forth as they deal with the Link that accidentally formed between them, thanks to Cherebino’s willingness to serve as his anchor when he’s investigating in Mindspace. Now, things between them are awkward to the extreme, and their dance is great reading.
All of this has me pretty jazzed to get my hands on Sharp so I’m glad that today’s the release day for the second Mindspace Investigations novel.