by Carolyn Crane
Paperback: 336 pages
Available: September 28, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
SOME SECRETS COME BACK TO HAUNT. OTHERS COME TO KILL…
Justine Jones has lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she’s lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard. He gifts her with extraordinary mental powers-dooming her to fight Midcity’s shadowy war on paranormal crime in order to find the peace she so desperately craves.
But now, serial killers with unheard-of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity, including mastermind Packard – and his oldest friend and worst enemy, Midcity’s new mayor, who has the ability to bend matter itself to his will.
As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience as she tests the limits of her new powers and faces an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men . . . one on a journey of redemption, and the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.
Reviewed by: Sophia (FV)
**Possible mild spoilers if you have not read the first book in the series**
After reading Carolyn Crane’s impressive debut Mind Games, the first book in Disillusionists Trilogy, I was eager to read Double Cross. With all the amazing titles that the urban fantasy genre has to offer these days Ms. Crane had her work cut out for her if I was to be impressed yet again. The bar has certainly been raised for what I expect in urban fantasy and Double Cross is up against some serious heavy hitters in the genre. Carolyn Crane hits it out of the park with this second installment in her Disillusionists Trilogy.
Justine Jones is doing her part to rid Midcity of dangerous ‘gifted’ criminals by disillusioning them. She continues to work with Packard and his group of disillusionists in a effort to rehabilitate and release these criminals that the Mayor of Midcity, Otto Sanchez, has incarcerated using his Highcap abilities. Although Justine has never been a hundred percent comfortable with what she is doing, it seems like she has found a way, with the help of Packard, to manage her hypochondriac episodes and channel them into doing something positive. However with her latest case she is not so certain it’s all black and white and she suspects there is a chance her target may actually be innocent. To further complicate things, a small group of serial killers, called the Dorks are picking off Highcaps one by one. Otto, Packard, Justine and the disillusionists must work together to end their reign of terror.
Justine’s personal relationships are as confused as ever. Justine and Otto are both hypochondriacs who fear vein star syndrome. They are working on a relationship, but as the new Mayor of Midcity Otto has a lot on his plate and they are not yet on solid ground due to Justine’s previous betrayal. Justine is also conflicted in her relationship with Packard. She feels betrayed by Packard yet fights her romantic attraction to him. Packard makes no secret about his feelings for Justine and feels it’s only a matter of time until she comes around making for an interesting triangle.
As I read Double Cross I realized that I never felt as though I was a spectator, but instead felt as though I was in the middle of the action at all times. Carolyn Crane’s writing style brings you in and makes you a part of her story before you even realize you are fully engaged with her characters, and wrapped up in an urban fantasy world that feels real and believable.
One of my favorite things about this book, as well as it’s predecessor is the clever and subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) humor. As I said, Ms. Crane has a way of drawing the reader into the story and I found myself laughing for thinking it’s perfectly natural to refer to heinous serial killers as the Dorks. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I found the the combined hypochondria of Justine and Otto ridiculously funny. One irrational hypochondriac is funny, but double the dose and you’ve got a scene full of win.
Double Cross certainly lives up to it’s title. Although I’m fairly certain where my loyalties lie, there is still a tiny flicker of doubt as all parties involved are appealing in their own way, yet they are flawed and have given plenty of reason why they should not be fully trusted. The ending absolutely blew me away and yes, I’ve picked a team…but maybe not. 🙂
I loved Mind Games but Double Crossed gave me a good hard shove into crazy, maniacal fan girl territory. (Don’t be scared CC, I’m harmless). Double Cross is a must read.
I’m totally pissed that I read through this book and completely forgot to mark my favorite quotes. I wonder if forgetfulness is symptom of vein star syndrome? I’m pretty sure it is, but I forgot. o_O I’ll have to look that up. My head feels tingly.
Other books in the series:
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