COME BACK TO HAUNT.
OTHERS COME TO KILL.
Justine Jones lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she was lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard, who 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, the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.
Double Cross is the second book of Carolyn Crane's Disillusionist Trilogy. I love this series because it is such a different spin on the idea of having special powers, where a character's greatest issues become their strength. The Disillusionists are a band of messed up individuals, but Packard has put them together into an elite strike force that are currently working on "rebooting" criminals around Midcity to help the mayor, Otto, relieve the burden of keeping them imprisoned with his mind.
I have to admit, when I read the synopsis before cracking open the book, I had decided who was trying to be redeemed, and who was getting more depraved. I was 100% wrong, and that's part of what I love about this story, it is packed full of shockers! We learn a lot more of the history between Otto and Packard, and are torn with Justine as she tries to understand her feelings about them. Along with the Mind Games that are played (yup, that's the first book!) there is plenty of action to go around, and just when you think you know how something is going to go, there's a fab twist out of left field. The ending was especially a surprise to me and I can't wait to get into the third book Head Rush to see how that plays out!
I am not a hypochondriac, but there are so many times that I completely identify with something that Justine is thinking that I begin to wonder about myself! Shelby is so grim, but lovable, I can picture her perfectly with her accent, spreading her doom and gloom. Simon is easy to imagine too (I need to read his novella Devil's Luck), flamboyant and reckless, and of course Packard, charismatic and smug, playing all the angles to stay in control, but with his own code of honor.
If you're looking for a different urban fantasy that doesn't have vampires, werewolves or zombies, give The Disillusionists a try, I think you'll enjoy them! (I thought about it for awhile, and while there aren't actual zombies in this one, there are a couple of sleepwalkers that might count, but still!)
You can visit Carolyn at her website and also follow her on Twitter @CarolynCrane .