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Review: Double Cross

October 24, 2010

Double Cross
Author: Carolyn Crane
Publisher: Spectra / Bantam Dell
Pub. Date: September 28, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0553592627
Retail: $7.99
Pages: 336


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.


*Contains a few spoilers from MIND GAMES*

I didn’t think this series could get any better. MIND GAMES was fantastic, but DOUBLE CROSS completely blew me away. As I read the last twenty pages, my heart was pounding and I couldn’t believe what I was reading! Easily one of the best endings I’ve ever read in a book.

Justine is settling into her life as a Disillusionist, using her hypochondria to instill fear in the criminals of Midcity. Her relationship with Otto is coming along slowly and she hasn’t had any more romantic encounters with Packard, her sort of boss. Life isn’t exactly what she hoped it would be, but things aren’t terrible either.

A new villain is introduced. One of Otto’s imprisoned highcaps might be innocent, and Justine can’t forget that kiss with Packard. As the Disillusionists work to solve their mysteries many things are not quite what they seem and Justine has to figure out who is innocent and who is guilty. After a highcap links her dreams with Packard’s, you get to see glimpses of what Packard was like as a young boy and it helps to make him more sympathetic.

I liked that there was a time difference between MIND GAMES and DOUBLE CROSS. The characters have moved on and new things have happened. It made it easier to get sucked into the world than if we had to read the rehashing of what happened in the first book.

I love this world. The world is so well written that even though it is unique and different it still feels familiar. The book is written in first person and present tense like MIND GAMES. I’m not usually a fan of either, but I didn’t even really notice because I was so caught up in the story. There is a legitimate reason for it being written this way and by the end of the book the reader knows why.

The romance is still an important part of Justine’s story. She finds herself torn between Packard and Otto on several occasions. She is firmly with Otto, but can’t forget about Packard. There are some truly romantic moments in this book that had my heart melting. (I really wanted to post an excerpt here, but it would give too much away.)

I think what makes this book so great, besides the ending—which is OMG fantastic—are the characters. They are so flawed and neurotic. Justine, Otto, Shelby, Carter, Simon, Packard and the others have so many problems that if they were just everyday folks, they probably wouldn’t be able to leave their homes. Their neuroses make it easier to understand their motivations and to root for them even when their actions seem questionable.

DOUBLE CROSS is one of the best books I’ve read this year and I can’t wait to read the final book in this trilogy.

Rating: 10 (Perfect)

Heat-Level: 3 (Sensual)

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