Mind Games, by Carolyn Crane
Justine Jones is an extreme hypochondriac whose neurosis threatens her sanity and way of life. When Packard, a man with a mysterious gift to recognize and focus neuroses, notices Justine’s phobia he asks her to join his team of vigilantes. With Packard’s help, Justine is able to free herself of her hypochondria by sending it into another person. But Packard assures Justine that only criminals will be receiving these “disillusions,” as a safe way of rehabilitating them back into society. But Packard is hiding something.
Justine is a sympathetic character, always second-guessing each of her difficult decisions. And the characters of Packard and his nemesis are incredibly mysterious and the highlight of the story for me. Crane has created a unique world where a subspecies of humans have developed different powers, such as telekinesis and mind reading, which the general population mostly fears.
This urban fantasy at times actually feels more like science fiction to me, with a super hero versus super villain quality to it. And by several chapters in, I couldn’t put it down. With a complex and juicy plot, this urban fantasy debut is impressive to say the least. The first in a trilogy, Mind Games is a wonderful introduction to Justine Jones and a suspenseful, edgy mystery that unfolds in a surprising way.