Book Review: Alex Hughes’ “Payoff”

Posted August 2, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Alex Hughes’ “Payoff”



Alex Hughes

urban fantasy in eBook edition that was published by ROC on March 5, 2013 and has 56 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Clean, Sharp, Marked, Vacant

This is 1.5 in the Mindspace Investigations science fiction mystery series and revolving around Adam.

My Take

It’s an interesting series so far with a recovering drug addicted telepath who works for the police in a computer-phobic country.

In this one, it’s a slice of Adam’s life, and Hughes works it well, making us feel how helpless Adam feels without his telepathy. I’m not sure if I didn’t “feel” the fear of it because I know the story continues, and I believe he must recover or if Hughes simply didn’t show that fear.

It’s a twisty little case Hughes uses to demonstrate how the lack of his telepathy affects Adam; I was surprised that Adam didn’t wonder how anyone survived without it or how detectives closed cases without that boost.

Sounds like he’s making a bit of progress with Cherabino, although lunch with Nonna is a disaster.

The Story

A good kid, on track at school, a promising internship, a judge’s grandson, and now he’s missing. And Adam owes his grandfather big time. A little extra incentive is that the judge will pull Adam back into the system if he doesn’t find out what happened to him. In under a week. No pressure.

Without his telepathy, Adam is blind and will have to rely upon everyday brain power.

The Characters

His telepathy burnt out after events in Clean, 1, and with only a sliver connecting his mind to Cherabino’s, Adam, a supposed Level Eight telepath consultant for the De Kalb County police and a recovering drug addict, is struggling with being “blind”. Swartz is his Narcotics Anonymous sponsor.

Homicide Detective Isabelle Cherabino is liable for him. Her grandmother, Nonna, invites Adam for lunch. Johnny Kubrick is undercover at the Plantation, and desperately wants Adam to back off until his deal goes down. He also has a history with Cherabino.

Jamal is a crime scene tech. Freeman is another detective. Lieutenant Maria Paulsen is Adam’s boss. Bellury seems to be one of the few cops who are okay with Adam. Andrew specializes in accounting issues and has a small Gift. Clark is part of the interrogation department and hates Adam. Gayle is the medical examiner.

Judge Datini presided over Adam’s trials, and Adam owes him, big time for what he’s done. Raymond is the judge’s missing grandson, who’s been working as an unpaid intern for a state senator. George Babel is his roommate, says Oden is bad news. George’s dad is CEO at Coca Cola.

State Senator Billy Oden the Incorruptible has a rep to lose. Rafael Mantega is Oden’s campaign manager.

The Tech Wars happened 60 years ago when superviruses ran rampant and almost destroyed the world. Mindspace seems to be the telepathic mind.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a metaphor for how Adam feels, that sense of vertigo, of being overwhelmed with this new perspective on life as the buildings in this electric cityscape loom over him.

The title is what’s happening everywhere, with a Payoff being made left, right, and center.