Double Cross
Carolyn Crane
ISBN-10: 0553592629

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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.

Carolyn Crane’s second installment of the Disillusionists trilogy follows Justine Jones as she descends further into her new life of rehabilitating the wicked. In Double Cross, Justine’s formed some semblance of comfort in her new life and her bond with her fellow Disillusionists has grown. Still, there is lingering doubt, lingering fears about her new life when she and her “boss,” Packard, fall prey to a target with the ability to “walk” into their dreams. But keeping Packard out of her dreams, where she’s sure he will be able to sort out her true feelings, is just one in a long list of issues Justine will have resolve.

When Mind Games, the first book in the trilogy ended, Justine convinced her boyfriend and former target, police chief Otto Sanchez, (now the Mayor of Midcity), to allow the Disillusionists to work for him, keeping a close watch on those Highcaps, (humans with supernatural abilities), he’d kept on house arrest (Packard among them). In exchange for Packard’s freedom, he leads his team to “reboot” Sanchez’s detainees into a life of mends-making.

For Justine, freedom is all she wants: freedom from the guilt she feels when she fills her targets with her hypochondria and, especially, freedom from Packard. When she learns that the rules that kept her tethered to him were nothing but an illusion, Justine intensifies her relationship with Sanchez.

In Double Cross, Midcity’s Highcaps are being targeted by what appears to be a Highcap hate group. Justine and her crew have been charged with infiltrating the company who makes seeing Highcaps possible for anyone with the right pair of glasses. She doesn’t count on liking the target or having her fellow Disillusionist and best friend, Shelby, falling for the guy.

Crane effortlessly provides her readers with yet another gem, inventing new complications, new conflicts that ups the stakes for Justine and dismantles any preconceived notions that the reader may have about the novel’s conclusion. There is a huge, huge twist at the end that sets up the final Disillusionists novel and that stuns everything we thought we knew about the direction Crane will take Justine.

This series concerns a twisting, complex universe and characters that are multidimensional. Crane has given readers an intricate, highly unique world to venture into and with Double Cross, readers will find themselves helpless to cut that journey short. Be prepared for a delicious cliff hanger and make certain you have the third novel, Head Rush, at your fingertips the second you stop reading.

Highly Recommended.

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