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Freelancing for the Atlanta PD isn’t exactly a secure career; my job’s been on the line almost as much as my life. But it’s a paycheck, and it keeps me from falling back into the drug habit. Plus, things are looking up with my sometimes-partner, Cherabino, even if she is still simmering over the telepathic Link I created by accident.

When my ex, Kara, shows up begging for my help, I find myself heading to the last place I ever expected to set foot in again—Guild headquarters—to investigate the death of her uncle. Joining that group was a bad idea the first time. Going back when I’m unwanted is downright dangerous.

Luckily, the Guild needs me more than they’re willing to admit. Kara’s uncle was acting strange before he died—crazy strange. In fact, his madness seems to be slowly spreading through the Guild. And when an army of powerful telepaths loses their marbles, suddenly it’s a game of life or death.…

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 1, 2014

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About the author

Alex Hughes

13 books416 followers
Alex Hughes was born in Savannah, GA and moved to the south Atlanta area when she was eight years old. Shortly thereafter, her grandfather handed her a copy of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonrider series, and a lifelong obsession with scifi was born.

Alex is a graduate of the prestigious Odyssey Writing Workshop and a Semi-Finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. Her short pieces are published in several markets including EveryDay Fiction, Thunder on the Battlefield and White Cat Magazine.

Alex’s work is smart, dark, adventurous, and a little funny, with a emphasis on great characters and interesting worlds. She gets her inspiration from history (she majored with a European history focus in college), family members, and headlines, as well as whatever book she has in her hand. Lately she’s been reading neuroscience books; the brain’s a cool, cool place and the mind even more so.

An avid cook and foodie, Alex loves great food of any stripe – even better if she can figure out how to put it together. Great food is like a great book; it has lots of layers that work together beautifully, and the result is delicious and harmonious. She’s working on figuring out Indian food right now – suggestions welcome!

Alex loves swing dancing, tetris, music of all kinds, and has been known to get into long conversations with total strangers at restaurants about the Food Network, much to the embarrassment of her sister. She can also balance a spoon on her nose while crossing her eyes, and talk for hours about absolutely nothing.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 94 reviews
January 28, 2018
Another installment of this telepathy-themed goodiness. Guild being nasty and 'Guild First', police being choosy, Adam being moody (though not so much as before), telepahy being pervasive and technology feared. All is OK in this world.
Lying in a society of telepaths was possible, but just barely. The key was not to think about the lie at all—something akin to spinning a plate on top of your head while standing on one foot and reciting multiplication tables—or to lie to yourself first, and often. The frightening thing was how often someone got away with it. The even more frightening thing was that lying well—and being caught at it—seemed to give a certain cache to the telepath involved, and more often than not came with job offers. (c)
a few flags hung from doorposts, touting different political stances. Block parties must be interesting in this neighborhood. (c)
According to the sign, government intervention and monitoring had led to a fifty percent decrease in the level of radioactive pollution in the last ten years. I didn’t know which idea was more disturbing, the fact that there had been so much radioactive pollution they felt the need to monitor it, or that they were trumpeting its decrease. Could the government really impact pollution? And if so, did they have huge weather turbines or something? Should I be more nervous than I already was? (c)
Her mind kept going off in odd directions not immediately called for...
I was starting to think the avoidance of eye contact didn’t necessarily mean she was hiding something. Her brain just seemed to process the “social” information differently than the norm. She did a good job of compensating, enough that she’d been promoted to management, but body language just wasn’t there. She’d responded to my question with a repeating question out of socialization and habit, not interest.
That, plus the sideways thought patterns occasionally, made her a very interesting mind. Combined with the order I’d felt immediately, I was betting she was genius level or better in her field, and far more creative than the average in odd directions. I wished I had more time to watch that mind work in her element.(c)
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,652 reviews215 followers
February 28, 2016
This was great. The best so far.

Marked has an excellent summary. It's just deceiving enough to make you pay attention. At the same time, it only touches upon the things that may happen in the book (or at least close to it).
One thing is certain, it doesn't prepare you for the anger you'll feel at least four, if not more, times. There are no clear sides here to hold on to. Most of the characters are so infuriatingly selfish and annoying it drove me crazy.

The Guild is hypocritical and enforces its double standards. The ordinary people, the police employees in particular, aren't any better. For example, we all know how Clark (the interrogations) leaves Adam with tons of his work and goes home. At one point Clark was forced to do his job and Adam ended up having to apologize for it! Adam constantly thinking how some of the characters are fair (Paulsen in this case) doesn't match their behaviour or his treatment. And that's just one of the examples.

Everyone wants something from Adam and not many are asking nicely even when it is obvious that those double standards are at play. The book left me angry and tired.

And still I loved it.

It starts with a homicide. A sixty-seven-year-old man was murdered with an axe. The investigation points at Fisk. Again. The man has his fingers in everything. Still, nothing is that easy.
Adam's job is still on the line because of the budget cuts, he is still waiting for his PI licence and, to top it all, he has to go back to the Guild headquarters to help Kara. That one he has to do on his own.
Kara's uncle supposedly committed suicide. She doesn't believe it and Adam is neutral enough to deal with it. His investigation throws him into a vipers' pit. There are factions within factions and they don't play fair with or against each other, let alone against someone like Adam. His poking around (if you can call them harassing, threatening and almost torturing him that) reveals something none of the factions realised before: they have a flaw in their education and someone used it against them.

Adam's time with the Guild in the book gives you more information about the Tech Wars, the viruses that almost destroyed the world when the Guild had step up and helped deal with it all. There is more on the Koshna Accords, the set of laws/rules regulating the rights and obligations of the Guild (for example, they own every telepath and they can kill him or her in broad daylight and the worst that could happen is a media slap on the wrist).

As for Adam's personal life, he still hasn't told Swartz, his sponsor and friend, what he did for him and his relationship with Isabella Cherabino gets even deeper than before. There are couple of lovely moments with these two. Well, as lovely as they can be with Cherabino in the picture.

Speaking of Cherabino, I loved her here. No, she isn't changed into something different to be with Adam. She is still her sometimes rude, harsh and obnoxious self, but it seems that letting go a bit is the right thing for her to do. There was a moment of stupidity on her part (considering the cause, I don't blame her) when she goes to confront Fisk, but even that inadvertently helps them solve the murder.
There are many things left unsolved and unresolved (Fisk, for example) and Adam's personal life just started to sort itself out, but overall impression Marked leaves is that greater things have yet to come.

Overall, I loved it.
Profile Image for Rebo.
715 reviews31 followers
April 3, 2014
I'm sensing something in Mindspace.... Wait... I think it's...

Extreme disappointment.

I was so excited about this book, since the second book was so fantastic. But it seems like everything Alex Hughes learned from book one to two was forgotten.

The first half of this book has no personality, no real tension, and while the second has tension galore, there are so many missed opportunities and unanswered questions (and not in the good way, like, oh, we'll find out next book).

Part of what made book two so good was we finally got into Adam's head (ha) and we could really feel what he felt, feel that desperation not to slide off the wagon again, feel what it was like when he had been an addict, etc., etc. We learned a lot about Adam in book two.

Now, in book three, we're given the opportunity to spend most of our time in the Guild, as Adam gets caught in the inner political struggles. What a great chance for Alex Hughes to introduce us to the politics of the Guild, to give us some backstory on Adam, maybe when he was younger, before he became a teacher?

But does any of that happen?


We're thrust into the middle of this conflict with very little explanation and almost zero backstory. It's kind of like jumping into one of the late Harry Dresden books and trying to understand what the political situation is between all the different factions. Except, in that case, it'd be your own fault. Here, we have only the author to blame.

Apparently, there are family groups, then the "Cooperists" (that I guess are like the "do no harm" ethical types that follow one of the followers? and that I guess Adam had been when he was with the Guild?) and then there's a new faction, the Guild Firsters, who feel like the survival of the Guild should be put first before anything and anyone else.

Sounds like a recipe for some intrigue, right? Yeah, well, nope. There's in fighting, but we're kept too out of the loop to really enjoy any of it. Half the time I didn't even know why things were happening, TBH. Maybe I read the first half too fast because I was dying for something to happen, so I missed something, but I don't think so. There were actions that characters took that I didn't fully understand WHY they had happened. For example, Kara sucks Adam into the Guild in the first place, supposedly to investigate the suspicious suicide of her uncle, but then her behavior is really strange after that, and I couldn't exactly understand why.

Long story short is you learn NOTHING new about Adam in this book. He doesn't grow as a character in anyway, and we don't get any insight into his past whatsoever, and that's probably the biggest catastrophe here.

To make things worse, this book apparently picks up only a few weeks after the last one, and despite the very real chance that Adam will have NO JOB, the horrid vision that he had in book two, that made Adam come "alive" wasn't even mentioned!! EVEN WHEN THAT VISION STILL DOESN'T GET MENTIONED.

So, yeah, there's the threat of death and all that, but we don't get the deeper threat, we don't FEEL that deeper threat, the way we could have.

And then there's the whole relationship situation with Cherabino that.... Yeah, it just was handled really oddly.

Furthermore, the "outside" mystery doesn't tie into the Guild mystery, really at all, and the perpetrator behind everything in the Guild is not only hugely obvious from the beginning (by the time Adam figured it out, I was like, "Oh, FINALLY, you got it, huh?") but also eye-rolling.

At times, it almost felt like the author was too afraid to stray too far from the status quo (oh noes! the Guild might erupt into Civil War! oh noes! Adam might end up on the street and be tempted to relapse! oh noes! Adam might make the Link permanent! oh noes...! etc etc etc, I could go on here).

All-in-all, a GIGANTIC disappointment with more missed opportunities than I can count.

Profile Image for Kathy Davie.
4,714 reviews709 followers
March 31, 2015
Third in the Mindspace Investigations dystopian-like science fiction detective series set in Atlanta and revolving around Adam, a telepath who is also a recovering addict.

My Take
Wow. I do like the sound of the victim's house. I want a door like his!

Marked is so full of twists and turns…one minute it looks as if Kara is setting Adam up, and considering what's at stake, I am so not liking her for what she's putting Adam through. Considering his background and past experiences with Enforcement, she's being a real bitch. Then that meeting in her office. The one she demanded Adam move heaven and earth to get to, and it's an ambush. Still it turns and twists again with some unexpected results.

The Guild is even worse. This bloody Guild demands everything from you but won't support you when what they do to you tears you apart. They don't do much to inspire me with all their consorting with bad guys, the cover-ups, the instantaneous jumps to destroy people, the extortion and blackmail they practice. Then there's Guild First. They certainly sound like a threat. They certainly don't encourage me with all the illegal weapons manufacture they have going on. Of course we find out later the the normals' government is busy doing the same thing, so I guess it's all fair enough…everyone cheating on everyone else. Wright certainly finds that one out!

It's fascinating to see how Adam's exposure to norms in those interrog-, er, those interview rooms has taught him so much. It is a shame, however, that he hasn't learned much about timing or diplomacy.

At last! It's taken 'til the third story before we finally find out Adam's last name.

Whoaaaa, Swartz is changing his mind about the whole keep a plant alive and then you can have a relationship thing! That heart attack must'a been good for him. So to speak. It's that which leads Adam to jump in with both feet. Yep, he finally asks Cherabino out on a date! That's just one of the revelations in Marked. Good ones and bad ones. One in particular is a bit of a heartbreaker for Adam, but maybe he's still healing. We'll have to hope.

Oh, another twist. That Green. What an ass. Ahh, and another bit of information that explains the tightened security on privacy violations. Don't these people have any concept of compassion? Of tolerance? Looking at them, how they act toward the people around them, how they treat them, I DO NOT want this type in government. Our own politicians are bad enough!

This is interesting. Adam figures out why Cherabino has such a high close rate: she'll listen to anyone and never turn down a second opinion. It's been an odd journey with these cops, including Cherabino. They act much as you'd expect conservative men to act. They don't like Adam, but they mostly band together to help him out when he needs it. They may see him as a weak felon who can't be trusted, but he's their weak felon who can't be trusted, lol.

I do like that ending. It may not have ended the way I wanted it to end, but this one is so very much more real. And leaves me panting for the next in the series, Vacant .

The Story
Uncle Meyers is said to have committed suicide, but it doesn't feel right. Now Enforcement and the Guild are working hard to cover it up. Kara is insisting that Adam investigate, that he go up against the powers-that-be, the powers that have the power of life and death over him and upset their apple cart.

It's a power struggle in the Guild and Adam's caught up in the middle of it.

The Characters
Adam Ward is a Level Eight telepath who is also addicted to Satin, part of a medical experiment by his superiors that got out of hand. Once it did, they washed their hands of him; now he's an ex-felon not trusted to handle his own money. He currently works for the police as an interviewer and a sort of forensics expert, reading anything of the killer's or the victim's mind left at crime scenes. He's also in love with Cherabino. Swartz is his NA sponsor, who is still recovering from his heart attack; Selah is his wife.

Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino is his current "partner" — she makes good use of his abilities and keeps an eye on him. Jacob is her nephew and a telepath/teleporter that Adam has helped get private instruction to avoid the Guild finding him. Nicole is his mother and Cherabino's sister. Detective Michael is her police partner.

The DeKalb County PD

Let's just get this out of the way: nobody in the police station likes Adam. Sergeant Bransen is in charge of assigning who the provisionals will work with, and he'll do what he can to make a stink and take Adam on as a provisional employee. Officer Briggs is the cop first on scene. Jamal is with Forensics. Lieutenant Marlene Paulsen is Adam's boss with the PD, and she's struggling with budget cuts. Clark is the most senior of the interviewers. Captain Justin Harris used to be married to Jamie and still has his Guild pass. Andrew is one of the police forensic accountants with an appreciation for the important things in a cubicle life, lol. Bob is one of the few, the VERY few people with a legal implant that allows him to interface with computers and access the Internet. Frances is a file clerk. Rachel Muñez is a department accountant handling Adam's money. Detective Freeman.

State Bureau

Piccanonni is Georgia Bureau of Investigation.


Special Agent Louis Jarred. Special Agent George Ruffins is with Tech Control Organization, and he dislikes Adam.

The Telepath's Guild…
…saved the world from the Tech Wars, and they took advantage of the world's gratitude. Kara Chenoa is Adam's ex-fiancée; she's also the one who turned him in ten years ago. She's now an attachée for the Guild to the city. Uncle Del Meyers is a Councilman and the Employment chair. Cindy Ballon is Meyers' ex-wife; she'd met someone on the job in D.C. John Spirale was Del's assistant; he's committed suicide. Hawk Chenoa is one of the family patriarchs and unofficially one of the most powerful men at the Guild. The Chenoas have been around since the Guild Founding and follows the founder's ethics, Cooper's, very seriously. Gustolf is one of Kara's cousins and into extreme sports. He follows orders from the Erickson-Meyers clan before he'll follow Hawk's orders. Seems Kara has now become a major player.

Chris Tubbs is Kara's boss. Ruth Turner is a second-class guard attached to Headquarters. Ruthgar is a necrokinetic (determines cause of death and specializes in dead tissue or near-death patients); Sandra is his assistant, a micro. Johanna Wendell is a low-level Four telepath who was studying for her precognition recurrents. Jamie Skelton is a Level Ten telepath and one of Adam's friends. Marta and Rohan (he can "see" around corners) are a couple of the students she's mentoring.

Telepath security

Enforcement has absolute legal authority over all telepaths: judge, jury, and executioner. All telepaths are taught that Enforcement wanted only the truth and were fair. Tobias Nelson is the executive chair of Enforcement and uttered a threat to Uncle Meyers. Latisha Jones is a mind scanner. Edgar Stone had been Adam's Watcher, now he's the man sent to investigate Meyer's death. He reports to Tobias who reports to Rex.

The Guild Council

There are twelve members of the Guild North American Ruling Council. Thaddeus Rex is executive chair of the Council and leads the Guild First faction *groan*. Mrs. Martinez is his secretary who fell ill and Johanna filled in. Hmmm. Moby and Davidson are the teleporter guards. Charlie Walker had been a fellow student and is now on the Council. Chin is the Research chair. Joe Green is Guild First with no ethics. Julio Diaz is head of the council. Kim Lee is in charge of Finance.

Cardinal Laboratories

Noah Wright is a victim who used to work on technology applications for Cardinal Laboratories; he was also an informant for Ruffins. He was facing a lawsuit for "improper use of sensitive information". One that's been in limbo. Susan Cornell was his supervisor with some social issues. Nicole Sagara was the only one of a number of employees who hated Wright. She had reason, but damn, she is excessive with it still! They're working on the Galen Project, bioenhanced super soldiers.

Garrett Fiske is a criminal mastermind whom Cherabino has been investigating for years, and he always manages to skip. Sibley is a strangler for hire Adam had put in jail a few weeks ago. Mantel, Rodriguez, and Peterson (he's the about-to-be former head of security) work for Fiske.

Martin Cooper, one of the founding members, believed in honesty and integrity. Gabriela Gee was the original firestarter. Guild First claims that it fights to protect Guild interests and projects. Koshna Accords are a treaty between normals and telepaths. A mindspace machine is banned by the Accords. The North Rim was a disaster of mental stability.

Free Data Campaigners believe in sharing all information.

The Cover and Title
The cover is almost an LSD trip as Adam stands amid a swirl of mindspace outside the Guild headquarters looking up at all that glass in its blues and greens. But not as lurid as the lime green of the title and author's name, lol.

The title is Adam, for he's Marked.
Profile Image for Bryan Brown.
237 reviews6 followers
May 24, 2017
I still like this character a lot although this book didn't feel as strong to me as the first two. After all the events the increased freedom he has in this book makes me really question his recovery. I think he is still way to eager to keep secrets from those who are trying their best to support him, not to mention the fact that I don't see him performing any daily rituals to aid his recovery. In fact other than a weekly meeting with Schwartz he seems to be missing a lot of things that would keep him sane.

Beyond the character development issue above, I found this mystery to be the weakest of the three. While Alex was able to keep some surprises the final reveals were almost anti-climactic.

However, I think this is still a strong series and I fully intend to get and read the next one. I'd recommend it, however, only as part of reading the series. This novel will not stand alone very well.
Profile Image for Chris.
2,863 reviews205 followers
March 22, 2019
Good continuation of this series about a telepath and recovering addict who consults for the police and, under duress, the Telepath's Guild.
Profile Image for Amyiw.
2,332 reviews63 followers
December 22, 2016
So this was really good too. It started out frustrating as he once again puts himself in the range of the Guild and Kara and they are, IMO, untrustworthy. Yes, I get that he has a connection to Kara but I think it is high time to leave it behind. OK, once the beginning gets him entwined in Guild politics and strong arm tactics... again, and I accepted that, the book moved along smoothly and I enjoyed the ride as he bounded through the investigations.

On the personal, his relationship to Cherabino develops better. I have been on the "I don't like Cherabino and her attitude" boat in these books. I have felt like the relationship is a bit on the toxic side. In this one she seems much more supportive than the previous stories. The police don't seem quite as negative and judgmental. Swartz although is his rock, is battling his own fight. So Adam has to get support from other sources and seems more able to battle his own demons. The personal part, I thought really flowed and built him up in a way that we needed for a while.

So if it wasn't for the forced and so wrong Guild investigation, this might have been perfect. There were just too many times that I felt too frustrated though.

Still think it is one of the best UF series out there. It only has psychics, so no other worldly creatures if that is what you are looking for but I would recommend to Harry Dresden fans if they are alright without the creatures.
Profile Image for Alison.
3,233 reviews126 followers
December 8, 2019
I read the first two books several years ago and never got into the third one. Then a long holiday and ennui with all my other books made me come back to this one.

Adam Ward was a high level telepath who was kicked out of the Guild for drug taking. Nowadays he freelances for the Atlanta PD working to pay off his debt to the Guild. Then his ex, Kara, calls him in distress. Her uncle has died, the Guild think it was suicide and they also think he was mad, even worse the madness seems to be spreading. Kara wants Adam to prove her uncle wasn't mad and that he didn't kill himself. Drawn against his will into Guild politics Adam is ostracised by the police and could end up losing everything. On the bright side, he has a date with Detective Cherabino.

I really enjoy this alternate reality where humans and telepaths are in an uneasy truce, tech is shunned and telepaths make their own rules.
Profile Image for Lianne Pheno.
1,217 reviews70 followers
August 6, 2019
Pour rappel il s'agit d'une série classée urban fantasy qui se passe dans un futur à l'ambiance très cyberpunk où il existe une guilde regroupant les gens qui possèdent des pouvoirs du genre télépathie ou télékinésie ou téléportation.

Le héross Adam, est un télépathe de haut niveau qui a été banni de la guilde après avoir tué et blessé des gens dans un accident du à la drogue dont il était dépendant. Depuis il est lutte pour ne pas retomber dedans.

L'ambiance est très roman noir ce qui renforce l'impression d'être dans du cyberpunk malgré le peu d'éléments strictement "cyber" présent (même si l'intrigue tourne toujours plus ou moins autours de la technologie "interdite")

Dans ce tome le pauvre Adam se retrouve avec 2 affaires à résoudre en même temps et avec en plus un gros problème de loyauté qui empoisonne ses relations avec la police, le seul élément fixe de sa vie pour l'instant.

La première est un crime à l'arme blanche sur lequel Cherabino (un des inspecteurs qui fait le plus appel aux dons d'Adam) enquête, la second est l'apparent "suicide" de l'oncle de son ancienne fiancé, dans les locaux de la guilde elle même.
La guilde est en proie à ses plus grandes peurs, car on craint qu'une épidémie de folie (chose qui peut arriver chez les psy et qui a provoqué de nombreuses morts) se propage dans ses rangs les plus élevés, au sein même du conseil de la guilde.

Dans ce contexte très compliqué la guilde demande (ordonne, sous entendu) à Adam, qui est plus ou moins considéré comme un parti indépendant d'essayer de trouver qui a pu vouloir la mort de l'oncle. Mais le problème devient alors son propre statut.

Si il est un dépendant, il ne peux pas être affilié à la police humaine, car elle n'est pas indépendante concernant les psy. En effet la guilde a été bannie de technologie suite aux accords qui ont été signé après le dévoilement des psy aux yeux du monde dans le passé. C'est donc le boulot de la police de faire en sorte que la guilde respecte les règles.

Du coup si il accepte ce travail il ne pourra plus être consultant pour la police. Hors ce métier est ce qui lui a sauvé la vie lorsque la guilde l'a foutu dehors suite à ses problèmes d'addiction il y a une 10ène d'années.

Adam devra faire des choix. Des choix très difficiles.

Dans ce tome, vous l'aurez surement compris, Adam est en grande difficulté. Il court à droite et à gauche en essayant de faire de son mieux alors que les choses lui tombent dessus et qu'il se retrouve pris comme dans un étaux entre les deux puissances que sont la guilde et la police.

Un tome qui est une nouvelle fois très chargé émotionnellement parlant. C'est le genre de série ou le héros doit souffrir (ici plus mentalement que physiquement) avant de peut être atteindre ses objectifs.

J'ai bien aimé ce tome même si il était un peu plus chaotique que les précédents. Adam évolue pas mal d'ailleurs et c'est une bonne chose.
Du coup je dirais que je le met au même niveau que le précédent, le premier tome restant le meilleur pour l'instant.

Profile Image for Marlene.
2,951 reviews207 followers
May 11, 2014
Originally published at The Book Pushers

Alex Hughes’ Mindspace Investigations series takes place in a near-future post-apocalyptic version of Atlanta. The worldbuilding and the relationships get more and more complicated with each book, and the information about what went wrong in the not-too-distant past (or in our not-too-distant future) builds more depth and gets more interesting.

This is not a series where you can start in the middle. If urban fantasy with a scientific basis sounds good to you, start with the absolutely awesome Clean (reviewed at Reading Reality) and continue through Sharp (likewise).

The hero of the series is a police consultant named Adam Ward. Adam is an ex-drug addict, ex-felon and ex-Guild telepath. He may be ex-Guild, but he’s still a telepath. He’s also nervy and brilliant and always on the edge of losing control of his addictions and his fears. If some of that description sounds like the Sherlock in Elementary, it’s intentional on my part.

However, while Adam has made, and continues to make, a hell of a lot of mistakes in his personal relationships, he’s generally not deliberately an ass.

What he is usually is a complicated mess. His consulting gig with the DeKalb County P.D. is always under the threat of the budget axe. Because of the way that the Telepath Guild ruthlessly saved the rest of humanity after the Tech Wars, the Guild always has complete jurisdiction over him, whether he is a member in good standing or not. They can jerk his chain anytime they want.

And he’s in love with his police partner, Isabella Cherabino. He assumes the feeling is not returned, but that doesn’t make a difference to him. His job, and working with Cherabino, are what give his life enough structure to keep him from using. Today.

Marked is both a continuation of the case that has been built in the first two books, and yet another time with the Guild jerks Adam’s chain. They threaten him into looking into a series of suspicious suicides, hoping that he will come up with the right conclusion.

For select and Guild-serving definitions of right.

Instead, he uncovers a conspiracy that has a chance of bringing down the Guild, or bringing the human military down on all their heads. Or possibly both.

The relationship between Adam and Cherabino continues to evolve, in multiple directions. They are heading toward a romance, but very, very slowly. Their working styles are absolutely opposite, Adam is seat-of-the-pants, and Cherabino is definitely a by-the-book cop. She’s also much tougher than Adam, and neither of them pretends otherwise.

The story is all about plots within plots, and wheels within wheels. Each time a layer peels back and even hints that it might be solved, another equally smelly layer is revealed underneath.

It’s been said that this series is Dresden meets J.D. Robb. That’s probably close, although Adam’s problems with relationships is more cluelessness and less Dresden’s over-developed need to protect people who don’t need to be protected.

In any case, I like both the Dresden Files and J.D. Robb’s In Death series, so anything that combines those two works for me.

I give Marked an A.
Profile Image for OpenBookSociety.com .
3,867 reviews118 followers
March 25, 2014

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

marked-mindspace-investigations-alex-hughesAdam Ward is back in the third installment of Alex Hughes’s Mindspace Investigations series. Adam is finally recovering from his mind injury and is freelancing for the Atlanta PD as an interrogator. He gets to work with Cherabino, who is anxiously waiting for the link Adam accidentally made to fade, as he promised it would.

But when Adam’s ex calls on him for help to find who murdered her uncle, he can’t refuse her. But it puts him in the thick of things with the Guild, an organization that he swore he would never get tangled up with again. But when they realize that they need Adam’s help, he will be lucky to leave with his life and mind intact.

I liked Adam in the previous installment of the series, Sharp, something about the flawed characters trying to do good that I always relate to and like. His internal dialogue can be pretty entertaining at times.

“I didn’t like apologizing–it felt like rehab every time–but I also didn’t like hearing her crying. Even all these years later. It stabbed me in the heart. “What’s wrong? What’s going on?”

“There was a death in the family yesterday morning,” Kara said quietly, in a voice that shook just a little.

“I am so sorry. Do you need me to come over?” Crap, the husband wasn’t going to be a fan of the old fiance coming over. What else did you offer in these situations? “I can help with arrangements.” Wait. That was even worse. Crap, I was terrible at this.”

But I found the story flowed much better in this installment. There was action and mystery, even a little romance and it all coalesced into a wonderful mix that I really enjoyed.

It’s sad to see how Swartz’s health is still going downhill, despite the sacrifices that Adam has made to ensure he has the best medical care possible. Swartz just really seemed down in this installment and alone, it was incredibly sad. And, I don’t know how it will affect Adam if he loses him, but I know it won’t be good!

It’s interesting to see how Adam and Cherabino’s relationship is evolving. I like what I’m seeing so far and I want to see more! This duo definitely has some potential, but it won’t be easy for either party; a perfect example of give and take.

This book also gives us a better look at the Guild and the downward spiral they seem to be taking. They just seem so unethical and divided amongst themselves. I thought for sure they were going to try to bring Adam into the council. I’m waiting to see how they pull him in next, I’m sure they won’t hesitate to use Jacob to real him in.

Overall I think this series is improving slowly, but surely and I’m optimistic about the next installment.
Profile Image for keikii Eats Books.
1,073 reviews53 followers
April 2, 2023
96 points/100 (5/5 stars!)

When my ex-fiancée, Kara called me begging me to investigate the death of one her family members. I can't say no. This is going to get me in trouble, though, and not only because this will give the Guild chance to get rid of me forever.

This book was scary. The Guild is truly frightening. I'm a worrier, and so I worry for Adam, and frankly I worry for the world. This book shows that things are not going into light, fluffy places.

This is a very, very big Guild book. Adam is actually helping the Guild try to solve a murder, because apparently he is some kind of neutral in their eyes. This means we are going into enemy territory, being surrounded completely by enemies, with no backup. That. is. scary! Especially since they treat him so poorly, as always.

Adam has been under threat since the start of this series. He has always said the Guild could do whatever they want to him, and no one could really do anything about it. This book puts that notion to the test. He is threatened and bullied and knows at every step of this book it could be his last.

It is also increasingly becoming known to us readers that this world is about to change. I'm not certain how the world cannot change with the things we are learning throughout the first book as well as Marked. It scares me. It should scare everyone. The politics are absolutely insane, especially since the price for being in power is so, so high as well as the tensions. I'm enjoying the hell out of it, I'm just terrified for the future.

I liked Adam and Cherabino in this one. Their relationship is expanding. Compared to Sharp, there were barely any misunderstandings or hurt feelings. They are cooling down into each other, overcoming their differences. There is also his relationship with Kara. We've seen him reconnect over the last two books with her. Yet, this book changes things with their relationship.

This was very entertaining to read, because I was so scared the entire time. Are we certain this isn't a horror series?

To read more reviews in this series and others, check out keikii eats books!
Profile Image for Derek.
149 reviews18 followers
January 21, 2023
What did I think? In a word, underwhelming. I'm three books in now and should be getting more excited about these characters, not less. I found the plot in this one messier than the first two, and found the focus kept getting pulled between the Wright murder, the continuing threat of unemployment, and all that drama going on at the guild. (Babylon 5's Psi Corp much?)

But my biggest issue with the series hasn't changed since the first book. For a guy who claims to hate saying "I'm sorry", Adam seems to say it a on almost every other page, mostly when he should be saying GFY instead. As I read it, Adam gladly takes shit from everyone around him pretty much all of the time. There's not an exchange between him and a person of any authority where he isn't blackmailed, threatened, dressed down or some combination thereof and he just takes it every time. Its so frustrating.

The guy is unable to be trusted with money so he can't buy his own clothes/food/etc, he is not allowed to drive a car, yet he is continuously solving all the problems for both the police and the guild.

I really hope that recovering addicts are not treated like this, especially those who have been clean for almost 4 years and have proven themselves able to withstand temptation in front of a ready supply.

So as with the first book in the series I find myself taken out of the story a lot and wondering when Adam is going to grow a pair and tell everyone around him to take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.

When everything does get tied up at the end and that huge mess at the guild gets solved singled handedly by our hero, what can be said about this outing is there is some solid character development made. The relationship between Adam and Cherabino shows some promise, we've dispensed with the interrogation room, and finally let the grown man handle his own money again. Even let him drive a car (at least in one scene). I just don't think I care enough about how far they've come to check in on them again if there's another instalment. I'm out.
Profile Image for Dr susan.
2,352 reviews28 followers
December 3, 2014
Marked is one of those books that I need to wait a few days before reading again. The action is intense, and Adam's life and recovery appear destined for failure. His support system is shattered with his babysitter gone, his sponsor still recovering, and his job security in question.
Recovery from addiction is a constant struggle, but Adam appears to turn a very important corner in Marked. I admit I knew the identity of one villain early, but was completely surprised by the other. Cherubino does something so incredibly stupid that I was appalled. More than once, I was convinced Kara deserved a good bitch slapping.
One thing that continues to confuse me is the attitude of other people concerning Adam's addiction. He agreed to be part of a study for the Guild, was given Satin which is almost instantly addictive (which was not supposedly known about the drug), but he is treated as if he had a choice about his addiction. The Guild people especially irritate me, since they continue to treat him as a pariah, even though his addiction was due to the Guild's desire to increase its power.

Sometimes, the darkness of this world is very difficult to take, which is why I am not fond of post-apocalyptic stories set in less fantasy based worlds, but the Mindspace Investigations series has me hooked. I will follow wherever Hughes leads me and, happily, Vacant (book #4) looks to be out in December.

I have read Marked for the second time. Everything I said above still applies... It's Vacant time!
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,123 reviews47 followers
March 20, 2015
Oh my, this story was even more intense than the first two, I loved it! Once again Adam Ward is trying to keep his job with the Atlanta PD, which helps keep him sane and off the drug he was addicted to. When his ex, Kara, begs for his help to prove her uncle did not kill himself, he’s sucked into Guild affairs and politics once again, always a risky proposition. He manages to get grudging approval to help with the investigation, and then proceeds to put himself in even more danger with every step he takes. I wasn’t sure he would survive dealing with the Guild once again, but Adam has hidden resources that surprise even him sometimes. I always enjoy the suspense of Adam’s investigations, and the conclusions are usually surprising and very satisfying as well. Adam’s life is so messed up, but then there will be little rays of light that make it possible for him to keep going, no matter how bad things might seem. I can’t wait to read the next story to see what happens with Adam next.
Profile Image for Harris.
Author 7 books37 followers
April 6, 2014
Maybe I've read too many urban fantasy/SF procedurals. Maybe the world that the Mindspace series takes place in doesn't resonate with me the way that the Laundry Files or the Charles Stross books do. But after three books, I'm basically ready to drop the Mindspace series from my reading list. I just have no real interest in it any more. The Telepath Guild feels too much like a mustache twirling batch of Bester clones running Psi-Corps (corps is mother, corps is father), the Tech Wars back story seems nonsensical (how exactly were telepaths needed to beat computers?) and the relationship between Ward and Cheribino just... yeah. It gets some progress here but honestly, it's not exactly Dresden and Murphy, is it?

Nothing in this really hooked me or held me other than my tendency to prefer to not quit books without finishing them. The first two books were OK but at this point, I'm done and ready to clear some space on my virtual shelves for new stuff.
Profile Image for Ubiquitousbastard.
801 reviews64 followers
August 10, 2016
First off, this book gives me no strong feelings. It wasn't unpleasant to read, but it all sort of felt a bit flat. Like more could have been done with, I mean, I didn't even realize I had passed the plot resolution until I saw I was almost on the last page. Then I was literally asking myself: was that it? Is it over? But nothing really happened.

There were a few good parts I guess, lightly good, interesting to some degree at least. Basically, this book was just too mediocre all over, but not in an obnoxious enough way to make me give it two stars. That might also be due to my schadenfreude at the unfulfilled romance and such. I really can't think of something to even say about this book, it was just an okay waste of time with absolutely nothing unique or special about it.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
778 reviews38 followers
January 28, 2015
This is my favorite--so far--of the Mindspace novels. The stakes this time are life-and-death, as Adam continues to struggle with addiction and the consequences of the past while trying to move forward with his life. At the same time, a call for help that renews past alliances in the Guild might also destroy the world he's building in the present. While it frustrates me sometimes that it often seems like the entire universe is arrayed against Adam, his courage and fortitude make him an admirable and sympathetic character for all his flaws. He may not have many people on his side in his version of earth, but as a reader, I can't help rooting for him.
Profile Image for Fantasy Literature.
3,226 reviews165 followers
April 12, 2014
My friendship with Adam has covered three novels now. Alex Hughes has taken me into a different future of the world I live in and made it very real for me, but the best part is that I’ve befriended a hero who I completely understand and admire. That’s right, I admire Adam the drug addict.

In Marked, the third book in Hughes’ MINDSPACE INVESTIGATIONS... Read More http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...
Profile Image for Hilary.
2,005 reviews52 followers
July 11, 2014
Politics and telepaths... no, it's not Babylon 5. Adam's job is at risk, his partnership may be getting better (or worse), and people he respects might not be all they appear. Intrigue, backstabbing (metaphorical), and sanity very much at stake keep him on the move, trying to track down the conspiracy before some real harm is done.
568 reviews5 followers
December 9, 2021
Really enjoyed this one, and the series is going in some strong directions. Hughes is doing a good job in building out the cast so that we're not always just in with Adam and his needs, as well as building out Adam's life a little bit so that he's at least 20% less self-loathing and pathetic.

Now, to be fair, Adam is an addict and Hughes isn't letting that slide away easily. It's always floating around the edges here and that's better than some stories where the protagonist "overcomes" their addiction and never really has it come up again unless plot demands it. So far, Hughes is doing a good job in allowing Adam to move forward a little bit in his life, though so that it's not the only things going on inside his head.

But by evolving him as a character it allows us to go in some different places in this world, and delving back into Guild Politics is interesting and frightening and developing a relationship with Cherabino is also complicated and interesting. The plot is good and the writing is strong and this is feeling less and less like a sci-fi noir rip-off and more like it's own thing and that's all to the good.
Profile Image for Ian .
480 reviews6 followers
April 20, 2018
The third of the Mindspace Investigations novels carries on from the last. The pace isn;'t fast as the hero, Adam – telepath and junkie working for the police department in a post apocalyptic distopian worldd – continues his slow recovery and rediscovery of self worth, whilst his relationship with his sometime partner and crush develops.
Another reviewer said this may be the best series you're not reading yet, and I think that sums it up well. Adam's problems can be a little depressing, but it 'feels' as if the first person depiction of a recovering addict is accurate. (Who can know unless we've gone through it, so feel is all we can do). His cop 'partner', with whom he is totally besotted, is still quite hard to like but is maybe a little better this time out This is a very readable series.
96 reviews
August 25, 2018
Great series and the writing improves by leaps and bounds

Book1 was ok but book2 was much better and book3 terrific. This has rapidly become a favorite series for me, and I am very picky! The hero and his layers of complexity are wonderful. We live in a world where heroes labor for 49 minutes and then the Reset Button is hit for next week's show. It is the author's gift to show how each decision has a weight and an outcome that become part of a person.
Profile Image for Cee.
2,514 reviews111 followers
February 15, 2018
I still really like this series and I flew through this book.

The thing is, the romance between Adam and Isabella feels flat to me. Somewhat. I kinda get it, but all the reader really sees is their work relationship. I'm a bit worried about how this will progress.

Poor ADAM! I feel like I keep thinking this.

Anyhow the mystery was pretty interesting and I look forward to the next book :)
1,400 reviews
May 19, 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and found it quite interesting. I was lost a few times but that happens when you enter a series midway. The characters were all well developed especially the protagonist. And the plot is certainly SF. Well written.
Profile Image for Sarah.
660 reviews2 followers
November 12, 2017
As Adam grows and changes in these books, the building relationships feel natural to me. Things are starting to form a bigger picture now, an issue that can take multiple books to work through. The writing style paints wonderful pictures of the world, making it the world I live in fall away.
Profile Image for Noelia Zaballa.
Author 3 books
May 21, 2020
Another great book of this series, I can't put them down! I'm not a big fan of police investigations but in this case the topic provides the perfect background to develop the main character's attitude and behavior. Really worth reading it if you're into urban fantasy/sci-fi.
Profile Image for Gretchen Fatouros.
Author 3 books3 followers
August 26, 2021
Bought at the Book Warehouse in Waterloo. Had no idea this was book 3. Hoped it wouldn’t be an issue as many books you can skip around. It wasn’t an issue until maybe 50-60% in. I definitely guess I would have gotten more if I had read the first 2 books.

Otherwise, good read.
Profile Image for RavenT.
491 reviews10 followers
March 3, 2018
The author does a good job of handling the exposure of Adam's back story over the course of the series, especially in this book.

Note: It's important to read these books in order.
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