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New short story in the Mindspace Investigations universe (with two bonus short stories in other worlds from author Alex Hughes).

Open Mind

When the cops call me in the middle of the night, I know it's bad. One of their own is dead, strangled in her car by a professional killer, and it's up to me, telepath consultant extraordinaire, to pull the rabbit out of my hat and solve the case. Only this time I'm not so sure I can.

Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino is breathing down my neck. The dead cop's partner is too. And now, the worst--there was a five-year-old kid in the car, a kid no one can find.

Note from the author: "Rabbit Trick" takes place before the events of Clean, so the hero intentionally remains nameless.

45 pages, ebook

First published March 4, 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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5 stars
141 (25%)
4 stars
219 (39%)
3 stars
178 (31%)
2 stars
19 (3%)
1 star
2 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 37 reviews
January 28, 2018
Beware of the telepath!
“What color are my boxers?”
I sighed, lowered the shields a bit, and skimmed the information off the surface of his troubled mind. Damn parlor tricks. “You wear briefs,” I said. “And that was a visual I could have done without, thanks bunches.” I shored up my shields, annoyed now, trying to push his nasty emotion-snarl out of my head. (c)
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,652 reviews216 followers
December 27, 2015
Adam gets called to a crime scene at 3 a.m. Cherabino drives him to a place where a police officer is murdered in her car . Slipping into Mindspace, he soon realizes there was someone else with the murdered woman and a killer in that car.
I don't really like cops in this series. I have yet to meet one who isn't ungrateful and judgemental. Their attitude, Cherabino's in particular, towards Adam makes me really mad.
Still, there are so many things to like in this series.

There are two bonus stories. Neither is from this series. The Carousel is a weird story featuring a carousel that seems to take children. In the second, Inky Black Sea, an old sea captain who is on his last journey finds a way to be adventurous a bit longer.
Profile Image for Dr susan.
2,344 reviews28 followers
April 7, 2014
Rabbit Trick gets 5 stars, and is set before Clean. Hughes helpfully reminds readers that we do not find out her character's name until the end of Clean (and I admit that I flipped through Clean when I finished it the first time, certain his name appears in it somewhere else!). I love these stories which are a blend of science fiction, mystery, and spy thriller.

The carousel short is extremely creepy, and is made even creepier by being told in the first person. I knew what was going to happen, but read it anyway.
The second short is good, and is entertaining in a horror kind of a way.
Profile Image for Meggie.
4,899 reviews
May 3, 2016
This shorty was an enjoyable introduction to Mindspace series. I liked the main protagonist Adam, but didn't much like Detective Isabella Cherabino. Even so, I'm looking forward for more.
Profile Image for Cee.
2,505 reviews111 followers
February 12, 2018
*horror tag added for the two additional stories at the end*

This is a VERY short novella. Reading this after book 2, I recognized this case since it is mentioned there. It was nice seeing Adam be awesome haha.

The two stories at the end do not go with the Mindspace Investigations series. The first one is soooo creepy, but I absolutely loved it. The second one is about a captain trying to save his ship from a mermaid. I liked it, but it is one I'll probably forget while the first is one I'll remember for a while yet.
Profile Image for Dana.
577 reviews
May 2, 2018
This is a great beginner novella for this series. I have read them out of order, but only because I did not have access to them in order. I highly recommend that you do read them in order.
In this novella Adam and Cherabino are just getting to know each other, and Adam is just getting his feet underneath him with the police.
At the end there were also two very short teaser stories by Alex Hughes that had nothing to do with this series. They were interesting, but were only the beginnings of each.
Profile Image for RavenT.
491 reviews10 followers
March 2, 2018
Excellent prequel to the series, but I'd recommend reading the first book before this novella, because it's not backstory and will make much more sense if you have read Clean first.

For a novella, it's got a mystery plot and great futuristic world building elements, which place this in the SF genre. The series is a gritty, slightly dystopic, urban cop thriller with psych powers as an known element of society.
Profile Image for C.J. Laurence.
Author 23 books30 followers
May 15, 2017
Interesting ideas

I enjoyed this for a short read. The ideas expressed throughout were intriguing enough to make me curious about the Mindspace series. The two bonus stories, especially The Carousel, were a delightful peek inside the authors mind. Definitely would love to see The Carousel fleshed out into a full length novel.
Profile Image for Ericka.
405 reviews5 followers
March 3, 2017
Interesting Concept

Mindspace is an interesting way of defining telepathy. It makes it easy to conceive what the character is actually doing. I'm interested in pursuing more books in this series.
106 reviews
August 27, 2017
This book is between the 1st 2 novels in the Mind Space series, Clean and Sharp. There are a couple of incidents mentioned in Sharp that refer back to events in Rabbit Trick. If you enjoy the series, definitely read her novellas ( only on Kindle ).
Profile Image for Yemic.
548 reviews
January 11, 2018
Short read, nice intro to the world of telepathy investigation.
Profile Image for Heidi Kirsch.
211 reviews
August 8, 2018
So utterly disappointed. Truly dig this series but this was not a story that needed to be done. Plus the two "bonus" pieces were just not on the mark, or even in the Mindspace universe. Pouting.
645 reviews
October 13, 2018
I want to read more from this author! This was an enjoyable and interesting paranormal detective book.
Profile Image for Lupine Smile.
682 reviews5 followers
December 3, 2020
I love this series. The story is a bit too easy, but it is still a nice taste of the world and characters.
Profile Image for S Klotz.
86 reviews23 followers
July 29, 2015
I like the way Hughes writes a character that can effortlessly read the thoughts and emotions of those around him. At the core of this character is a drug addiction that’s tied to these abilities. The social tension of not being trusted for both of these reasons allows for a constant stream of minor conflicts, which give the story energy.

From there she writes a fairly standard police procedural, with flying cars and a global fear of networked technology. This particular story is set before Clean, the first novel in the series. It's resolved simply as the title suggests. I prefer the novels as there's more space to delve into the science fictional underpinnings of the world.

There are 2 bonus stories in this eBook.

"Carousel" is a delightfully creepy flash horror piece.

"Ink Black Sea" involves a Spanish schooner captain in a battle of wits with a sea creature. Efficiently realized historical setting. We're continuously reminded by all senses that a wooden sailing vessel is a fragile thing and likewise human life. The most powerful characters in this story are trapped in some way by their core nature. I love how a monster story manages to both take life yet end on a hopeful tone.
Profile Image for chucklesthescot.
2,907 reviews118 followers
July 28, 2016
It's always hard to review a short story without giving away all of the plot but I'll give you a few lines about this one.

Homocide Detective Isabella Cherabino calls in a telepathic former drug addicted consultant to help solve the murder of a female cop by looking into the mind of her five year old son who witnessed the crime.

This is an introduction of characters for an urban fantasy series and I liked the idea of a specialist in solving crimes by psychic means being involved. Our hero has managed to put his dodgy past aside and is smart and resourceful in looking at the suspects and piecing together what really happened. It was a bit different from other urban fantasy crime plots and I liked the way you are kept guessing as to who the killer is.

I can't say more without giving away the plot but this series looks like it has potential and I'm definitely going to continue with it.
88 reviews
January 21, 2016
This was a short add-on to the current universe of Alex Hughes' "Mindspace" series. Although it was well-written and engaging in the way it kept the action moving from start to finish, it felt to me too brief to bring any value to the reader trying to clarify their understanding of the setting and characters of "Mindspace". Also, because of the short length of the book we only end up seeing Adam and Cherbino. The rest of our regular, adored cast is absent.
In summary, while this book was a good way to kill an hour in an enjoyable way, it really did not send me away with any better grasp of the Mindspace universe, and for me, a book that doesn't expand the reader's panorama of the author's world really isn't fully worth reading.
82 reviews
July 21, 2019
Was goodish, but very very very short.

The beginning was interesting, and the premise set up well.
But everything concluded way too fast. There either needed to :
1. be more time given to fleshing out characters + their relationships,
2. Showing more investigative stuff or at least discussion of the
Profile Image for William.
113 reviews17 followers
June 15, 2016
I decided to read this instead of diving into the first novel just to see what it's like and if I like the writing style. Verdict - Great writing, descriptions, summation of the world and lead character. The only negative has nothing to do with the writing, it's with the characters, specifically the cops.

If a guy shows up at my job and fixes most of my problems and I still get credit for it, the last thing I'm going to do is treat him like a dog. So yeah, that craptastic attitude they exude, especially Cherabino, annoys me, but the world building and the main character, Adam, are both, equally, interesting and fun. I look forward to reading the first novel.
Profile Image for Sarah.
363 reviews
March 2, 2016
This was a pretty good set of short stories set before the first book of this series "Clean". I found them relatively interesting and they were not bad plot wise.

I wish I could be more specific, but I can't really. They are really just there, kinda. I'm not good at writing about short stories that only contain a few stories. plus I think I might like this a bit better when I've read more of the series.

Basically, a recommended set of stories for people who have read the series and like it.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,122 reviews47 followers
December 17, 2015
Great early story in the Mindspace world - with solving the murder of a cop a priority, Adam and Cherabino are assigned to the case. Adam is expected to pull a rabbit out of a hat, and he's hoping he can come through, using his mind reading abilities to investigate this tricky case. I love this series and any time I get an opportunity to follow along as Adam uses his ability to assist in investigations, I'll jump at the chance.
Profile Image for Amyiw.
2,329 reviews63 followers
September 26, 2016
This is a quick short that takes you right into the Mindspace World. It'll give new readers an idea of the series and be a quick fix for those that know the characters. Probably will like it a little better knowing the characters, but don't need to.

I really am liking this series a lot though the object of his desire is a bit annoying, both the person and the drug. :-) I really like the main character.
33 reviews18 followers
January 23, 2015
Good story, but continually annoyed with the prejudice that the main character is constantly experiencing!!!! Also annoyed that everyone just accepts it, like its acceptable...... You know what, everyone needs to realise, that he's doing them a favour, not the otherway around.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Chad.
241 reviews
August 20, 2016
A telepath helps to solve a murder case in which a cop was killed.

This short story was well written and quickly brings the reader into the world and introduces the characters. I just wish there was more. It seemed a bit to compact, but I get the sense that the full stories may be more robust.
97 reviews
November 17, 2014
If you like the series, you will like the story. Short and complete, related to the events in the larger series.
Profile Image for Molly Smith.
687 reviews11 followers
November 18, 2014
Short but sweet, I enjoyed this early story of "our nameless hero" and Cherabino. It was compelling and gripping for a very short but intricate mystery. I really liked it.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 37 reviews

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