Review: Mind Games by Carolyn Crane

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane
Publisher: Random House (March 2010)


Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.
Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.

Justine Jones is a hypochondriac who has spent her life paralyzed by fear that a blood vessel will burst in her brain and kill her. Especially since her mother died of that very thing. When she meets handsome, charismatic, Sterling Packard, he promises her a freedom from fear that she never thought she’d have.Packard is a highcap, one of a special group of people that have mutations that have gifted them with certain powers of the mind. Packard has the ability to see deep within a person, and in Justine, he not only sees the person she could be, if freed from fear, but also a powerful ally and pawn in a plan that involves some of the worst criminals Midcity has ever seen.

Justine starts off as an insecure woman paralyzed by fear. After meeting Packard and being recruited into his group of Disillusionists, she finds strength and confidence she never knew she had. The Disillusionists are charged with taking their fear and pushing it outward onto the criminal, effectively “rebooting” them and causing complete reform. Justine will have to battle her growing attraction to Packard while discovering her newfound powers. When she meets Chief Otto Sanchez, her sense of what is real and fantasy is blurred, and she finds herself having to make a choice that could alter the course of her life forever.This was one of the most unusual and entertaining urban fantasies that I’ve read in a long time. It’s obvious the author did her research, and the dark heart of a hypochondriac’s mind is a fascinating and terrifying place. Justine frustrated me at times, but that was only because she is a complex character, and was frequently conflicted in her decisions. Ms. Crane takes us on quite a ride with Justine! Sexy, always exciting, terrifying at times, and tons of fun, Mind Games is a great read! Keep an eye out for my review of Double Cross, the next in the series!Photobucket
About the author
CAROLYN CRANE lives in Minneapolis with her handsome husband and two daring cats. She enjoys reading and running and loves animals of all kinds. For more than a decade she’s made her living as a freelance writer. This is her first novel, and the first book in The Disillusionists Trilogy.


  1. I'm intrigued. This sounds like an interesting, unique plot. I'm going to put this on my list. thanks for the review!

  2. Oh, this sounds great – I love a good urban fantasy! Love your blog header – very clever!

  3. This one is on my TBR list – every review I've read praised it.

  4. great book. I'm just too scared to read Double Cross b/c of the rumored hell-ish cliffhanger.

  5. Stacy (Urban Fantasy Investigations)

    I LOVE this series. Great review.

  6. Larissa {Larissa's Bookish Life}

    Great review! get ready for Double Cross!! Its AMAZING!!!! =D

  7. I can see how people would like this one, but it is definitely one of my least favorites. I liked some things about it (like the way they kept using the term nemesis). But the things I didn't like, oh I hated! A lot.

  8. Really interesting premise! Noting it down for a future read. Thanks for the review!

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