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Review: Double Cross

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Double Cross
Author: Carolyn Crane 
Release Date: Sept. 28, 2010
Publisher: Bantam/Spectra
The Disillusionists #2
ISBN: #978-0553592627
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds
About the book:
SOME SECRETS COME BACK TO HAUNT. OTHERS COME TO KILL.
Serial killers with unheard of skills are terrorizing the most powerful beings in Midcity. As the body count grows, Justine faces a crisis of conscience…and an impossible choice between two flawed but brilliant men—one on a journey of redemption, the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.
What Im talking about:
I jumped into Double Cross immediately after finishing the first Disillusionists book, Mind Games (Review HERE). Note, this review contains SPOILERS from Book 1.
When we last left the gang, Packard was finally free of his restaurant prison and headed for some much deserved sunshine. Justine was looking forward to starting over and enjoying a romance with newly elected Mayor Otto Sanchez. Packard and his gang of Disillusionists are now working directly for Otto, rehabilitating Midcity’s most dangerous high caps (people with high-capacity brain powers – such as telekinesis). 
The second book in Ms. Crane’s powerful trilogy meets and surpasses the intensity, suspense and action of the first book. Wow! First of all, the plot was extremely exciting… A group of terrorists dubbed “The Dorks” is attacking Midcity’s high cap residents. This adds an element of immediate danger to our beloved Otto and Packard. In addition, the Disillusionists are working with a set of nefarious high caps, giving more tension and strain. But it’s fear that Justine will turn into a sleepwalking cannibalistic zombie-slave that puts the suspense over the edge! 
Right from the start I wanted to cheer for Packard, but let’s face it… he’s such an ass. He knows exactly how to push Justine’s buttons. How to turn her on, how to give her hope, and how to crush her spirit. He doesn’t want to let Justine in, but their connection is stronger than ever, even with her secretly seeing Mayor Sanchez. The bottom line: Packard is ALL about freedom, and he’ll use anyone in anyway to stay free. This is made perfectly clear over and over again. Yet Justine (and this reader), keeps going back to Packard.
I felt Justine could be a bit dense at times, but I still love her. I mean Otto goes missing and she thinks his text to her isn’t quite right, yet she believes he’s off at a conference and just needs space. It’s that she constantly chooses to deliberately NOT believe what she knows in her heart to be true, and although it can be frustrating, it makes Justine endearing. Just like she continually sabotages things with Otto because in her heart she realizes they are there to comfort each other, but it’s not love.
I adore new character, Ez. She’s a high cap with the ability to enter into the sleeping mind of those she touches. It’s unclear if she is behind the cannibal sleepwalkers, and it’s an interesting twist. The fact that Justine and Packard are linked in dreams via Ez is a great plot device that enables Justine to learn more about Packard and Otto’s past.
Ms. Crane has amazing talent! She makes you constantly question what you know is right and true. Like Packard’s affections for Justine and whether or not Ez is controlling sleepwalkers. As the secrets from Otto and Packard’s past are revealed, more secrets come out that change the game. 
Without giving spoilers, I have to say that near the end there is a wonderful scene between Packard and Justine. Packard is raw – the intensity of the scenes is amazing. And then I love him all over again! But be prepared… the ending was one of those “Nooooooooo!” moments. It’s not a cliffhanger, but rather something so significant that changes the entire game. And you know this can’t be how it ends. 
I couldn’t put this book down. I was blown away by the writing, the energy, the plot and the humor. The entire cast of characters from Shelby to Simon support the story, making it rich with life. Ms. Crane is an expert at tugging me and my emotions from “one side” to the other. Events unfold at just the perfect pace. I lived this book through Justine’s eyes and was able to experience each of her emotions. Just. So. Good. 
My Rating:

Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)

Purchase Info:
Mind Games (The Disillusionists: Book 1)
Double Cross (The Disillusionists: Book 2)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03324366495151363782 Angela Brown

    I have to admit, you description of Justine and her handling of some things when it comes to Otto is quite true-to-life with the way we women can respond to things when we KNOW in our heart something’s not right. We just don’t want to admit it or face it.

    Le sigh. This series sounds intense!!

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