Genre: urban fantasy
Page Count: 336
Publication Date: Sept. 28, 2010
Why I read it: book 2 in a trilogy
Justine Jones has lived her life as a fearful hypochondriac until she's lured into the web of a mysterious mastermind named Packard. He 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, and the other descending into a pit of moral depravity.
You know how sometimes you read the first book in a series, and you really like it, but then you get book 2 in your hands and you're afraid it won't be as good, so you put off reading it? I did that a little bit with Double Cross. Lately urban fantasy series have been disappointing me. But I shouldn't have worried about this one. In fact, I would say that Double Cross is better than Mind Games. Which is good--authors should improve with each book. But if Carolyn Crane gets any better, I'm afraid I might have a heart attack while reading the next book. Or a vein star episode. Like my head might seriously explode.
The biggest problem with this book was that it ended. It was like I was on this really awesome ride with lots of twists and turns, and the ride got really intense, and I started getting worried, like WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING WITH THIS RIDE AND WHAT'S COMING NEXT? And then the ride comes to a sudden stop. And I know there's more ride, but I can't go on it right now. Logically, I feel like it was as good a place as any to end this part of the story, unless she was going to wrap up the whole story right now (but since it's a trilogy, that wasn't happening), it's just that I want to find out what happens right this minute.
So, I really like Justine. I like that she's conflicted, and that there are no easy answers for her. I even kind of like this love triangle, even though I normally hate love triangles. Both Packard and Otto are so horribly screwed up (as is Justine), but they've also got very attractive things about them. And maybe what I like about them is that they don't have everything going for them. Just about everyone in this book is flawed in some way, some a lot more than others, but the world somehow seems to stay believable. And I've grown to really care about some of these characters--maybe a little too much, judging by my reaction to the ending.
Double Cross has been enough to renew my faith in the urban fantasy genre. Before this I had gotten very burned out, and it seemed like there was nothing new there to find. This is different. It's emotional, heart-pounding, gray area all over the place wonderful. I would highly recommend this one! Any book that leaves you with an intense emotional reaction has to be doing something right. I'll leave you with what I facebooked right after I finished it: