Bantam, Mar 23 2010, $7.99
In Midcity off Lake Michigan, Justine and her boyfriend Cubby dine at Mongolian Delites when she sees Shady Ben Foley work his latest scam on some people just like he did her father. She warns the others before returning to her table complaining about her vein busting. Soon afterward at the bar, Packard Sterling tells her he can help her with her desperate problems like the vein bursting and other psychosomatic diseases. She says no thanks as she is used to being a hypochondriac with a zillion phobias. However, he insists that he can transfer her fears into criminals and will teach her to do so if she joins his Disillusionists crime retribution team; whose clients are the victims like she and her family were.
Two of Packard’s recruits were former clients and they persuade Justine to return to Mongolian Delites after explaining their target is Foley. Still believing she is making a Faustian deal; she agrees if Foley suffers an aneurism. When he does due to her transferring her fear of having an aneurism to the rat, she joins. However, Justine fears her attraction to her new boss, but soon catches him lying so she vows to learn why and find out his other secrets.
The first Disillusionist urban fantasy is a refreshing crime fighting thriller starring a terrific tough woman who knows she has every illness known to humanity and a few not yet discovered; as she is learning to transfer her “disease” of the moment to deserving bad people. The story line takes its time introducing the Crane mythos and the key characters. Once done, the plot goes into hyper action as the Disillusionists work their transference trade in Midcity while the heroine struggles with ethics issues. Fans of Dresden will want to read the opening act as Justine proves to be a powerful telekinetic hypochondriac.