In Midnight Crossroad, Charlaine Harris “capture[d] the same magic as the world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, and [took] it to another level" (Houston Press). Now the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels returns to the one-traffic-light town you see only when you’re on the way to someplace else…
There is no such thing as bad publicity, except in Midnight, Texas, where the residents like to keep to themselves. Even in a town full of secretive people, Olivia Charity is an enigma. She lives with the vampire Lemuel, but no one knows what she does; they only know that she’s beautiful and dangerous.
Psychic Manfred Bernardo finds out just how dangerous when he goes on a working weekend to Dallas and sees Olivia there with a couple who are both found dead the next day. To make matters worse, one of Manfred’s regular—and very wealthy—clients dies during a reading.
Manfred returns from Dallas embroiled in scandal and hounded by the press. He turns to Olivia for help; somehow he knows that the mysterious Olivia can get things back to normal. As normal as things get in Midnight…
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published: May 5th 2015 by Ace
Four stars: A much better sequel with engaging characters in an interesting town.
Manfred is headed to Dallas for the weekend to do psychic readings. At his hotel while checking in, he looks up and notices Olivia, his neighbor from Midnight. When he makes a move to acknowledge, she waves him off. Peculiar. Later that night, Manfred sees Olivia having dinner with a couple. The next morning, that same couple is found dead in their hotel room, apparently a murder/suicide. Manfred wonders what Olivia did because he knows somehow she is involved. He pushes it out of his mind and prepares for his first client. Unfortunately, his first reading goes awry when his long time client, Rachel, suddenly drops dead during the session. Manfred returns back to Midnight only to have the cops and press follow him. The woman's son is accusing him of stealing her jewelry. All the strangers in town are making the locals edgy as Midnight isn't your ordinary podunk town. Quickly, the townsfolk conspire to make the problem go away. Can the citizens of Midnight clear Manfred's name?
What I Liked:
- I went into this one with a bit of hesitation as I have severe book amnesia when it comes to this series. I only recall that Midnight Crossroad was my first Charlaine Harris book, and that I was a bit disappointed. This time around, I had a much better experience. I enjoyed catching up with the eccentric characters and learning more of their secrets. I was quickly plunged back into this strange town, and I enjoyed the mystery. This is a character driven novel, so if you like books with all kinds of paranormal entities, this is a fun read. It has shapeshifters, a vampire, witch, angels, a telepath, a psychic and who knows what else. I am loving learning more about the town and its people.
- Last time around, I complained about the lack of world building. I felt like I didn't have a handle on Midnight, Texas. This time around, the world building is much better. Midnight might be a minuscule town in the middle of nowhere, but it is far from boring. I thought Ms. Harris did an excellent job creating a strange atmosphere, and I loved uncovering more and more secrets about the inhabitants. I can't wait to go back to Midnight.
- This is a character driven story. Fans of Harris will recognize the characters from other series, which I am sure enhances the read, but for a newbie like me, I was still entertained by the characters. No one is who them seem in this town. All of the inhabitants are there for reason, and they are all far from ordinary. I liked learning more about each person and learning their secrets. I was surprised a time or two by the true identities of some of the townspeople like The Rev and Chuy and Joe. Each person is a mystery, and I am eager to learn all I can about them all. I was especially intrigued by the arrival of a telepath named Barry Bellboy. I was left wanting to know much more about him.
- There is a lot going on in this book, and I was pulled in by the multiple story lines. The heart of the story centers around Manfred and his now deceased client. The towns people want to make all the strangers go away so they work together to find out what happened to the jewelry. However, that is just one of the stories. There is also a story line regarding the remodel of the old hotel, turning into an old folk's home of sorts. Who was behind the renovation and why? The Rev gets a mysterious visitor a young boy, who isn't what he seems. Olivia is wrestling the demons from her past, and Lem is trying to uncover the origins of some strange old books. There were so many interesting little mysteries, that I was just itching to solve. I liked all the story threads.
- The books ends in a good place as it wraps up the main mystery of the book, but there were still so many threads left to explore. I need more on all the townsfolk. I want to know all their secrets.
And The Not So Much:
- Even though I liked that there was a lot going on in this book, I was a bit frustrated by the lack of answers. I was left with more unanswered questions than answers. The whole story line with the hotel seemed like it was going to be a big and important part of the plot, and then it is cast aside. What is the deal with the hotel? I was wishing that there was a bit more focus after it was all said and done. If you aren't a fan of books with multiple story lines and multiple view points, this won't work for you.
- Where was Lem? He is notable absent for the whole book, and he makes only one brief appearance. Lem was one of the most fascinating characters from the first book, and to have him missing from this installment was a disappointment. One of the highlights of the last book was the budding romance between Bobo and Fiji, unfortunately, the romance is only a brief mention, and it makes no movement. Again, this book gets a bit too busy, and it fails to follow up on story lines from the previous book. I am hoping that the third and final book will bring it all together, but that is going to be a tall task. I was also left perplexed over Olivia and her actions. I am not sure what to make of her, and I wanted to understand her actions in the hotel.
- I was intrigued by the strange boy who Rev takes in. There is something not quite right about the boy. When the full moon comes, the town folk head in before dark and close their doors and windows, fearful of something out there in the night. It was creepy and suspenseful. When the big reveal as to what was stalking the streets of Midnight was revealed, I was a bit disappointed. I was expecting something darker and more sinister, and what I got was not all that exciting.
- Barry Bellboy pops into the picture during the second half of the book. He is obviously a character from the Sookie Stackhouse Series. I was immediately drawn in by Barry and his telepathic talent. Unfortunately, Barry ends up leaving town quickly, and I was left wanting to know so much more. I hope he will return in the third book, but I have my doubts. I think this is case of not understanding because I haven't read Harris' other series.
- The old folks who took up residence in the hotel were funny and charming. I was disappointed that there wasn't more focus on the strange hotel, and at the end, I was even more frustrated with what happens with the old folks. What was the point?
Day Shift was a book that drew me in and entertained me despite its flaws. I am sure this would be a much better read for long time fans of Ms. Harris. Even though I had my niggles, I found myself quickly immersed in the small town of Midnight. I love all the quirky, enigmatic characters and their secrets, and I am itching to know more. This was a fast and fun read, but it does require some patience. If you like paranormal books with fascinating characters, secrets, mysteries and multiple story lines, give this series a read. I am eagerly looking forward to the third and final book, Night Shift because I just have to know everything.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.