Published by Penguin on 2014-05-06
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Source: Borrowed From Library
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FIRST IN A NEW TRILOGY
From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale—populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that’s how the locals prefer it…
Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.
There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).
Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth...
Have you ever started reading a book and felt like you were dropped right in to the middle of the story, even though you were reading the first chapter? Felt like you somehow missed a set of books before the one you were trying to read, so you felt so out of the loop that your frustration was so palpable you wanted to close the (digital) pages and not look back for a few days? Well, that’s how I felt when I started reading Charlaine Harris’ latest book Midnight Crossroad, book one in a new mystery trilogy that follows up her highly successful Sookie Stackhouse series.
Featuring a set of quirky characters that live in a small town in Texas where the only rule is that no one asks about your past, the main focus at first appeared to be a mid-twenties psychic named Manfred who just moved to Midnight. While he gets acquainted with his landlord Bobo, who also owns the Pawn Shop next door that employs a Vampire and a pretty kickass woman, the story also explores the disappearance of Bobo’s girlfriend–until her body turns up. And seems like it takes forever for the dead body to show up. Until then, the book basically follows Manfred as he interacts with the resident witch, restaurant owner, local handyman gas station owner and his kids, the Reverend, and the Salon/Antique store proprietors.
With frequent point of view changes–which are done cleanly and without confusion–you’re hopping around from character to character as they try to figure out who killed Bobo’s girlfriend. Even with all of this time devoted to these characters, I didn’t connect with any of them and they felt two-dimensional and underdeveloped. It’s pretty sad when the character that I loved the most was a sarcastic witches familiar feline. By the end of the book, I finally got a good feel for everyone and I was really enjoying it, but it took a bit of work to get to know everyone.
I give Midnight Crossroad a three out of five. Lacking the emotional tension and depth that I’ve come to love from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, I didn’t feel like the stakes were that high in this book. Too many characters and too much jumping around made it hard to connect with any of them while trying to establish a new world. I’m glad that I borrowed this one from the library, especially since the last half of the book shows such great potential and improvement over the first half. I will be borrowing the next book from the library too.