Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Welcome to Midnight, Texas

Charlaine Harris
Ace Books
May 6, 2014

I was very eager to see how Charlaine Harris would follow up on her long-running Sookie Stackhouse series. Like many other readers, I thought the Sookie series went on about four books longer than it should have. Unlike many other readers, I disliked the "True Blood" adaptation of the series intensely. I forced myself to watch about three episodes and decided I just wasn't masochistic enough.

Midnight, Texas could be any one of a thousand little crossroads in America. Blink and you might miss it. But Midnight is populated by some very odd souls indeed. Two of those  souls have made appearances in previous Harris series; Manfred Bernardo from the Harper Connolly Series and Bobo Winthrop from the Lily Bard Mysteries. Manfred, I remembered very well indeed, and Bobo- not at all. Manfred, who is a telephone and internet psychic, has just moved to Midnight and his landlord is Bobo. Bobo owns the local pawn shop, one of the few thriving businesses in Midnight. He has another tenant, Lemuel, who lives in the basement of the pawnshop and only comes out at night. Then there is Fiji who runs a New Age Shop and an unsociable reverend who conducts Sunday services, weddings and pet funerals. These are only a few of of the characters that we come to know more or less well in the course of the story. All is not well in Midnight though. Bobo's live-in girlfriend went missing several months past and there are stirrings of white supremacy and separatist movements in the neighborhood. All in all, the residents of Midnight are not what the Bible Belt looks kindly upon.

Midnight Crossroad develops somewhat slowly as we get to know the residents and watch them interact. Charlaine Harris is a master at building intriguing characters and Midnight Crossing is no disappointment. I was enthralled throughout and the solution to the mystery of the missing girlfriend was a complete surprise. The white supremacists are idiots but dangerous ones, as in real life. There are enough secrets in Midnight to keep this trilogy going and I look forward to the next one. Flashes of dry humor throughout the book are an added attraction. Charlaine Harris has a very accurate grasp of cat psychology :). Highly recommended!

RATING-4.5 stars