Written by: Charlaine Harris
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Ace Books (6 May 2014)
‘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…’
‘I was very excited about the prospect open to me: the thrill of doing something new and different, the creation of another world. I literally didn’t know where to start. It was like being in a great big bakery where there are no calories. But gradually a place began to form in my mind, a desolate and isolated place, and I began to populate that little town.’ Charlaine Harris 2014.
I’m a big Charlaine Harris fan and I’ve read all of her other series, so when I found out she had a new novel coming out this year, the first of a brand new series, I was super excited. After reading the book I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed.
The novel revolves around the small, tight- knit community of Midnight. The beginning section of the book introduces the reader to all the inhabitants, including newcomer Manfred Bernardo, a character Harris fans will recognise from the Harper Connelly books. He’s a ‘psychic’ and has his own business, conducted online and on the phone, so this isolated place seemed like a good place to move. Most of his work includes the use of psychology and instinct, rather than psychic ability but he does sometimes get real psychic vibes. He’s young, determined to get on with his own life and actually finds the small population of Midnight very welcoming.
We are also introduced to the other inhabitants all of whom have some sort of secret: ‘Why else would they live in such a desolate place?’ We meet the dinner owner Madonna, who has a baby and is married to the local handyman. The mysterious Rev, who only speaks when he has something important to say. Joe and Chuy the couple who run an antiques store/nail salon. Then there’s Fiji, the witch across the road with a very peculiar cat and a knack of constantly surprising Manfred. And Bobo Winthrop – now all grown up and no longer living in Shakespeare – who runs a pawn shop, and his mysterious tenants. Last but not least, the Lovell family which consists of Shawn and his two kids, Creek and Connor, they run the local gas station.
The book does get off to a bit of slow start with the introduction of the different characters and the writing style which is point of view, I was very impressed with Harris’s male characters, particularly after writing from a female perspective for so long. However, once the story gets going it does not disappoint and Manfred learns pretty early on that Midnighters take care of each other. Even when faced with the most gruesome, unexpected revelation. Some secrets are uncovered, others aren’t. The one thing that will certainly happen is that you’ll get caught up in the lives of these people and want to know more.
Midnight Crossroad is another compelling book by Charlaine Harris. I love her storytelling style and the wonderful characters she creates. One of my other favourite things about this book is the fact that we catch up with several characters from some of her other series. Manfred is from the Harper Connelly series. Bobo is from the Lily Bard Mystery series. There are creatures from her Sookie Stackhouse series, and even a surprise character from her Aurora Teagarden Mystery series. Plus, this might be a mystery at heart but there’s also a supernatural slant that we have come to expect and love from Harris’s work.
4 out of 5 nerds