Released: January 1, 2014
Format: Paperback, 384 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery
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).
Midnight Crossroad is the first installment in the Midnight, Texas trilogy by author Charlaine Harris. Harris has created a small Texas town that if you blink, you'll miss everything the town has to offer. This town is not unlike a certain Central New York town affectionately called Podunk, where I've driven through hundreds of times, but never once thought about the people who called it home. Midnight is a town where the mundane meets the paranormal. There is the cafe where everyone eats at. The gas station where everyone buys gas. The pawn shop where the strange and unusual do their business.
It's also the place where psychic Manfred Bernardo, formerly of the Harper Connelly series, has decided to call home after losing his grandmother Xylda, also a guest in the Harper series. It is a town where there are way too many secrets, and nobody is willing to speak about what the town hides within its limits. Midnight is home to pawnshop owner Bobo Winthrop, witch Fiji Cavanaugh, energy vampire Lemuel Bridger, Olivia Charity, and Reverend Emilio Sheehan just to name a few of the main characters Harris tells her story through.
I will say straight out of the box that Midnight Crossroad is more of a mystery novel, than one steeped in the paranormal. It is the story about what really happened to Bobo's ex-girlfriend and why a group of right wing lunatics continue to harass him and cause him trouble. I do believe that not one of the town's residents hasn't got a secret or two they don't want exposed. I still have no clue what Olivia really does for a living, or why she travels all over the country. I do know that if you put her together with Lemuel, you get a dynamic duo that is willing to keep the town's secrets hidden from the outside.
My one true complaint about this story, and others may not feel the same way, is Harris's determination to continue to blame everything on right wing groups acting on their violent political beliefs. Not unlike the Sookie Stackhouse series, this particular storyline affects everything that Bobo does. One has to ask Harris if her politics is a bit clouded on this aspect, or why she doesn't look at other militant groups who do worse things than those depicted in this story, including destroying the Twin Towers on 9/11 that killed one of my relatives, and those I went to school with.
In closing, Midnight Crossroad is made rather interesting by the appearance of a speaking cat. I will fully admit that I was giggling like a school girl whenever the cat made an appearance. I wish there was more about Manfred, and less POV's. Often times, the POV's change paragraph to paragraph which left me a bit confused. So, yes, I will be reading the sequel Day Shift since the publisher kindly sent me a copy. I'm also happy that apparently this series is a trilogy and not longer than that.
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