Friday, June 27, 2014
Book Review: Midnight Crossroad
Author: Charlaine Harris
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...
Let me start by saying this is the first Charlaine Harris book I have picked up since abandoning the Southern Vampire series about halfway through. So, when I picked up this book I wasn't sure what to expect. Would I get more crazy Sookie-type storylines? Would it be like the beginning of the Southern Vampire series, which I actually liked? What I got was not all that bad.
I have only read one book in the Harper Connelly and one book in the Lily Bard series, but I am thinking that this book series is more in line with those, especially as one of the characters, Manfred, is actually friends with both Harper and Lily. This book is set in the small town of Midnight, Texas, a town so small they have only one stoplight. The town may be small, but it more than makes up for that in its depth of characters that live there. There is the handsome Bobo, who owns a small pawnshop; Fiji, the local woo-woo lady who runs a magick shop in her living room, Mr. Snuggly, Olivia, Lemuel, the Rev, and the Lovell family who runs the Gas and Go.
This town is mysterious and quiet. No one asks questions, or answers them about the past. They are friendly and close knit with each other but skeptical of strangers. I have always been fascinated with small towns as they are portrayed in books and on tv. I think of Stars Hollow, Walnut Grove, Thalia, TX - actually more than I can list here. They seem wholesome, quirky, fun. Yet lurking down below there are secrets, maybe not in those small towns, but in some. Reading this book I was reminded of the eerie small towns I have stopped in, that uncomfortable feeling you get for no reason at all. That is the feeling of this town.
I thought the characters were interesting in this story, but the point of view skipped around so much, I didn't feel that I got to spend quality time with any of them. Maybe that was on purpose, fitting in with how the town works? This book was also slow, slow, slow. It plodded along, but not...plotted. (sorry, couldn't help myself!) I think it seemed like an incomplete story. But it wasn't a bad book per se. I am curious enough about it to want to read the next in the trilogy. I'm willing to give it another go.