In the sleepy town of Midnight, TX there is not a whole lot to draw new residents.
It’s literally a one stop light town…..a modern day ghost town. There are few residents, but the residents there are there are an eclectic mix to say the least.
The town and it’s residents are full of suspicious and strange activities….not to mention, secrets.
Manfred Bernardo, psychic extraordinaire, arrives in Midnight hoping to working in private. For him Midnight is the perfect place to come and be ‘anonymous’.
There is an unspoken rule in Midnight……’don’t ask questions’……and Manfred likes this.
But there is a reason that no one asks questions in Midnight…..each town member prefers to keep their skeletons very permanently in the closet.
The residents of Midnight are Bobo who is the owner of the local pawn shop has some family secrets that people would kill to know, while Olivia’s complete identity and profession are a mystery, Madonna and her husband Teacher, run the local diner, the Lovell family that runs the local Gas N Go, Joe and Chuy, the gay couple that owns the nail salon and antique shop and who could forget the Rev, who tends the pet cemetery, and last but not least Lemuel, the vampire.
Everyone in the town accepts Manfred without question and Manfred is fine mingling with this strange town full of people. Until the town picnic…..when a missing member is found dead.
I fell in love with Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series…..up until about book ten, then the story starting really deteriorating for me….I didn’t even start the last book in the series.
I haven’t read any of her other mystery stories because I just haven’t wanted to read anything else by her. Well I think I’ve sufficiently recovered in the last few years and was eager to try something else by her. She always writes colorful and quirky characters, plus enjoyable mysteries so why not.
With this mystery, I took for granted that Manfred was the main character since the story opens with his POV. After reading some other POVs though, I was no longer sure that he was in fact the main character. Each POV character contributed heavily to the story leaving the reader to wonder which is the ‘main character’.
This tactic was at times frustrating but it was in a way, exciting and propelled the story forward in a different way than the Sookie books. In the end, I liked it and thought it worked for this story.
I was surprised that the murder happened so late in the book. I would have liked it better had that happened first. Harris is her strongest when writing murder mysteries but for me this book started too slow with not enough ‘mystery’ happening until too late.
Each of the characters were unique and interesting, but I noticed that a lot of the quirk and snappy writing that I’ve come to consider a ‘Harris Hallmark’ weren’t present as much in this book. Plus I had a hard time with all the strange names. I felt like she was trying to add quirk in the names (Fiji, Bobo, Chuy, Madonna….) but it just didn’t work for me. I felt like it said ‘trying too hard’.
While this wasn’t the ‘burning a hole on my nightstand’ book I had hoped, it did have a lot of potential. A large portion of the book read like a prologue, setting up the ‘world’ of Midnight, but there was some interesting character prospects for future books that would make me want to continue the series.
I hope that the next books provides a little more mystery up front rather than focusing so much on the residents of Midnight and their back stories….I am really looking for another ‘murder on the bayou’ type mystery with a paranormal twist that Harris is so known for….
Overall I think this series has a lot of potential and I liked the introductory book. While nothing really ‘happened’, there were enough POV changes and world building that it was pleasant to read and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Paperback, 384 pagesPublished March 31st 2015 by Ace (first published January 1st 2014)
- Review copy provided by: Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 3 out of 5
Genre: Urban fantasy, paranormal, fantasy, mystery, suspense