Sunday, 4 May 2014

(ARC) Book Review (328): Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1) - Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1)

Publication: 8th May 2014
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 320
Genre: Paranormal
Age Appropriate: Adult

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...
My Thoughts.
I admit that this is the first ever Charlaine Harris book that I've ever read, although I do own a considerable amount of books in her Sookie Stackhouse series, lack of time hasn't given me a chance to pick them up so far, so when I was given the chance to review this book I jumped at it the synopsis, having me intrigued from the get go.

Written in multiple point of views, three to be exact, we follow Manfred who has just moved to town, being an online psychic he craves the quiet and unobtrusiveness of living in Midnight, whilst being a close knit town this is a place where nobody inquires about your past or your personal life, which suits the residents to a tea, and allows them to keep their secrets close to their chests.

Next up we have Bobo, the owner of the town's pawnshop Midnight Pawn and landlord of Manfred, Olivia (whom no one seems to know what she does, although she does travel a considerable bit) and Lemuel who only comes out at night.
Bobo like pretty much all of the residents is hiding a secret, could it have something to do with the disappearance of his girlfriend Aubrey, or something from his past that he doesn't want any of his friends knowing.

The final point of view comes from resident witch Fiji, who runs a new-age type store and holds classes once a week, practicing her trade in her spare time, that's when she's not busy crushing on Bobo.

Rounding up the rest of the residents we have, Rev the local Reverend who keeps to himself as doesn't have much of anything to say, Joe and Chuy a couple who run the combined antique and nail salon, Madonna who runs the diner and her husband Teddy who is the town's handyman and finally the Lovells, Dad Shawn and his kids Creek and Connor, who run the Gas'N'Go, the kids aren't allowed out of Shawn's sight, and has the residents questioning if they a part of witness protection.

The story revolves around the discovery of Aubrey's badly decomposed body found while most residents were having a picnic, and discovering who the murderer is, of course top of the suspect list is Bobo, but with an alibi and the fact that she disappeared whilst he was away, the murderer is anybody's guess, and let me just say I could never have picked it in a million years, it was a shocking and an unexpected surprise.

I found that the first three quarters of this book were quite boring, nothing happened and I was finding it hard to stay interested in the story, however the last quarter we had some action and the inevitable reveal of Aubrey's murderer, I'm intrigued enough to continue on with the series and I just hope that it's a lot more action packed than this first book seemed to be.

I give this 3/5 stars.

Charlaine Harris is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for over thirty years. She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area. Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and teenage angst, she began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She switched to novels a few years later, and achieved publication in 1981 with Sweet and Deadly.

After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris launched the lighthearted Aurora Teagarden books with Real Murders, a Best Novel 1990 nomination for the Agatha Awards. Harris wrote eight books in her series about a Georgia librarian. In 1996, she released the first in the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses. Shakespeare’s Counselor, the fifth—and final—Lily Bard novel, was printed in fall 2001.

By then, Harris was feeling the call of new territory. Starting with the premise of a young woman with a disability who wants to try inter-species dating, she created The Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series before there was a genre called “urban fantasy.” Telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse works in a bar in the fictional northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each subsequent book follows Sookie through adventures involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series, which ended in 2013, has been released in over thirty languages.

Sookie Stackhouse has proven to be so popular that Alan Ball, creator of the HBO television series Six Feet Under, announced he would undertake the production of a new HBO series based upon the  books  He wrote and directed the pilot episode for that series, True Blood, which premiered in September of 2008.

In October 2005, the first of Harris’s new mystery series about a young woman named Harper Connelly debuted with the release of Grave Sight. Harper has the ability to determine the cause of death of any body. After four novels, this series is on hiatus.

Now Harris is working on a trilogy of graphic novels with Christopher Golden and artist Don Kramer, “Cemetery Girl.” On her own she is writing a new series set in the small town of Midnight, Texas.

Harris has also co-edited a series of very popular anthologies with her friend Toni L.P. Kelner, aka Leigh Perry. The anthologies feature stories with an element of the supernatural, and the submissions come from a rare mixture of mystery and urban fantasy writers.

Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the American Crime Writers League, Sisters in Crime, and the International Crime Writers Association. She is a past member of the boards of Sisters in Crime and MWA, and she has served as president of the MWA. She is also a member of Science Fiction Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and Romance Writers of America, just to make sure she’s covered.

Personally, Harris has been married for many years. She mother of three wonderful children and the grandmother of two. She lives in central Texas, and when she is not writing her own books, she reads omnivorously. Her house is full of rescue dogs.

1 comment:

  1. This is my first time seeing a review for Midnight Crossroad. I love when murder mysteries have reveals that are genuinely surprising. Sorry the rest wasn't more entertaining. I'm not sure whether I'm going to read this one or not.

    Cat @ Addicted 2 Heroines