Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
Series: Midnight, Texas #2
Published by ACE
Published on: May 5 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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In Midnight Crossroad, Charlaine Harris “capture[d] the same magic as the world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, and [took] it to another level" (Houston Press). Now the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels returns to the one-traffic-light town you see only when you’re on the way to someplace else…
There is no such thing as bad publicity, except in Midnight, Texas, where the residents like to keep to themselves. Even in a town full of secretive people, Olivia Charity is an enigma. She lives with the vampire Lemuel, but no one knows what she does; they only know that she’s beautiful and dangerous.
Psychic Manfred Bernardo finds out just how dangerous when he goes on a working weekend to Dallas and sees Olivia there with a couple who are both found dead the next day. To make matters worse, one of Manfred’s regular—and very wealthy—clients dies during a reading.
Manfred returns from Dallas embroiled in scandal and hounded by the press. He turns to Olivia for help; somehow he knows that the mysterious Olivia can get things back to normal. As normal as things get in Midnight…
Last year I finished MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD feeling like I was just getting to know the inhabitants of Midnight, TX, and I couldn’t wait to learn more about them. It took awhile to get there, but by the end I was ready for more of these mysterious small town residents.
In particular, I wanted to know more about Olivia.
I got my wish.
And I’m reminded of the old adage: be careful what you wish for . . .
SO. DAY SHIFT is a little bit different than its predecessor. Manfred is still one of the main POVs, and we also hear a lot from Fiji and to a lesser degree Bobo, but Olivia joins Manfred in the spotlight, with Chuy and Joe holding their own as well.
And lemme tell you . . . it is interesting.
There are also several cast members from previous adventures with good, ol’ Sookie, so that was fun too. In case you really want to know: View Spoiler »QUINN and Barry the Bellboy. And did I mention QUINN? B/c QUINN is there. FYI. « Hide Spoiler
Plot-wise, we hit the ground running. As per usual with Harris this is a mystery, and the thing we’re supposed to be figuring out happens almost immediately. The way it happens puts Manfred in a decidedly different type of spotlight than he is accustomed to: a murder suspect.
When his infamy brings journalists and camera crews to Midnight, Rev calls a meeting of the pertinent townsfolk and enlists the help of Olivia to find to real culprit so the outsiders will LEAVE.
Rev has much more authority over the residents than I previously realized . . .
Anyway, that’s what’s happening with the main story.
The problem . . . is that the main story pales in comparison to the secondary storylines:
1. Lemuel is mostly absent, and—to our knowledge—no progress is made concerning the books he got from Bobo at the end of book 1.
2. We get insight into Olivia’s life, but not nearly enough. View Spoiler »I get that she’s crazy, but I want to know WHY she’s crazy. « Hide Spoiler
3. Chuy and Joe, b/c WHOA, did not see that coming. But still need more information.
4. We have no idea why XXXXX is on the run from the Dallas vampires.
5. All the mystery surrounding the re-opening of the Hotel? Yeah, nothing there either.
So as entertaining as Manfred’s Murder Mystery may have been, it was overshadowed by ALL THE THINGS in the background.
Another issue I had was that I didn’t see a whole lot of difference between Olivia and View Spoiler »Conner « Hide Spoiler from MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD. That was a problem for me, b/c while I understood why the residents did what they did, it was still . . . difficult to swallow. View Spoiler »Conner was just a kid. But, yes, he was clearly a sociopath, so I willfully suspended disbelief and conceded that they handled it the only way they could.
So to watch Olivia behave in a similar manner . . . an adult . . . the girlfriend of the guy who snapped a teenager’s neck . . . made it harder to accept what had happened to Conner. B/c Olivia is CRAZY. CRAY-ZIE. She’s too temperamental to be classified as a sociopath like Conner, but a violent, murdering, narcissist?
So why does she get a pass when a 14-year-old kid gets dead? « Hide Spoiler
But despite these issues, I still enjoyed this second installment. In fact, the former of the two problems is just about the best flaw a book can have, b/c it leaves you chomping at the bit to see what happens next. Well played, Ms. Harris . . . well played. Overall, DAY SHIFT is an intriguing followup to MIDNIGHT CROSSROAD that left me, once again, anxious for the next chapter. Strange things are happening in this strange town and I don’t want to miss any of them. I don’t think you’ll want to either. Recommended.
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