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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I am thinking of delving into this one. I’ve not read Midnight Crossing, but have read the Sookie books, so curious to see who shows up here. 🙂
Lisa recently posted…Tough Traveling – MOMS
I’m a bit too burned out on Charlaine Harris books after the ABSOLUTE LET DOWN that the Sookie series was for me… the final 3 to 4 books were a big disappointment for me, so I’m not sure if I want to get into another series that will be promising and then… who knows.
Great review Jessica!
Pili recently posted…Interview with Holly Bodger author of 5 to 1!!!
I still haven’t decided if I want to start this series or not Jessica. I like that it is different but worried it might be too out there for me.
Lovely review though, you have me super curious!
kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Out of Control by Sarah Alderson
I’m reading this soon, even though I haven’t read Midnight Crossroad yet. I hope that’s doable??
can I read this fine without reading the first one? Harris needs redemption in my eyes after she messed up Sookie S.
Braine recently posted…Loved It: Her Wild Hero by Paige Tyler
I’d say no, there is too much characterization in the first book to let this second one make any sense as a stand alone.
Erin Burns recently posted…Advance Review – Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
Sounds like a nice Southern gothic. I should try this one since her Sookie series didn’t pan out for me.
Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…: Three-Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash
I like this series too and oh yes, it totally left me wondering about so many things.
Sophia Rose recently posted…Out for the Count by Michele Mannon #Review
I still haven’t read anything by Charlaine Harris. *gasp* I know, I know. I’m probably one of the only pnr/uf book addicts who hasn’t yet devoured her books. Perhaps I’ll give this series a shot. Great review.
E.J. Stevens recently posted…Q+A with Miranda Shanklin
I like this one, but it felt very blatant with the backlist baiting. And I felt YYYY was completely stripped of personality and his back story was a bit retconned, either that or the anthology is not considered cannon, which is just as bad if not worse. But I definitely wonder about all the things.
Erin Burns recently posted…Advance Review – Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
I just enjoyed the style of writing. Very different from what I usually read. The reason XXXX is running from the vampires is because of what happened in the Sookie series/
Sharon Stogner recently posted…Suzanne Johnson: Considering the Possibility of Sheep-Shifters (Pirate’s Alley book tour) + giveaway
I haven’t started this series yet, but I do love Charlaine Harris and I inhaled all her Sookie Stackhouse novels 🙂 I heard really positive things about the first volume in this new series, and I’m pretty excited to try it! Another excellent review 🙂
Ramona recently posted…YA Book Releases May 2015
I had the same issues that you did. There is so much going on and I was left floundering around for answers. Still, I actually enjoyed this one more than the first book. I am liking the characters and the mystery but I am wishing that the plots were tighter. I am looking forward to the final book.
Heidi recently posted…Friday Forecast May 10th-16th
Just sort of skimmed this one as I just started reading Midnight Crossroads because when I grabbed up Day Shift I didn’t realize it was book two so had to buy book one so I can play catch up..lol. 🙂
Sounds a bit like second book syndrome which sucks, but glad you still enjoyed it. 🙂
Stormi recently posted…Friday Meme’s: Midnight Crossroad
I still want to finish the Sookie books. I kind of lost interest because it became so repetitive. I think that aspects of this series would bother me but I also think I would have fun with it as you did. I do think I’ll have to try this series.
Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted…The Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan
I wonder if these would fit me more
blodeuedd recently posted…The unlikely lady – Valerie Bowman
I’m still undecided about this series.
BookaholicCat recently posted…Movie Trailer: Vacation
Glad to hear you enjoyed this one Jess, I’m not sure I’m keen on picking up this novel thought the murder thing would be intriguing. I do like the sound of the small town setting though! Lovely review!
Jeann recently posted…Indulgence Insider #27 – New Reviewer & Happy Mother’s Day!
I just finished this and I don’t feel like her and Connor are alike at all. She was tormented and abused as a child and and I think she has control of herself. Connor was definitely crazy and didn’t know it. Olivia is disturbed and she knows it. Big difference to me. Quinn was like in one chapter. Lol I actually would have preferred that these two series NOT have intersected. Oh well.
Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris