The wildly popular Charlaine Harris comes back with a brand new series in Midnight Crossroad. Harris brings her brand of charm and quirk to a cast of characters who have tortured pasts. With the same immersion that Harris brought readers to Bon Temps, we are invited to the micro-town of Midnight, Texas.
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).
One of the biggest gripes of Harris’s Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse series was that there was one protagonist who oftentimes wasn’t as interesting as her supporting characters. This all changed in Midnight Crossroad where we are introduced to a wonderful cast of characters with ensemble writing. This take is fantastic and reminds me a lot of how the Sookie Stackhouse novels were expanded upon in the tv show True Blood. It is the exact direction I had hoped Harris’s writing would take and I was pleasantly surprised to read it.
The characters are fun and hint at a lot of hidden pasts. There’s Bobo, the thirty-something golden boy pawn shop owner who gets tied into the novel’s central mystery. His new tenant Manfred is a psychic but the light version of Sookie Stackhouse. His personality is unique however, and I enjoy his judgmental blubbering as it makes him distinct. Last but not least of the main trio is Fiji, the twenty eight year old, curly haired and plus-sized witch who owns her own New Age shop across the street. The rest of the towns characters are no less interesting. The talking cat Mr. Snuggles is utter perfection in his attitude and laziness. The most familiar pairing feels like Midnight’s version of Pam and Eric, the popular vampire blonde vampire duo friends of Sookie Stackhouse. Olivia is actually a brunette who hints at a career in espionage and Lemuel is a non-traditional vampire with a touch based energy sucking ability.
The central mystery is a step up from others I have read by Harris. The ending was well done and had a high creep factor. Midnight Crossroad isn’t especially funny or action packed. Despite this, I found it entertaining and look forward to seeing what else comes out of Midnight. There’s a ton of potential and I think this series will appeal to a host of readers.