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Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas) Hardcover – Large Print, May 7, 2014
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Harris comes off the ending of her wildly popular Sookie Stackouse series with a new mystery-romance-paranormal mash-up, slated as the first in a planned trilogy. The inhabitants of Midnight, Texas, have all chosen the derelict little town for its size and its quietness—it’s a great place to hide. But what are they hiding from? Bobo Winthrop, proprietor of the local pawn shop, seems to know a little bit about everyone in town, and they all have secrets. The new tenant in the basement of the pawn shop only comes out after dark, while New Age instructor Fiji Cavanaugh openly claims to be a witch and can talk to her cat, Mr. Snuggly. When Bobo’s girlfriend, Aubrey, disappears, people start to ask too many questions, and everyone begins to fear that their pasts will be exposed, along with Aubrey’s. Although it’s much lighter on the paranormal elements than Harris’ usual fare, this should still make the lists of readers who miss Sookie and company. HIGH DEMAND BACKSTORY: Between her books and the HBO spin-off True Blood, Harris has a large fan base. Now that both the print and the television series have ended, they’re looking for something new to read. --Rebecca Vnuk --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Praise for Charlaine Harris and her #1 "New York Times" bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels:
"Harris treasures the everyday routines of small-town family life, burnishing little moments until they glow."--"Los Angeles Times"
"Inventive and funny with an engaging, smart, and sexy heroine."--"The Denver Post"
"[Harris's] mash-up of genres is delightful, taking elements from mysteries, horror stories, and romances."--"Milwaukee Journal Sentinel"
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It is a decent, entertaining read, slow in places and a little saccharine at times, but engrossing enough to keep me turning the pages. For those who have seen the television series, please understand that there are major plot and character departures between the show and the book. For example, Manfred and Creek are about four years younger in the book than in the series, Lem is white, and we haven't seen hide nor hair of Manfred's grandma, etc. Strangely, I think these differences favor the series over the book.
It is apparent that author Charlaine Harris loves her "blink and you'll miss it small town" and its oddball characters. The characters are nice to a fault. There is Fiji, the witch, and Bobo, the pawn shop owner, and Manfred, the newcomer to town with his internet fortune telling scam, and Lem and Olivia who live in the pawn shop, and, of course, Mr. Snuggles, the talking cat, who scores the best lines in the book when he refers to Fiji, his owner, as his "feeder." For those who have seen the series, understand that the book takes its time in developing the characters and story lines, and everyone has a storyline. It seems that the three book collection, of which Midnight Crossroads is the first, have probably been trimmed to fit in the eight episode series.
The story line of this book follows Bobo dealing with the disappearance of his fiance, the discovery of her body, efforts to solve the mystery, the unrequited romances of Manfred and Creek and Fiji and Bobo, and the intrusion of the White Supremacists who seem to think that Bobo has a legendary stockpile of weapons. The story moves along at a sedate place, but it moves along.
Harris's view of small town Texas was fairly odd. It was like a little bit of Hollywood transplanted to the parched Texas lonely. There is a witch store selling witch stuff and giving lessons in Goddess-worship, and a beauty salon run by a homosexual couple, and a diner that seemed to be doing all right. I had to wonder how these specialized businesses were staying afloat, even if the more populated town of Davey was only ten miles up the road. Harris seemed to go for "cute" in her special characters, such as Chuy and Joe walking their Pekinese dog. She also goes for strangely politically correct characters in rural Texas, for example, Fiji teaches Goddess-worship, Bobo's biggest fear is that he will be mistaken for a White Supremacist, and two of the fourteen citizens of this hamlet are gay. It's not that it couldn't happen, but all at once? In one small town? Which is not a college town near Austin?
But these are nits. The story is going for a sense of magic and it mostly accomplishes that. I liked the story and while I have not completely decided, I am inclined to get the next story.
Charlaine Harris is a wonderful writer. You can tell she's a good writer. This book however is BORING. She excels at creating multifaceted and interesting characters, good dialog and great small town settings with depth. This plot though...arrrggg. There's no major conflict, and the publisher/editors let her get away with rambling on and on about the town and the small ins and outs of small town dinamics. Then, an interesting hint is dropped about one of the characters...then nothing. Show me the conflict!
Another issue I had with this was the point of view it's written in. It's 3rd person and I would have to say it's omniscient. It's distancing and feels a bit awkward. I had a very hard time sinking into the characters as this felt like it was almost more of a screenplay instead of a novel. I could adjust to the POV, however the lack of plot kills it. I couldn't force myself to finish it.
Most recent customer reviews
I can't believe it took me this long to start this trilogy! I absolutely loved the book!Read more