Night Shift / Charlaine Harris
I work in a library so you’d think that I read a lot. Unfortunately not the case, but Night Shift by Charlaine Harris came across my desk and I snagged it.
I’ve read Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books and was interested in the Midnight, Texas series which at first seemed like it was a different universe, though the second book certainly proved otherwise. Apparently, this series does bring together aspects from a couple of different series but, not having read them, I wasn’t aware of that. The first book, Midnight Crossroad, was a little tough for me to get into. I think in part that’s because you have to establish your characters.
The addition of the newcomer, Manfred, allows us to meet all the others: Bobo who runs the pawn shop; Fiji, the resident witch; Joe and Chuy, the couple who run an antique gallery/nail salon; The Rev, who keeps the pet cemetery and the chapel; Olivia, a lady you want on your side rather than gunning for you; Lemuel, her beau, who also happens to be a hybrid blood/energy sucking vampire and the longest-running resident of Midnight. There are some other people who don’t fit in elsewhere, but also aren’t quite members of the community, like Madonna, who cooks at the diner, and her husband, Teacher, who fixes whatever’s broken.
So, once you establish your characters, you hope your readers care about them. And I kind of do. Enough to continue reading the next two books, anyway. I like Fiji. Probably I identify with Fiji. Not with the witch stuff so much, but the finding your own place and defending it. I like that all of the residents of Midnight, TX have something different about themselves. Some more obvious than others, and the fun of the series is figuring out just what makes each of them tick. They are a community, even though some are more recent additions than others, and they take care of each other. Who doesn’t want that?
In this latest installment, people are showing up in Midnight and killing themselves. The residents decide they have to figure out what’s going on and stop it before more attention is turned to their little town. History is repeating itself and Lemuel has to dig deep to figure out how to stop it. In the meantime, we find out what Madonna and Teacher are really doing in town. Of course, most of the stuff comes to a satisfying conclusion, though we’re certainly not at the end of the story of this town.