Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
Publisher: Ace Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (320 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

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…

Things seem to be settling down in Midnight, Texas for the moment. At least, until a stranger arrives with a child in tow, leaving him behind with the Rev. If that isn’t enough oddity for the rundown little town, the sudden renovation and reopening of the old hotel stirs curiosity and suspicion from everyone in Midnight. What exactly is going on and will Midnight ever be the same in the end?

I enjoy when a series takes a different route with each new book, and we see that here in the second installment of the Midnight, Texas series. Although our main point of view is still Manfred, we’re treated to seeing things through the eyes of other residents like Fiji and Olivia. The changing points of view help you to get to know the quieter residents more than you might otherwise.

There is a lot going on in this book as well. The Rev is left to care for a young child who isn’t quite as normal as he seems. This leads us to learn some of his secrets and a shocking revelation as well. The mysterious Reverend isn’t nearly as mysterious any longer, although I never saw that bit coming. It does explain more of why he’s so reclusive and unwilling to make friends with the rest of the community, so it made me happy to get that bit of insight into him.

The second mystery involves Manfred. Returning from a trip to Dallas, he finds himself in a bit of trouble. I really liked Manfred in the first book, even if he comes off a bit odd at times, so I was glad to get to see and learn more about him here. When Olivia is tasked with helping him solve his problem, you get to get inside her mind more, which is both exciting and a bit frightening. Her backstory isn’t a happy one and I found myself feeling awful for her at times.

Ms. Harris’ Midnight, Texas series is a fun and engaging paranormal mystery romp. She has a real talent for bringing the quirkiest and oddest characters into one little town and somehow making them all work. Despite being reclusive, suspicious folk, the people in Midnight still look out for one another at all costs. I could definitely see myself settling down in a town like that.

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