Friday, April 03, 2015

Midnight Crossroad -- Charlaine Harris

At this point in her career, Charlaine Harris can write pretty much what she wants to write, however she wants to write it, which makes me suspect that this book was one that she really wanted to write and had fun writing.  Maybe that's why I liked it so much.  

The setting is a small town named Midnight, located in West Texas.  A very small town, with very few inhabitants.  Some of those inhabitants might be familiar to readers of Harris's other novels, but some of them are entirely new.  All of them have come to Midnight to get away from something or somewhere, and all of them have secrets.  One of them is missing, and we learn later that she's been murdered.

So the book is a mystery novel.  But if you're longing for the woo-woo factor, there are plenty of supernatural elements to be found.  There's a vampire, a psychic, a witch, a shapeshifter, and some we can't be sure about.  I have a feeling we'll find out more in the sequel, which comes out in May.  There's also a cat, Mr. Snuggly.  He has a secret, too.

Harris takes a leisurely approach to the story, introducing the town in a prologue, setting the stage carefully.  Then we meet the residents and get to know them.  As I said, all of them have secrets, and we learn a few of them but certainly not all.  The personalities are distinct and, to me, fascinating.  I believe I read that Midnight Crossroad was the first book of a trilogy.  There's material here for a good many more books than that should Harris choose to write them.

I recall from reviews when the hardcover came out that some people were put off by the pace of this novel.  Maybe they were expecting the literary equivalent of a Mad Max movie.  This isn't it.  This is a well-written, warm, funny, engrossing story of a quite strange community in which mysteries are uncovered and secrets are revealed carefully, layer by layer, until the final revelation at the end of the book.   That's not to say there's no action and suspense.  Those elements are present, too, very much so.  I enjoyed every page of it.

1 comment:

Karen Reittinger said...

I am reading Midnight Crossroad now. I am enjoying it too. It is everything you said. I'll look forward to the second book of the series in May!