I loved the unusual characters Charlaine Harris introduced in Midnight Crossroad, the first in her Midnight, Texas series. But, Day Shift is even better. This time, readers really get to know the characters, finding out who most of them really are. The residents of the quiet town include Manfred Bernardo, the psychic, Fiji Cavanaugh, the witch, and Lemuel, a vampire. Lemuel is out of town, though, so he doesn't see the trouble that arrives in town in Day Shift.
It all starts with the remodeling of the defunct Rio Roca Fria Hotel. Why would anyone want to bring a hotel to Midnight? As Manfred remarks, how does anyone stay in business in that town? There isn't enough business for an antiques store, a restaurant, a convenience store. And, now a hotel? The full-time residents are a little uneasy with new people in town. The Rev, of all people, has charge of a small boy. And, then Manfred accidentally calls more attention to Midnight when one of his clients dies.
Occasionally Manfred sees clients in person, and he set up three days for special clients in a Dallas hotel. But, one of his favorites died fifteen minutes after arriving there, and her son accuses Manfred of stealing her jewelry. Of course, the media show up in town, in a town where everyone has secrets. As Manfred bemoans to Fiji, "The boy is growing at twenty times the normal speed. An old hoodlum just popped in to promise us he'd keep silent in return for scones. Mr. Snuggly has uncovered bad doings at the hotel. And I still need to clear my name of the bogus theft charges, which draw attention to Midnight, and therefore to all this other shit that should remain secret."
Secrets. The secrets in Midnight, Texas are intriguing. And, anyone who loves unconventional characters with mysterious gifts will find the town residents captivating. What are a few secrets and odd behaviors between friends? The residents of the town may have little in common other than their preferences for privacy, but they've learned to come together in a crisis. These exceptional people and their secrets make it a pleasure to return to Midnight, Texas. At least, for a reader it's a pleasure. For those with bad intentions, Midnight might not be the best place to face strangers.
Charlaine Harris' gift to her readers is unforgettable characters. Day Shift is a joy, another exceptional novel from a gifted storyteller.
Charlaine Harris' website is www.charlaineharris.com or she can be found at Facebook.com/CharlaineHarris.
Day Shift by Charlaine Harris. Ace Books. 2015. ISBN 9780425263198 (hardcover), 307p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.