Thursday, May 26, 2016

What we're reading: Paranormal mystery series

I just finished reading the third book in Charlaine Harris's new series set in Midnight, Texas. Night Shift begins with a shocker, as people start showing up at all times of the day and night, walk to the center of the crossroads under the one stoplight, and calmly commit suicide! Various residents of the town, once they figure out what's going on, watch over the crossroads so they can grab and restrain these people until they are back in their right minds again, but for how long can they keep this up?

This episode in the lives of the denizens of Midnight finally explains why it's such a weird little place. Crossroads are the site of many strange happenings--beginnings, endings, manifestations--and the one on which this town is built is no exception.

Lemuel the vampire is caught up in the difficult translation of an Etruscan book that holds the key to solving this new, urgent problem. Several other members of the town--Fiji, Manfred, Olivia--discover they, too, have an investment in furthering his discovery. There does, after all, have to be a reason why vampires, werewolves, psychics, witches, and other odd representatives of the supernatural (angels, were-tigers, and weird human beings) choose to live in Midnight...

All the familiar characters from the past books in the series are present, along with a couple of new faces. The books don't really feel like they have a separate beginning-middle-end arc, but more like they are one rambling chapter in a longer story. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but despite the lack of significant cliffhangers, it doesn't give the reader much of a sense of closure at the end of each book. I find that I remember Harris's characters vividly, but what they got up to in each book? Not so much. I can't decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I do enjoy the continuing tale.

   

You can find Night Shift on the new books shelves at all three libraries, and the previous two books (Midnight Crossroads and Day Shift) in the mystery section. It's a fun series for those who miss Sookie Stackhouse.


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