Summary from Goodreads:
From Charlaine Harris, the bestselling author who created Sookie Stackhouse and her world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a darker locale — populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that’s how the locals prefer it…
Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.
There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).
Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth...
I'm a huge fan of Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series - I even met her a few years back [details here] - and I was excited/scared to read her new series.
Midnight Crossroad has an interesting premise. Midnight is a small town situated on a crossroad in the middle of Texas. Few people go through it and even fewer people live there. The ones who do live there, do so for a reason. They want to disappear, they don't want to attract attention. Midnight is a bit like Fight Club. There are rules and if you have to ask what they are, you're clearly not meant to be part of it. We start the story as Manfred Bernardo moves to Midnight for various reasons he mostly wants to keep to himself. He's a psychic, the type that makes money on the internet with photos of himself looking all mysterious, but he also experiences some genuine visions. He quickly gets how the town works and even though he is curious about his new neighbours, he knows better than to ask any questions.
In Midnight, there is a gas station, a pawn shop, a diner, a magic shop, an antique shop, a church and a hairdresser. Each one of Manfred's neighbours owns or works for one of these establishments and they have a routine set up. Manfred tries to glean as much information about them but there are some people he just can't seem to put a finger on who they are and what they do. One of the residents also owns a cat - Mr Snuggly - who seems to be more than just a regular cat.
The plot revolves around Manfred's landlord and the owner of the pawn shop, Bobo, whose girlfriend disappeared a couple of months ago. Bobo, alongside all the Midnight residents, thought she had left him and had gone to live somewhere else. But her departure was a bit sudden and she left all her belongings so everyone was still a bit suspicious and it didn't surprise many of them when her body was found in the town. Things quickly get worse and we learn that more than one person in Midnight has secrets to hide (well, MORE secrets than everyone thought).
Unlike the Sookie Stackhouse books, the story is told from the point of view of an omniscient narrator, following each character living in Midnight. When I started reading the book, I had some issues getting into the story and I felt it didn't hook me as much as Dead Until Dark did and the pace was a bit slow. But as I read along and discovered more about the mysterious Midnight residents, the story hooked me in other ways. I loved following each character and seeing how they interacted with each other and I can't wait to read the second book in the series to know more about them.
I haven't read Charlaine Harris's other books aside from the Sookie Stackhouse series and I am told some of the characters in Midnight Crossroad come from her previous books which is rather exciting. I think this book is different from her previous series but also has some classic Charlaine Harris aspects. The characters are fascinating, the world she created is very intriguing and there is SO MUCH mystery ... so much, in fast, that you just HAVE to relocate from Bon Temps to Midnight, Texas.
Check out the atmospheric trailer for it:
Thanks to Gollancz for sending over a proof.