Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris is the first in the Midnight, Texas trilogy – a paranormal fantasy series first published in 2014.
I read the entire book in one afternoon and though the plot gets rather dark at times the story overall was pretty gripping.
Honestly, having already watched the TV series Midnight, Texas on Syfy I did find that I was a little bit distracted from the book when I came across plot points that they’d used on screen – in a ‘oh, so that’s where that came from’ sort of way – but, I wasn’t so distracted by the parallels or lack of in terms of the characters and their descriptions which was good in my opinion.
There is a real variation in the characters and the way that they’re introduced is lovely and steady, it’s almost like being introduced to people at a party one at a time but you’re among a group and you pick out the most memorable thing about them first. I love the idea that they all have some sort of secret that’s kept from the reader because the unknown is so interesting and adds a sense of depth. Also, the secrets that are revealed are usually seen by Manfred Bernado, the new stranger who has moved to Midnight, so it feels like you’re learning things about the world at the same time as him. In this case, it made me feel a bit more connected to the story to know that I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t sure about what was going on.
As for the other characters, there is plenty of variation from the people to the animals. I didn’t think that there was a ‘main’ character as much as there was ‘important’ characters, which increased the sense of a small town community who revolve around each other.
I liked Manfred who was a character that doesn’t give away too many big details about his own life in the first book, as the plot focuses and brings secrets about more established characters in the town to light but, the small pieces that he shares hints at a character who does and could fit in well with the community of Midnight. The last page of the book is possibly the biggest indicator of the possibilities of Manfred’s role in the town. Mr Snuggly is also one of my favourite characters because of the way that he’s unexpectedly important, plus he has a rather distinct ‘voice’ that is just delightful because it sounds so right.
I loved the writing itself, because it almost felt like you were wandering among the discoveries and the next thing was always another reveal that made the story richer, even as it grew darker.
I have read some of Charlaine Harris’ work before as I read the Harper Connelly series a few years ago so, I did catch the subtle reference on Page 12 to Harper which I loved to see. It was the series of films, however, that made me catch the reference on Page 289 and remember that she also wrote the Aurora Teagarden series, currently there are 10 novels to date. I love how she was able to integrate these details almost as if they’re extra treats for her readers who she does dedicate the book to, at the front of the book, ‘As always, this is for my readers. I hope you like this new world and its people.’ which I think is just lovely.
My favourite lines in the book definitely came from page 57, after a conversation between Fiji and Manfred, because they made me laugh:
But he stored a new fact in his mental file about women.
They liked it if you told them you were sorry.