Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

In preparation for the last volume of this series release, here is my review of the second volume of the series, which I read as an Ace/Roc reviewer.

 

In Midnight, Texas, there is a psychic, a witch, her talking cat, an angel, a vampire, a hired killer, and other mysterious residents. In Day Shift, this second novel about Midnight, the psychic, Manfred Bernardo, is unfortunate enough to have one of his clients die during a session and her grasping son accuses him of stealing the jewels that she hid from him. It takes a village to get Manfred out of this predicament.

Charlaine Harris’s newest series is set in the same world as her Sookie Stackhouse universe, where vampires and weres are “out” but those of other natures haven’t quite revealed themselves. Manfred is the real thing, a psychic with a large clientele who sometimes schedules meetings at hotels where he will see successive clients over a few days in nicer settings than his living room in Midnight. This time. Rachel Goldthorpe wants to talk to her dead husband, Morton, about their son, Lewis, who is badgering her about his inheritance and basically making her life miserable.

Written in a sparse, yet precise and descriptive style, the mix of characters and flow of plot is just right. The characters are all connected in logical ways that make sense in the framework of the story. They all seem to be given equal time to live and breathe with the exception of Madonna and her husband, Teacher, the proprietors of the local diner. They remain mysterious, but there are hints that the next novel might concern them.

A new character in town is Deideric, a small boy who is mysteriously left in the care of the Rev, the taciturn caretaker of the local chapel, who spends his time holding funerals for pets and marrying young couples who pass through. He is not a good choice for the boy, who seems to be growing by leaps and bounds each day.

When Manfred is questioned by the police, his fellow Midnight neighbors want to clear his name, get rid of the reporters lurking around town, get their lives back to normal, and get the spotlight off their quiet town. With the help of some surprise visitors from Harris’s previous books about Sookie, the book sets out to do just that. It doesn’t help that an old abandoned hotel has been renovated and filled with what appears to be indigent seniors with no known relatives. The motives of the hotel owners are hidden and the publicity of the new enterprise is not welcomed by the town residents, who would prefer to live anonymously.

I really like this new series and was very happy to have been given a chance to review the novel in advance as a member of Ace/Roc Stars. If the rest of the selection of books I received are this good, I will be in bookworm heaven for the rest of the year! Thank you Ace/Roc!

 

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