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July - September 2014     VOLUME 18 ISSUE 3
 
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Midnight Crossroads

Book Review
Rachel Montgomery

"And then Manfred realizes that all morning, throughout the camaraderie of unloading the van, neither of his companions asked the obvious questions. Why are you moving to such a godforsaken place? What brings you here? What do you do? Where did you live before? And Manfred Bernardo realizes he's moved to the right place. In fact, it's just like he belongs here.” -–Midnight Crossroad, by Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossroad reads like many of Harris's novels - there's a mystery, a quirky cast of characters, and the setting often feels like another character in the story. It was less bloody than the more recent of the Sookie Stackhouse books (though there was still a body count), and like the Sookie Stackhouse books, there was a paranormal element. One thing that was different, though, was that it didn't seem like there was only one main protagonist. The focus shifted often between several characters. Manfred Bernardo (from the Harper Connelly series) was maybe slightly more front and center, but Fiji and Bobo also took up a lot of focus, particularly Fiji. And that's another thing - Harris again gets very creative with her characters' names, possibly more in this book than in any other, and that's saying something.

Harris also tied a lot of her series together within this book. There was a reference to the Lily Bard series and the Harper Connelly series, and I even caught one reference to the Aurora Teagarden series. And since Midnight Crossroad has a vampire character that no one seemed particularly surprised about (though he seems a bit differently-powered from Eric or Pam), I assume that the story is set in the same universe as Sookie's. I wouldn't be shocked to see a character from that world show up in this new series, though maybe one already has. I caught a lot of references, but it does make me wonder what I missed, since the older books aren't fresh in my memory.

All in all, I really enjoyed Harris's latest. If you enjoy her writing style and world building, this one fits that profile.