Vault Review: Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1) by Charlaine Harris

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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…

*Originally published May 2014- my first ever review!*

Like most of her readers, I have a love/hate relationship with Ms Harris.

I love her mysteries, her fun story arcs, the awesome relationships she builds between her characters and her simple, no nonsense style of writing. I simply devour her books.

I also have a plethora of issues with Ms Harris. She writes series which more often than not she seems to become bored with. True Blood very obviously became her flogging a dead horse. It runs for 13 books. I gave up after literally pelting the 10th book across the room. It really should have ended at number 7 or so. I didn’t care about how it ended anymore. I only found out last night after finally getting curious and I’m honestly glad I gave up when I did.

Her simplistic style borders on overly stupid at times. Does she think her readers aren’t capable of reading anything above basic English? Also, she seems to believe her readers want the banal, boring parts of her character’s lives that really add nothing to the story and don’t move it forwards. That’s fine, once or twice. But 6 or so times in a book? I’m switching off.

Also, her naming of characters. Sookie, Vampire Bill (like what the hell, Charlaine? BILL? REALLY?) and now, in Midnight Crossroad, we have the best of them all. Behold, dear reader, Fiji the Witch and Bobo, the Designated Screw.

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I kid you not, Fiji and Bobo. How am I supposed to take Bobo seriously as some kind of gorgeously tanned, muscular Sex God when all I’m getting is…

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I somehow think this is not what Charlaine was aiming for.

Bigfoot hunters aside, Bobo was a pretty good character, once you named him something normal, like Bill or Humphrey. So was Fiji. And pretty much everyone else in the town of Midnight, Texas. And the Designated Screw got no screwing done whatsoever, which is unusual for Harris. I can’t say I missed it all that much, as I never really was a fan of her sex scenes.

If Midnight was in a forest instead of the desert, I wouldn’t even be surprised if Bobo found a Sasquatch. This place is weird. I found it all very intriguing.

Basically, Bobo’s girlfriend has run off, never to be seen again. That is, until they find her semi-decomposed body whilst on a picnic. So begins an epic tale of white supremacists, talking animals and secrecy. Lots and lots of secrecy.

I didn’t see the ending coming at all. I had my suspicions about one character but was totally off the mark. That’s what I like about Harris’ writing- she often throws you a curve ball. Sometimes they make perfect sense, sometimes not. This one was shocking, but so worth the read. I even went back and read the ending again, just to make sure I had it got it all.

I didn’t particularly like Manfred and felt he read several times older than his character is meant to be. I didn’t hate him but he isn’t my absolute favourite. I also found the character swaps a bit tedious, but definitely not the worst I’ve read.

I hope she goes into the stories of Lemuel and Olivia. I loved those two! Damn, that Olivia! Strong, badass female character. Like Black Widow, only in Texas. I bet she turns into some kind of secret assassin werelady or something. Also, Joe and Chuy! Finally some decent gay characters! *Claps for Charlaine!*

I did enjoy this book, once I got over the niggling problems that are basically endemic in her writing.

Now, Charlaine, I beg of you… If you get bored with this series, DROP IT AND LEAVE IT ALONE. Please!

4/5

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3 thoughts on “Vault Review: Midnight Crossroad (Midnight, Texas #1) by Charlaine Harris

  1. When I read “Bobo” I thought of Bilbo (as in Baggins). I just finished and reviewed a book about a woman who gets stuck in a pirate-themed virtual reality game. It was really fun, until the author started flogging the dead horse, so to speak, by repeating certain phrases and ideas, and the ending was a bit of a mess. I hope you read my review 🙂

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