Monday, 20 April 2015

Day Shift

Day Shift is the second book in the Midnight, Texas series and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous book.

The residents of Midnight, Texas are not happy about the renovation of the old, abandoned hotel. It will bring strangers to the town, where everyone has something to hide. Manfred’s on a business trip when one of his clients drops down dead in the middle of a reading. Her unhinged son points the finger at the psychic and accuses him of killing his mother to steal her jewels. Not wanting to draw attention to the town, Manfred’s neighbour Olivia steps in to lend her own special brand of help.

If you were thinking Midnight Crossroad was missing some characters from the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, well never fear, Day Shift has a couple of cameo appearances from Bon Temps. I’m not going to spoil it and say who, because half the fun is them turning up randomly. Day Shift is also a lot more fantasy than its predecessor, with a lot of the inhabitants revealing what they are.

An old hoodlum just popped in to promise us he’d keep silent in return for scones. Mr Snuggly has uncovered bad doings at the hotel. And I still need to clear my name of these bogus theft charges, which draw attention to Midnight, and therefore all this other shit that should remain secret.

Manfred is dealing with false accusations that come along with the attitude that all psychics are con-artists, and the resulting publicity. In steps Olivia and much skulking about ensues, plus some entertaining old folks from the new hotel, which doesn’t seem entirely above board either. It turns out Olivia’s hidden life is a lot less supernatural than the others but still out of the ordinary.

Closer to home, the Reverend has a guest, a boy who appears to be growing at supernatural speed. There are things in Midnight that not even these residents are prepared for.

“I was going to say ‘How is that possible?’” Manfred shrugged. “I should have known better.”

These books are all quite sweet and stamped with Charlene’s voice, but they may be disappointing for those who like more meat to their fantasy or mystery. They feel indulgent, harmless fun. I liked this one more than Midnight Crossroad, it was pacier and had more characters I knew already. The town really pulls together, this time without suspicion turning in on itself.

Day Shift is published by Gollancz and will be available in hardback and ebook editions from 7th May 2015. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

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