Day Shift is the second book in Charlaine Harris’s series about Midnight, Texas. And I have to say that it is every bit as good as the first book, Midnight Crossing.
Day Shift begins with some big trucks rumbling into Midnight. That, in itself, is not so odd. But, apparently, these trucks were bringing supplies and equipment into town to renovate the old Rio Roca Fria Hotel, at the intersection of the Davy Highway and Witch Light Road.
All of the residents come out to watch. Manfred, the local psychic, who only recently moved into Midnight; Fifi, the witch; Bobo Winthrop, the pawn shop owner; Teacher Reed, who is temporarily running the “Gas N Go” store (the people who ran that store had to make a hasty exit at the end of Midnight Crossing); Madonna Reed, cook and owner of “Home Cookin’,” holding their infant, Grady, in her arms; Joe Strong and Chuy Villegas, Antique Gallery and Nail Salon owners; and “the Rev,” a somewhat mysterious character who runs a pet cemetery behind his chapel.
Only Olivia and Lemuel are missing. Olivia’s out of town on a “job,” and Lemuel is out of town, doing research on some rare books that Manfred found in the last book.
Fast forward a few months, and Manfred is checking into a hotel in Dallas to have some personal sessions with some of his clients. He runs into Olivia in the same hotel, but they pretty much pretend not to notice each other, at least at first.
Then the couple Olivia with which Olivia was having dinner turns up dead, an apparent murder/suicide. Then Manfred’s client dies in the middle of their session. The world turns upside down for Manfred, at that point.
In Day Shift, we learn a lot more about Manfred, Olivia, and the Rev, who is part of a side plot that develops during the story. Not all that we learn is “good.” But, then, that’s to be expected from the residents of Midnight, Texas.
I enjoyed the various plots that threaded throughout this story, and I believe it came to a satisfactory ending. The character development is, in my opinion, rich, even though Lemuel remained pretty much out of the picture throughout this story. I’m hoping he is featured more in the next one, which is, not surprisingly, called Night Shift.