Maybe 3.5 stars? This is sort of a conflicted review. I’m not exactly sure how to review this.
Review also found at Goodreads
I liked it. I enjoyed it a little more than Midnight Crossroad (my review on that one is here). However, not enough to round up to 4 stars by any means. The mystery is simple and some of the resolution occurs off-page! After all we went through, we didn’t even get a big action scene in the end to resolve the main mystery! We are just told the police find the item in question. I felt kind of cheated, personally.
The whole cast of characters from the deserted town of Midnight, Texas is back, but this time different characters have bigger roles. Mainly, Olivia and then Joe and Chuy. We found out some surprises about them, which was cool. Manfred still has a big role. He seems a bit more likeable in this one. I am not sure if it is intentional to make all the characters ambiguous. Maybe that is part of the “mystery?” I don’t really feel that any of these Midnight characters are truly nice. I don’t think I would want to be friends with any of them except maybe Fiji, Bobo, and Joe and Chuy. Manfred is kind of self-centered, although he does show loyalty to the Midnight folks in this. It’s like a weird little town where you protect your own, but no one is too chummy or social. They only get together when something is wrong and other than that, like to be left alone. Eh.
In this one, Manfred gets caught up in some legal issue and Olivia is “tasked” to help him. That’s pretty much the basic premise of the entire thing. And then, as a side story, an old motel re-opens mysteriously and everyone wonders why. Eh.
I wasn’t bored with this, but could put it down easily and do other things and read other books. This is a solid 3-star book, but nothing overly special. It was a light mystery. Don’t expect anything complicated. Things fall neatly into place and you’ll probably guess what’s coming (or at least you won’t be surprised much). Lemuel was hardly in it. Bobo hardly had a role at all. Fiji was a bit player as well. But I’ll still probably read the next one when my library gets it.
And now for the Sookie Stackhouse spoilers. Don’t read unless you intend to read this and don’t want to be spoiled.
There are some characters who show up here and if you have followed the author’s blogs and interviews, we all knew it was coming. So read on if you don’t care about being spoiled. Honestly, it’s nothing spectacular.
Barry the Bellboy (never a favorite character of mine from the Sookie books to begin with) shows up. His grandfather is staying at the motel that mysteriously opens up for no good reason. So he ends up playing a pretty significant side role in this and helps Manfred and Olivia out. It didn’t do anything for me. Barry does not seem like a very good guy. He is just helping them for money and of course is paranoid about vampires.
Incidentally, day sitters/watchers DO come looking for him due to his history in Texas and his telepathic abilities, which makes the reasoning in the last Sookie book ridiculous… that vampires would leave Sookie alone. They haven’t left Barry alone. And the excuse that Eric Northman’s deal made her safe is stupid also. Barry’s case proves that logic does not hold.
Also, Quinn shows up with his young son who is old enough to transition into his tiger form. That was another side plot, which was interesting, in that we got to see Quinn’s son, Diederik, and the Rev interact with the people in Midnight and see what happens as Diederik “hits puberty.” Quinn was hardly in it and his page time was unsatisfactory, in my view. He didn’t do anything bad-ass or heroic. In fact, he was made to look like a crappy dad. So, for you Quinn fangirls, don’t be expecting any sexy Quinn here.
Overall, the Sookie tie-ins were nothing special, but did raise the book half a star in my book just for sentimentality.