Day Shift by Charlaine Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I did like this one better than the first story because it was more compact, not haring off in a hundred directions. Now if you are a fan of only certain characters this one might disappoint you. It’s very much Manfred’s and Olivia’s stories. Lemuel is only in it one brief chapter. Bobo also has a very reduced role. Joe and Chuy have more to do this time and Fiji remains a strong secondary character.
It opens with Olivia and Manfred in Dallas, not together. He’s there to meet with clients and she is there on a job too though that storyline fizzles out a bit which might be for the better as I’m not fond of being forced to root for assassins. Manfred has a client he likes, an old woman with a paranoid son more interested in her money than her. When she dies after telling him she hid all her jewels from her son, Manfred is suspected of theft.
And that’s the main plot, finding the jewels and clearing Manfred’s name. Running with this plot are the two side plots. The one that actually isn’t resolved at the end, the old Midnight Hotel is remodeled very quickly and is partially a hotel and partially a nursing home wait station. For some reason they rounded up a handful of old people from Las Vegas (from a very sketchy area) and brought them there until ‘they can be placed in a nursing home.’ One dementia patient didn’t remember he had a grandson Barry who is taking his life in his hands coming to Texas. The other plot is someone leaves a young boy with the Rev, a young boy who grows abnormally fast and soon leaves the town in fear as the full moon rises.
The nice things here are we do get to see more of Joe and Chuy (what can I say? I like the gay angels) and a lot more about Olivia. Sadly it doesn’t make me like her any more which is a problem. There are only three women of note in this, Fiji (who I like very much) Olivia (who I don’t) and the cook at the restaurant who doesn’t fit in and whose name I can’t even remember.
On the other hand, there were things I didn’t like. There was so much repetition, like how many times did we have to hear about the books Bobo hide by accident that Lemuel needed (which is why he’s gone the whole book, out researching them)? It was so many times I began actually counting. There are plenty of other examples. Also I wasn’t fond of how closely this was tied to the Sookie Stackhouse books. Yes, I know Harris likes to link all her fantasy series but I find it somewhat annoying. Maybe because I don’t remember Barry or Manfred and Barry really represents the Sookie books (but either he’s in the last 3 books which I gave up before getting there) or I just don’t remember him. Also there are other links so much so it felt like you were being arm twisted into buying the other books.
But overall, I really like Fiji, Manfred and the angels and this was fun enough for me to want to read the next one which is progress since I wasn’t sure I wanted to read book two after the first one. I’m hoping we get another female character or maybe expansion of Fiji’s role as Harris often does strong female characters.
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