Night Shift, Charlaine Harris

Who could have guessed I’d finally manage to finish a book while traveling halfway across the country to a wedding in Memphis? Granted, Harris is ultimate summer reading material. This series, in particular, is so light that it’s not so much a popcorn read as it is…well, maybe it’s one of those lightly buttered microwavable single serving bags – definitely not greasy, grab a handful of napkins movie theatre popcorn though. What I’m trying to get at here is that A) Popcorn with extra butter sounds amazing right now, and B) I finished a book, and even though it was breezy, I feel like a champion.

51fbpkbfa9l-_sx329_bo1204203200_Of course, it didn’t hurt that I was stuck in a hotel room during nap time every day for nearly a week with nothing to do but read (not the worst thing in the world, although it did start to feel a little claustrophobic by the end). Also, I didn’t bother to bring my work computer with me because traveling with a toddler (and in this case, a groomsman husband) means I’m lucky I had room for clothes and a toothbrush. (All I can say is thank goodness for the invention of smartphones and their beautiful reading apps…) So, no work. No sightseeing or catching up on phone calls. Just plenty of air conditioned free time to go through my Kindle library.

I can’t say this is my favorite series by Harris, although I know my mother has really enjoyed it (only worth mentioning because she and I often are in line with a given book or series’ relative strengths and weaknesses). The plots aren’t quite as tight as some of her earlier work, but the characters are so likable that I had no problem finishing what I think is going to remain a trilogy about the fictional Midnight, Texas.

My biggest complaint about this particular series is I feel she gives up too much information too quickly. She may lack experience writing a three book arc compared to a six or more novel series where it’s necessary to draw out character histories and questions over considerably more pages, but I find it surprising since I’ve never noticed this problem in her writing before. It feels like she’s had these characters in her head for so long, and has so much she wants to do with them yet hasn’t allowed herself enough time to do it as naturally as they deserve.

That being said, Harris is still a compelling enough storyteller that I tore through this and wished I had another book by her to read when it was finished. I love her sense of humor and her light but accessible romances. She’s also one of a few mainstream authors in this genre who includes a spectrum of relationships in a respectful and loving way that I find refreshing (perfect for a wedding weekend, as it turns out).

While this series may not fall under my list of top recommendations, it was great for beating the heat mid July (I would have taken it poolside, but, you know, toddler). Also, did I mention I finished a book? In parenthood terms, there truly is no higher recommendation. Truly. You should see the stack of books I’ve read the first twenty pages of this year. It’s…substantial.

2 thoughts on “Night Shift, Charlaine Harris

  1. Tell me it’s not the last in a trilogy. Tell me noooooooooooo! Can you tell I am the mother above mentioned? I love these quirky characters and I am old enough to actually believe that they are real!

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