Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Somebody’s Fool by Richard Russo


As I have mentioned before, I have loved everything Richard Russo has written.  I first learned about him when looking for a birthday present for a friend.  I saw Empire Falls in paperback in a Boston Barnes and Noble in like 2003 or so and it looked so good, I bought two copies - one for him and one for me.  I think this was before it had won the Pulitzer Prize.  I found it unputdownable.  His characters were so real and relatable, and the world was so perfectly drawn. My only complaint there was the time jump. 

I went back and started reading his entire back catalog and loved it all (though a few of his other books also used a time jump to skip past difficult parts). 

I especially loved Nobody’s Fool, set in the small upstate New York town of North Bath. Its characters were indelibly stuck in my brain, so I was delighted when, a few years ago, he came out with a sequel years after the original called Everybody’s Fool. That became a new favorite. So I was over the moon when I found out Mr. Russo was continuing the story with a third book, Somebody’s Fool. 

This book is a pretty direct continuation from the second novel, set a few years later. The main focal characters are Raymer, no longer police chief now, Sully’s son Peter, and Sully’s former lover Ruth (and her daughter Janey). The book was absolutely riveting and remarkable and it filled me with the joy only an incredibly well written book can. I had a few issues with the lack of consequences for an utterly awful unredeemable cop because it seemed illogical based on everything else in the narrative, but that’s a minor quibble. This was a joy to read. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. 

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