** Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo

I have not loved Russo’s novels (but I liked his memoir very much) but I enjoyed Everybody’s Fool, the story of a beleaguered police chief with a very, very bad day that includes falling into a tomb, discovering the very unexpected identity of his dead wife’s lover and somehow revealing his identity to his own’s husband, hunting down a wayward cobra and his trafficker owner, drinking way too much, and resigning multiple times, unsuccessfully. The secondary characters in his madcap adventures are just as strong and I particularly enjoyed his right-hand office, a strong black woman, and the town mayor, burdened with a mysteriously afflicted wife. That said, it’s not clear why all those adventures had to be squeezed into a completely impossible day (and a half). And funnily enough the story sometimes moves a little slowly, as the many male characters seem not to have too much to say but just drink heavily together…

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