I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ed Gorman is a treasure. One of the most prolific and consistently excellent writers I can think of. His fiction is much more than mere entertainment. No, it touches the heart and soul. Stimulates the intellect. His fiction captures what acutely makes us human.

I began reading the fiction of Ed Gorman in the early 90's and I became a fan immediately. But it was in the mid-late 1990's that he really hit his greatest stride. Books seemed to be coming out nearly every month and his greatest achievements, novels like Black River Falls, Cage of Night, The First Lady and The Poker Club all came out about a decade ago and are all beautiful pieces of fiction.

But perhaps his most poignant, enjoyable books are the Sam McCain series. These wistful stories take place in the late 1950's through the early 1960's and are wonderfully nostalgic. It's obvious that Gorman has the fondest memories of that romanticized period of American history. Rock 'n' Roll, drive-in theaters, hamburgers and french fries and the love affair with the automobile that everyone seemed to have. Yet he doesn't forget that it was not an era of complete happiness for everyone. Social injustice and inequality was rampant and the major upheavals in human rights were still some years away. Unlike some that chronicle the past with rose-colored glasses, Ed Gorman is unflinchingly honest. That's another facet of his fiction.

Fools Rush In is the sixth novel in the McCain series and the lawyer/private eye is older, if not necessarily wiser. His idealism has waned, yet he maintains his basic human decency.

The year is 1963. A time of unrest in the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King is leading protest marches in the South and is being met with resistance. Race is a huge issue in the news and in the conversations of small town America. Like in Black River Falls, the Iowa town where Sam MCain lives. He is asked to investigate an ugly situation. A black man and a white man have been brutally murdered. The black man was seeing a Senator's daughter and the common consensus is that he was murdered for it. But things are rarely simple in any Ed Gorman story and McCain's investigation leads him into a bloody whirl of passion, corruption and greed, where anyone could have had the motive to have committed the crimes.

The McCain series has partly focused on his turbulent, often unhappy love life and he meets a new interest in Fools Rush In, which in part is what the title of the novel refers to. Old friends and acquaintances are present as well, including McCain's crusty employer, Judge Whitney, his lovably ditzy secretary and his buddy that writes erotic fiction. There is much humor to be found in the novel, but Fools Rush In is also one of the darkest and most emotional of the series.

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