Full disclosure: The author of the book that I am about to review is a patron at a library that I work at. All of the opinions stated in this review are solely mine.
When I had reviewed Richville: Another Tale of Travail and Treachery by Robert C. Jones, I encountered a unique problem: I found that no other person had reviewed it online. Guess what? Jones’s follow-up Richville: A Chance for Redemption in a Town Without Pity has the same issue. In other words, get ready for the very first review of this once-again-Hallmark-movie-for-older-people book. It was not as effective as the previous one.
Richville: A Chance for Redemption in a Town Without Pity brings readers back to the town of you guessed it: Richville and all of its colorful characters. However, the town has hit a low point. Trust among the citizens has evaporated after a number of them were involved at a gathering in a historic home to find a valuable teapot and coin. It also does not help that the Reign brothers – Huey, Dewey, and Louie – have constructed a slaughterhouse through corrupt methods. These cartoon villains plan on taking control of the whole town and eschewing tradition (*gasp). Will there be redemption?
Much like the last book, this one also tends to mainly focus on the characters and how they deal with the situations at hand. Unlike the last one however, I didn’t connect to the characters as much as I should have. The ones that I grabbed onto in the previous novel are not in it for very long with the exception of the Thank Goodness I’m Alive and Kicking Club. It has new characters like the crew at Cooky’s, including Big Tina, as well as Mandy Menage – a hardcore feminist fashionista and president of the Effervescent Rose Society. I didn’t care much for Big Tina since her whole spiel is being floozy with truckers. Mandy was someone that I thought I was going to not like at first since she acts all domineering and thinking she is better than everyone else as she tries to spruce up the town. However, she has a change of heart after someone broke into her home and physically assaulted her. Even though it was a bit contrived, she realizes that she is still that small-town girl and is willing to appreciate the do-gooder spirit of Richville.
That point that I made in the review for the 2nd Richville book still stands. It still contains melodrama, favors idealism, and has a rose-tinted narrative. In addition, most of the do-gooders aka heroes are over the age of 50, while the villains are younger. However, I did not connect as strongly as I did with the previous novel since not much happens. To be fair, not much occurred in the last book, but at least it had a substantial plot. Here, the plot is mainly how the citizens deal with mistrust and greed. Moreover, most of the main characters don’t really do anything besides mope and whine. That is why for a while I struggled to figure out what the plot really was. I wanted to see how the events of the preceding book affected everyone, yet it was far more passive than I expected.
Overall, Richville: A Chance for Redemption in a Town Without Pity by Robert C. Jones was okay. It was kind of a letdown compared to the earlier book simply because not much happened. However, I would recommend it to older people, especially if they have read the last two books. I would still not discourage young readers from taking a look at it. In the past, I mentioned that the Richville series would be a trilogy, but I just got word from the author himself that there will be a fourth book. I look forward to it.
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