Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Gamache) by Louise Penny
|Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Gamache) by Louise Penny|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: It's the 14th novel in the series and this time we move outside the village of Three Pines. I guessed some of the twists, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416/12h22m||Date: November 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
It came as something of a surprise when Armand Gamache was named as liquidator in the estate of a woman he'd never met. Another villager from Three Pines is also a liquidator, but the third is a stranger to them both. The mystery deepens when the will is read: given that the deceased was a cleaner it seems unlikely that she would have had the millions which she bequests at her disposal. Then a body is found. That's not Gamache's only problem though: one of his protégées, Amelia Choquet, has been expelled from the police academy for drug dealing, and the enquiry into the incident which led to his suspension as the head of the Sûreté in Quebec is dragging on and the outcome is looking increasingly ominous.
For a long time now the Inspector Gamache series has been my favoured bedtime listening: I love the village charm of Three Pines and the elegant contrasts with the harder world of Quebec. I regularly marvel at why anyone would want to live in Three Pines, given that the chances of villagers being murdered or involved in a murder are unreasonably high, but I know that, given the chance, I'd love to live there. This time I read the book and was glad that I did as the plot is more complex, more thoughtful than the earlier books in the series and it was a pleasure to be able to easily reread sections which puzzled.
Having said that, the denouement to one particular plot strand was obvious to me from the start and I couldn't understand why other characters didn't at least suspect that this was what was happening. Perhaps they were unwilling to believe just how devious Gamache could be and in Kingdom of the Blind he is very devious with twists in the plots and then plots within the twists. For me it went just a little too far, possibly because he went from being someone I liked to a man I'd be wary of if I encountered someone like him in real life.
You'll meet a lot of regular characters again, although it's clear that for some big changes are afoot in the next book in the series. You could try reading this book as a standalone, but I doubt that it would be very satisfying: you need to know more about why Gamache has been suspended as Head of the Sûreté for what happens to make sense and the villagers in Three Pines only really come off the page if you know more of their background. I started with book 5 which did read well as a standalone.
I'd like to thank the publishers for allowing the Bookbag to see a review copy.
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