Kingdom of the Blind
by Penny, Louise






Still coping with the events that led to his suspension, Armand Gamache is curious when he discovers that an elderly woman who was a complete stranger to him has named him as one of the executors of her will.





LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels (Still Life, A Fatal Grace, and The Cruelest Month). She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (six times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Louise lives in a small village south of Montréal.





*Starred Review* In this fourteenth episode of Penny's celebrated Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series, the cumulative effect of past events has imbued the entire cast with an ever-deepening sense of the perilous nature of life, creating an internal landscape that stands in stark but richly meaningful contrast to the wood-smoke-infused calm we've come to expect from the series' primary setting, the Quebec village of Three Pines. The past not only hangs heavily on the residents of Three Pines; it also drives the crimes that Gamache, now suspended from his position as head of the Sûreté? du Québec, investigates. That is especially true this time, in an episode with tentacles stretching deep into European and familial history-tentacles that, once untangled, reveal how generations of secrets have led to murder. It begins with Gamache being named by a complete stranger as an executor of her extremely odd will; when the decrepit home where the will was read collapses shortly thereafter, and a body is found in the rubble, Gamache feels the grip of the past once more. The more-recent past also has its own tentacles encircling Gamache's exposed flesh. The unsanctioned plan to bring down a drug cartel was successful in its primary goal but also left a deadly opioid on the street, which resulted in the chief's suspension. Now Gamache has gone rogue, instigating an even more audacious scheme to seize the drugs. Few mystery writers intertwine the personal lives of their characters with the crimes being investigated more skillfully than Penny does, and she is at her best here, as several key players face turning points in their lives, suggesting that if the past can strangle the present, it can also help clear the way for the future. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Penny's series and its central character are beloved by mystery readers and librarians. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





The Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec finds himself in a unique position: He's tangled up in the life of a recently deceased woman, and it doesn't involve her murder. As the first snowflakes of a major storm start to fall, Chief Superintendent Gamache is standing in front of a crooked house in the middle of the woods, unsure of whom he will find inside. Curiosity is what brings him here after receiving a vague invitation in the mail. But is there danger waiting beyond the door? It's what Gamache has been trained to anticipate. Currently suspended from his Sûreté post during the investigation into the controversial events of Glass Houses (2017), Gamache must remember he's here on unofficial business. He and two others who arrive at the house learn that they've been named executors of a will belonging to a woman they never knew in life. Stranger still, the woman, who called herself the Baroness, has left millions to her three children, money everyone is shocked to hear about. Her secretiveness was fueled by generations of family bitterness and resentment. And though it may seem like Gamache has all the time in the world to dive into this dark history, his attention is in fact divided: The deadly opioid that slipped untraced into Montreal under Gamache's watch is expected to hit the streets any day—a most unsettling thought. Penny reveals a deeper vulnerability in the introspective Gamache; is it possible he's not quite sure of himself anymore? A theme of desperation plays out in both story arcs, as characters from all walks of life move between hope and despair and traverse the fine line that separates them. The main mystery pales in comparison to Gamache's interior story, and the decisions he makes are sure to raise a few eyebrows. Moral duty has been synonymous with our hero, but Penny seems to be pushing her characters in new directions with this installment: "[Gamache] considered his options and the at r ocity he was about to commit." The ending is adrenaline-filled but, no, not because of the mysterious will. This starts as a small-town mystery and becomes something grander and more frightening; Penny has upped her thrills-to-pain au chocolat ratio. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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