Kingdom of the Blind is the 14th mystery in the Inspector Gamache series — and it’s a spellbinder ... Kingdom of the Blind is yet another outstanding Gamache adventure. In her by-now characteristic fashion, Penny simultaneously unspools several suspense narratives, each of them accruing power and threat, faster and faster, until the novel closes in a crescendo of violence, unmasking and regret. Whew ... Kingdom of the Blind is an ingenious mystery that follows a thoughtful group of beloved characters navigating their way through a fallen world. What more could a mystery reader — or any reader for that matter — want?
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 ... 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.
Each Gamache adventure (we are now at the 14th) displaces the previous one as the best in the series. I have read each one twice—first as a one-sitting page turner, and then shortly afterward as a leisurely reread in which I revel in the artistry of the prose, the characterizations, the locales. It’s not to be missed!
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 ... This starts as a small-town mystery and becomes something grander and more frightening; Penny has upped her thrills-to–pain au chocolat ratio.
Insightful, well-plotted ... Penny offers intriguing commentary on the willful blindness that can keep people from acknowledging the secrets and lies in their own lives ... wraps up some continuing story lines and sends recurring characters in surprising directions in this solid installment.