KINGDOM OF THE BLIND by Louise Penny
The repercussions of the events that took place in the previous novel in this series (Glass Houses) are still being felt as we return to Three Pines, six months later. Armand Gamache remains suspended from his job as head of the Sûreté du Québec while the investigation continues.
Like the other novels in this series, Kingdom of the Blind is a multi-layered story. While Armand awaits his fate concerning his actions involving the drug cartels, he is presented with a new and puzzling situation. He’s been chosen as one of three executors of the will of an elderly woman whom he has never met. The provisions of the will are so bizarre that the woman’s competence at the time it was written is called into question. Before much progress can be made, a body is found which throws a more ominous light on the whole situation.
While Gamache investigates the background of this woman he is informed that a major influx of opioids is about to hit the streets of the inner city of Montreal – those same drugs that were involved in the case that got him suspended.
Armand must use all of his guile to thwart the drug dealers from saturating the city with deadly narcotics while putting his life, and those of other officers, on the line.
CARELESS LOVE by Peter Robinson
The body of a young woman is found in a car recently involved in an accident. The car had been tagged with a POLICE AWARE sign indicating that the accident had been investigated and that the car was waiting to be towed. There was no body in the vehicle at the time of the investigation so the presence of this young woman’s body is a mystery. Not far away from this incident, the body of a well-dressed man is found in a gully. Are the two incidents connected?
Banks and his team are tasked with finding everything they can about each of these people and determining whether or not they were victims of foul play.
I’m usually chomping at the bit to read a new Inspector Banks novel and began this one with great anticipation. However, it quickly became stale and flat. It seems that Banks has undergone a personality change – he’s become flippant, at times vulgar, and easily distracted from the task at hand. His occasional references to this or that musician has segued into paragraphs about the artist and his/her music, becoming tedious and irritating. Even Annie Cabbot seems to treat her job as a lark.
With a weak plot and characters who don’t live up to their reputation, Robinson’s latest mystery left me completely unsatisfied.