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review 2018-12-23 21:46
Kingdom of the Blind-24 Tasks
Kingdom of the Blind - Louise Penny

Read this for St. Lucia, luckily this was released in November 2018.

 

 

Not much to say with this one. I think the earlier brilliance of this series is gone honestly. I just didn't feel engaged while reading this the past two days. I think the bigger issue is that Penny flips flops back and forth between the action at the Sûreté du Québec/with a cadet and the village. I was more invested in the village happenings and with Myrna. I also 100 percent cannot keep reading about Gamache and the opioid epidemic anymore. It feels disingenuous as hell and people caring about this (due to the high number of non people of color that are being affected) is something that I wish that Penny would address if she is going to keep banging on about it. I was interested more in the murder investigation, and I really wish that Penny had made that the main focus of this book. The only good thing that I really can say is that my least favorite character may be making an exit from this series. Thank goodness.

 

"Kingdom of the Blind" takes place several months (I think almost a year) after the events in "Glass Houses." We have Gamache suspended from the Suerte, but yet still uncertain about his future. There is an investigation into how opioids managed to get through the net that Gamache had laid out to capture the criminal syndicate. It appears, per usual, Gamache is in someone's cross-hairs to take the blame for things. While that is going on, Gamache appears to meet a notary at an old abandoned farmhouse. To his surprise, Myrna and a young man that they don't know also shows up too. They find out that they were named as executors in a will to a woman that known of them knew. Gamache puzzles out who this woman was and why she would do such a thing. This eventually leads to a dead body and Gamache and Jean Guy trying to figure out if there are any links between these things or not. 

 

As I said above, the book veers back and forth between Three Pines (my favorite parts of the book) and Gamache and Jean Guy dealing with the fall out from their actions at the Sûreté du Québec. Three Pines is dealing with a blizzard that knocks out power, but causes he village to pull together. I found myself snuggling under the covers and only venturing out of bed to find hot chocolate while reading these sections. At this point, if you are a long-time reader you know everyone and their backstories. It's just nice to see Ruth, Myrna, Clara, Olivier, and others in this one. 

 

The Surete sections are the weakest because per usual we have Jean Guy doing his doubting Thomas routine with Gamache. I am glad Isabelle gave him a verbal slap about it. This character has shown zero growth in the last 5 books and he's getting old. I also don't see him as being a worthy successor of Gamache since he doesn't listen and likes to just treat everyone like a liar and suspect.  I was hoping that eventually this book would spin off to follow Isabelle and her family. I loved her scenes with Gamache, and was happy to see that Gamache still includes her in his thoughts, and she was active with helping with the murder investigation that took place too. 

 

The writing in sections was quite good, and in others felt hampered. I felt as if Penny was trying to work out in a realistic way what she threw down in the last book, it just didn't work. The flow was up and down since there are two different plots going on in this one. Only plot one (will and murder investigation) actually worked well and was firing on all cylinders. 


The setting of Three Pines in this one was appealing. 

 

The ending left things on a different note that I wonder about. I don't know if this is the end of the series or not. Things are left up in the air, and it does seem some characters are taking their final bow. 

 

St. Lucia's Day

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review 2018-12-21 03:47
Audiobook Review: Three Blind Dates (Dating by Numbers, #1) by Meghan Quinn (Author), Ava Erickson (Narrator), Aidan Snow (Narrator)
Three Blind Dates - Meghan Quinn

 

She's been looking for love in all the wrong places. Will this be the time she finally gets it right? Meghan Quinn has never been afraid to put her humorous side on display. In my opinion that's what makes her characters so endearing. We're all flawed and her stories remind us it's okay to own the imperfections in ourselves. Three Blind Dates is an irresistible look at love from every angle. The good, the bad and the ugly, through the eyes of a successful heroine. Her neuroses are a tad eccentric, but no less lovable. Noely longs for a life to call her own. Away from the spotlight and the celebrity. She craves something real. Quinn warms the heart with hints of wisdom, humorous dialogue and captivating characters. A win all the way around.

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review 2018-12-09 11:29
Growing Inward: "The Blind Owl" by by Sadegh Hedayat
The blind owl - Sadegh Hedayat



(Original Review, 1981-04-20)


“I was growing inward incessantly; like an animal that hibernates during the wintertime, I could hear other peoples' voices with my ears; my own voice, however, I could hear only in my throat. The loneliness and the solitude that lurked behind me were like a condensed, thick, eternal night, like one of those nights with a dense, persistent, sticky darkness which waits to pounce on unpopulated cities filled with lustful and vengeful dreams.”

In “The Blind Owl” by Sadegh Hedayat



“My one fear is that tomorrow I may die without having come to know myself.”


In “The Blind Owl” by Sadegh Hedayat

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-12-08 19:08
Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny - My Thoughts
Kingdom of the Blind - Louise Penny

My birthday present to me. It's so very rare for me to pay $15 for an ebook, but this is one of my very favourite of favourite authors and it was my birthday the week it came out, so...  I gave myself a gift!

Anyway...

It was like coming home.

I came to a realisation about myself and the Gamache books when I was about halfway through this one.  They are perfect for people watchers.  Perfect for people who love to watch TV shows like Survivor and Big Brother because they want to see how the people will react and what they will become in different situations.  There is a lot of people watching in these books, and speculating and looking for the 'why' of things.  I love it!

All of our friends are back in Three Pines, but this time the focus is more on the Sureté side of the family than the civilians. There are parallel storylines here - the case of the will, the murder of one of the heirs in said will, and the fallout from the previous book with the drugs Armand was forced to let slip through his hands in order to catch the bigger fish. 

I wish I was better at writing these things so that I could explain why they're so good, but suffice it to say that Armand Gamache, is a wonderfully flawed hero and the family that he makes around him is also filled with real people who are alternately flawed and heroic in their times. 

I don't know that I'm completely thrilled with the way this book ended.  Oh, don't get me wrong, the ending was perfect and filled with surprises and sadness and feel good moments, but I'm going to be really annoyed if Jean-Guy's fate is permanent!  (Although the whole theme of the student taking the place of the mentor by his actions was pretty cool.)

So, I am thinking positively that there are more Gamache tales to come and that we will be returning to Three Pines in the future.  :) 

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review 2018-10-10 03:19
A gripping thriller featuring a uniquely disqualified hero
Dead Blind - Rebecca Bradley

There are two gripping stories in this novel -- the primary one isn't the crime story (odd for a work of crime fiction), but it is the better executed of the two. Which isn't a slight to the secondary story, at least not intentionally.

 

Let's start with the crime -- DI Ray Patrick and his team are investigating an international organ smuggling ring. Every time I've run into this kind of story -- in print or on TV -- it has always been effective. Something about the idea of harvesting organs from people (who may or may not survive the process for at least awhile) to transplant into people who may or may not survive (given the less than ideal facilities for such activities) has always disturbed me. Then when my son was diagnosed with renal failure and we were told he'd need a kidney transplant, these kind of stories became more nightmarish for me. So yeah, basically, this was right up my alley.

 

Thankfully, he'd received his kidney a couple of weeks before I read this one, so it didn't end up costing me sleep. Incidentally, the facts and figures about transplants, the need for them and the lack of donors, etc. all lined up with everything we'd been told. Yes, there are differences in protocols between the two medical systems, but on the whole, what Patrick and the rest learned matched what I'd learned. When it comes to thins kind of thing in novels, I'm always wondering how much the author fudged and how much came from research -- I'm happy to say that Bradley got this right.

 

So this story -- from how the ring operates to how Patrick and the rest investigate is very satisfying.

 

Which leaves the primary story. Patrick comes back to work from a nasty automobile accident, mostly recovered from his physical injuries. But that's not the only injury he sustained. Patrick now is dealing with prosopagnosia, aka "face blindness." Through some clever guesswork, and a whole lot of luck, he's never revealed it to anyone other than his ex-wife (so she can help him with his kids). Now back at work, Patrick is attempting to hoodwink everyone into thinking he's okay, because he doesn't want to risk not losing his job.

 

On the one hand you want to see him pull off his silly scheme, on the other, you want to see him be the man of integrity everyone thinks he is and be honest with his colleagues and friends. Especially when Patrick's inability to discern or remember faces jeopardizes the investigation.

 

Watching Patrick try to remember people via other means while trying to lead an investigation, and deal with the ramifications of the disorder in his personal life gives the book its emotional weight. And it delivers that in spades.

 

Patrick's team is full of some pretty well-drawn characters, which also applies for the other people in his life -- grounding the more outlandish flavorings of the other stories. I enjoyed the read and found it gripping -- looking forward to seeing more from Bradley.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/10/09/dead-blind-by-rebecca-bradley-a-gripping-thriller-featuring-a-uniquely-disqualified-hero
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