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Kingdom of the Blind

A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Book 14
Written by: Louise Penny
Narrated by: Robert Bathurst
Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (143 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The new Chief Inspector Gamache audiobook from the #1 New York Times best-selling author. 

When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, Gamache accepts and soon learns that the other two executors are Myrna Landers, the bookseller from Three Pines, and a young builder. 

None of them had ever met the elderly woman. 

The will is so odd and includes bequests that are so wildly unlikely that Gamache and the others suspect the woman must have been delusional. But what if, Gamache begins to ask himself, she was perfectly sane? 

When a body is found, the terms of the bizarre will suddenly seem less peculiar and far more menacing. 

But it isn’t the only menace Gamache is facing. 

The investigation into what happened six months ago - the events that led to his suspension - has dragged on, into the dead of winter. And while most of the opioids he allowed to slip though his hands, in order to bring down the cartels, have been retrieved, there is one devastating exception. 

Enough narcotic to kill thousands has disappeared into inner city Montreal. With the deadly drug about to hit the streets, Gamache races for answers. 

As he uses increasingly audacious, even desperate, measures to retrieve the drug, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots. And the terrible things hiding there.  

©2018 Three Pines Creations, Inc. (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gamache ... I mean Penny, does it again!<br />

Who wouldn't want to go back to 3 Pines?! Brilliant continuation of her last novel. As a Canadian, it is a pleasure to read a book reflecting the world of winter in which we live...and die.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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the best again

heart wrenching, intelligent and very well done. all the best loved character's with a twisting dual story line.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Louise Penny

Louise Penny’s books feed the soul. I am grateful for her world full of though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Creative plot twists and interesting perspectives

This latest Penny novel contains some interesting takes on the fentanyl crisis and the challenges for police authorities. The plot is creative, a significant achievement given the number of the Gamache mysteries she has produced. For long time readers, some of the folksy narratives of Three Pines and its quirky inhabitants will be a bit tireseome but fortunately those parts are kept to a tolerable minimum. Some of the rogue cop, evil Surete themes may also be getting a bit threadbare but still retain an air of credibility given the very public problems within police enforcement agencies.

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Good Canadian story

I really enjoyed the multiple layer and intriguing story along with the easy coziness of old friends around a table in Montreal, only wish it would not have been read by yet another British reader. A rare Canadian book should have been read by a Canadian sounding person.

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Again...captivating!

My only regret is waiting till August for the new book. Thank you! Absolutely captivating


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Another great book by Louise Penney

I really enjoyed this book. Living in Northern Ontario I understood and could feel all the snow references. I also think that this should not be the first book that is read in this awesome series because there is minimal background information given for the characters and references. These books are best read in the order of publication since each book continues to build the characters and enrich the story line.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • JJM
  • 2019-02-01

So disappointed.

Sorry to say I found this book boring. Very difficult to get through. We all know how snow affects our lives but did she have to mention it on every page. I am up to chapter 12 and still don't know what the story is about.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Audible should review Canadian accents

I found the narrator of this very good story to be irritatingly incorrect in so many pronunciations of words used in every day Canadian conversation. Even as an Anglo-Canadian, I thought the French words were poorly pronounced. Also, since when is our famous NHL team called the Montreal Canadiens, pronounced with a short “a”????!!!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Too slow to get started and reader does not work for a Quebec-based story

I was disappointed with both the pace of the plot and the character development. I enjoyed the book, to some extent, mostly because I was interested in the well-known characters.

The use of a reader with a British English accent, and the representation of characters by using British English regional or class-based accents, is distracting and condescending to Canadians, both English and French-speaking. It does not represent the country. Also, the book is set in Quebec, but the reader did not pronounce all the French words properly.

I realize that the readers for the previous Gamache books had British English accents, perhaps to distinguish the books’ location and characters from a U.S. setting, but if it was necessary to replace the former reader a more neutral accent / voice should have been found. A new reader should be found for the next book.

I am certainly not as excited about the next book in this series.

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  • Blucola
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • 2018-12-04

Louise Penny never disappoints

Louise Penny’s books are ones I anticipate every year or so. Kingdom of the Blind did not disappoint me at all, this outing. I truly enjoyed this book. I don’t like to give spoilers, although I will say I have a great gasp at the end and began hoping like hell she’s already started the next.

Robert Bathurst is the perfect narrator. He conveys the warm Gamache voice without resorting to cringe-worthy depictions of the female characters, like some male narrators attempt. In fact, some passages he read I enjoyed so much, I back-tracked and listened to them again. I also appreciated that he didn’t rush through the words. Sometimes narrators will do this, making it difficult to visualize the scene, because my mind is already racing to catch up to the next words. Adjusting speeds only makes them sound stodgy and annoying. Mr Bathurst doesn’t do this, he enunciates clearly and with purpose. A very good performance, indeed.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • 20 year+ customer
  • USA
  • 2018-11-29

I found the experience very satisfying.

I agree with another reviewer that this book is more for old friends then new acquaintances. Since I am an old friend of the series, I am happy with the book. It feels like comfort food and I am satisfied. But it also feels like the last one. “Everything” was tied up at the end. If Louise Penny, like one of her characters said, is tired of the blood and death I for one can respect that.
One thing I am sure of, this will not be the end of Louise Penny as an author. If she takes Gamache and the other characters that she likes spending time with in a new direction I will be here waiting. If she moves on to another subject, I know it will be a pleasure to read. Many thanks for this book and all of the others before it.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kristina
  • 2018-12-01

Kingdom of the Blind

I always love the characters and the Gamache stories, however, this book was hard to follow almost to the very end. It was too gritty-rather disturbing. I personally prefer a story with more of a balance between joy and dispair.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 2018-11-29

I love this Canadian series!

The publisher summary gives this novel a nice setup. There are two plot lines; one is Gamache being named executor of the will of a woman he had never met or heard of while the other concerns finding the carfentanil that Gamache allowed to get loose in the prior novel. Robert Bathurst's narration is excellent as usual.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Joan
  • Hillsboro, OR, United States
  • 2018-12-01

Stale

The first eight or ten books were wonderful. The unusual characters, while sometimes over
the top, were refreshing as a change of pace kind of story. The last four or five books have been a chore to finish.
Found getting past the first chapter this time impossible. Every bit of life has been wrung from these folks and it is
time to move on to a new set. Louise Penny is a super author, but this has been pushed beyond the limit.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean Sindhikara
  • New Jersey
  • 2018-12-06

The poorest of all her works

Unlike her earlier works, Kingdom of the blind was tedious to read. Neither of the two plot lines held my interest and the interaction of the characters dismally flat. To be sure, my negative reaction to the story was multiplied by the style of the reader whom I have not liked since he started being a reader for this series. Other than Gamache. the character’s voices did not project real voices, especially those of the women whom always seemed high and sweetly. I will be returning this audiobook without completing it and will preview any further books by Louise Penny, whose earlier novels I list among my all time favorites.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Gramadge
  • 2018-12-02

Integrity still exists

Another wonderful story from Louise Penny. Enjoyed the familiar scenery and characters. Only bad part is waiting a year for the next one.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Niki
  • 2018-12-12

Disappointed

This was just blah, I didn't even care if I finished it. I waited a long time to finally get to listen, and it just was not up to her standards.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • stl1111
  • La Grande, OR, United States
  • 2018-12-06

Last Gamache book for me

I’ve loved all of these books and listened to most of them multiple times. I loved Ralph Coshen as narrator! The way he verbally portrayed the characters was perfect- he made them real and believable. Robert Bathurst is a very very poor replacement. I tried in the previous books to accept him-I truly did. But his interpretations of characters are so limited. No variety; no understanding of the characters; he’s awful. But this book is not as good either. In the author’s attempt to keep new readers informed, she rehashes everything that has ever happened. It wasn’t until chapter 12 that you begin to hear the story. And Bathurst reads all that rehashing in a sentimental, maudlin tone that is boring rather than clarifying. I don’t know where the author will go in the future, but to me, Gamache and cast are past their prime. Unfortunately, this is the last one for me.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Philip N Smith
  • 2018-12-15

Absolutely dreadful!

Oh boy! I loved the early Gamache books. The story lines were compelling, the array of characters rich, the narration top notch. Well, not any more. In fact, I'm returning this book and it's never again for Gamache.

It's as if Louise Penny's writing has regressed instead of developing over the series, finally reaching the awful depths of this piece of work. Repetitive, tiresome, hackneyed, Bizarre behavior by contrived characters who have stagnated in their development by a writer who seems increasing desperate to find some sort of angle for a new book but ends up with a mess. Things that were quirkily humorous in early books have become annoying tics. Characters that were interesting and evolving have become boring and trite. The entire story is a confused jumble, and it appears Penny just tries to keep it going by throwing more ill-conceived situations and characters into the the mix. "Oh, lets have Gamache randomly sing Edelweiss at various odd points, that should be good". "Ah, let me repeat "whores and trannies" endlessly every time I want to describe the drug underbelly in Montreal. That will really get the mood of the place". And on and on and on ...

As for the performance, well, Robert Bathurst is no Ralph Cosham. Ralph brought the characters alive, with rich voice characterization, French Quebec accents and a clear spirit that enhanced the work. Bathurst is monotonous, devoid of accent, charm or any effort to put that into his characters even though Penny continues the endearing sprinkling of French words and phrases. It's as if he's just going through the motions with a tape loop in the back of his head going "just get it over with as quickly as possible and cash the check". Cosham added unique flavor and depth to Penny's work. Bathurst takes a bad job and - as if it were possible - manages to make it even worse.

Désolé, Armand. Hang up the boots, mon ami. Your time is up.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful