Land of the Blind: A Novel

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9780060394394: Land of the Blind: A Novel

In Land of the Blind, Jess Walter, National Book Award finalist and author of Citizen Vince and The Zero, explores the bonds and compromises we make as children—and the fatal errors we can make at any time in our lives. Fiendishly clever and darkly funny, Land of the Blind follows Caroline Mabry, a weary police detective racing against the clock to investigate both a murder and two men’s darkly intertwined lives.

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Review:

Jess Walter, a reporter whose first novel fictionalized the true crime story of a serial killer in Spokane, Washington, (Over Tumbled Graves) has penned a riveting, elegiac thriller about a middle-aged man who wants Spokane police detective Caroline Mabry to witness his confession to a crime that hasn't yet been discovered. As Clark Mason writes the long story of a childhood friendship gone horribly wrong, readers will shudder, remembering their own tortured adolescence and revisiting it in that of Eli Boyle, whose physical and social awkwardness made him a natural target for his peers. Back then, even Clark joined the crowd in making fun of Eli. But he also showed him some kindness--enough to make Eli agree to let Clark turn his fantasy game, Empire, into a high-tech start-up years later, and to bankroll Clark's run for Congress. But when the technology boom goes bust and Clark's dreams run out of steam, Eli makes a last, frightening bid for what he's always wanted--revenge on those who made his childhood hell, including the woman Clark has loved since high school. Walter's abilities as a prose stylist and his sense of narrative tension shine through in this extremely well written novel, which is far stronger than his first, but shares its deep sense of time and place. --Jane Adams

From the Back Cover:

Jess Walter's widely acclaimed first novel, Over Tumbled Graves, paired the plot of a first-rate thriller with writing of exceptional intelligence and human insight. Now, in Land of the Blind, Walter brings back police detective Caroline Mabry and pits her in a battle of wits against a mysterious yet oddly familiar figure who is dragged into her precinct house one Friday night, seeming disoriented and wearing an eye patch.

"I'd like to confess, he says. But he insists on writing out his confession in longhand. And, he warns her, it may take a while.

Over the next forty-eight hours, the stranger admits to far more than a crime. He confesses an entire life: a wry and haunting tale of poverty and politics, of obsession and revenge. And as he writes, Caroline pushes herself to near collapse, racing against the clock to investigate not merely a murder but the story of two men's darkly intertwined lives ... and to find the body that awaits her, somewhere in the city.

The result is a novel that blends suspense with rich characterization and irresistible storytelling, one that speaks deeply to the bonds and compromises we make as children -- and the fatal errors we can make at any moment in our lives.

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