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LAND OF THE BLIND
By Jess Walter
ReganBooks, May 10th, 2005
Reviewed by Susan Johnson
Jess Walter's first book, OVER TUMBLED GRAVES introduced his character detective Caroline Mabry. In LAND OF THE BLIND, the second book, Caroline is becoming burned out on her job. She has transferred to the night shift and is working a weekend shift when an apparent vagrant is bought in with a strange story. He is grimy, with long, unkempt hair and a black eye patch. He also feels a need to confess -- to a murder no less.
Caroline is unsure if the man is a prankster or a mental case but takes the time to set down and talk to him. He refuses to give his name but suggests that given a bit of time he will write out his confession in long hand.
As the weekend progresses the man's confession begins to fill several legal pads and encompasses many years beginning with his adolescent school years.
Caroline begins to read parts of the confession and garners clues from that, allowing her to first discover the man's true identity and later the identity of the man he is confessing to murdering.
Although the story centers around Caroline's attempt to find the identities of the man and his victim the true depth of the story revolves around the men's childhood and the difficulties of dealing with bullies and peer pressure and the affect that these things can have on a person's entire life.
Jess Walter's first book OVER TUMBLED GRAVES was a wonderfully written story based on the true events of a serial killer in Spokane, Washington. This book, LAND OF THE BLIND is even stronger but in a totally different way. It seems that coming of age and dealing with our past is something we all must do.
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