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.
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