Land of the Blind is, at it’s core, a detective novel. Caroline Mabry is a thirty-something detective living and working in Spokane. After a particularly difficult case (that, I believe, is the story of Walter’s earlier book, Over Tumbled Graves) she is rather burned out. She finds herself in a situation where she is trying to get a written statement out of a man who has confessed to a murder. Only, the man appears to be crazy. His written statement several legal-pads long and it takes him the weekend, locked up in interrogation room, to write it. As he writes his statement Caroline does some investigating and discovers the identity behind this man she has to deal with.
It turns out, this man is Tony Mason. The Tony Mason who ran for congress a few years ago. The same Tony Mason that she voted for. The same lunatic that was found huddled in an abandoned building downtown is the esteemed Tony Mason. What happened to him?
The story of Mr. Mason in told in two ways. First, we follow along while Caroline tries to figure out who Tony killed and where the body is. Interspersed within Caroline’s story we also read what amounts to Mr. Mason’s autobiography on the pages of these legal pads he is writing on. His “statement of fact” is the story of his life. He writes about how he came to kill his childhood friend Eli Boyle.
I could not put this book down. And it has been a very long time since I have been able to say that about any book. But I ate this book up. It was very good. Fantastically written in my opinion. It was better than the standard mystery fiction out there. Walter really draws his reader into the story, into the world of the characters.
It is possible that I loved this book so much because I live in Spokane and can really visualize and relate to what Walter writes about. If you have read it and you are not from Spokane I would love to hear what you think!