Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny Read Online (FREE)
Kingdom of the Blind: A Chief Inspector Gamache by Louise Penny.
Originally published: November 27, 2018
Author: Louise Penny
Preceded by: Glass Houses
Followed by: A Better Man
Armand Gamache slowed his car to a crawl, then stopped on the snow-covered secondary road.
This was it, he supposed. Pulling in, he drove between the tall pine trees until he reached the clearing.
There he parked the car and sat in the warm vehicle looking out at the cold day. Snow flurries were hitting the windshield and dissolving. They were coming down with more force now, slightly obscuring what he saw outside. Turning away, he stared at the letter he’d received the day before, lying open on the passenger seat.
Putting on his reading glasses, he rubbed his face. And read it again. It was an invitation of sorts, to this desolate place.
He turned off the car. But didn’t get out.
There was no particular anxiety. It was more puzzling than worrisome.
But still, it was just odd enough to raise a small alarm. Not a siren, yet. But he was alert.
Armand Gamache was not by nature timid, but he was a cautious man. How else could he have survived in the top echelons of the Sû reté du Qué bec? Though it was far from certain that he had survived.
He relied on, and trusted, both his rational mind and his instincts.
And what were they telling him now?
They were certainly telling him this was strange. But then, he thought with a grin, his grandchildren could have told him that.
Bringing out his cell phone, he listened as the number he called rang once, twice, and then was answered.
“Salut, ma belle. I’m here,” he said.
It was an agreement between Armand and his wife, Reine-Marie, that in winter, in snow, they called each other when they’d arrived at a destination.
“How was the drive? The snow seems to be getting worse in Three Pines.”
“Here too. Drive was easy.”
“So where are you? What is the place, Armand?”
“It’s sort of hard to describe.”
But he tried.
What he saw had once been a home. Then a house. And was now simply a building. And not even that for much longer.
“It’s an old farmhouse,” he said. “But it looks abandoned.”
“Are you sure you’re at the right place? Remember when you came to get me at my brother’s home and you went to the wrong brother? Insisting I was there.”
“That was years ago,” he said. “And all the houses look alike in Ste.-Angélique, and, honestly, all your hundred and fifty-seven brothers look alike. Besides, he didn’t like me, and I was fairly sure he just wanted me to go away and leave you alone.”
“Can you blame him? You were at the wrong house. Some detective.”
Armand laughed. That had been decades ago, when they were first courting. Her family had since warmed to him, once they saw how much she loved him and, more important to them, how much he loved Reine-Marie.