Book Review: The Madness of Crowds

Book: The Madness of Crowds (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #17)

Author: Louise Penny

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 8/10

Read if you like: police procedural books, really long series, books set in Canada

Good morning bookworms! 9 days into September already. I’m quite happy for the month to fly by really because I am ready for Thriller October! Thank you to Raincoast Books for hooking me up with a copy of The Madness of Crowds. I did not realize it was a series until I had already started but it still read well as a stand alone. There were a few times in the book where a previous event was mentioned, but the author gave enough details about it for it to not matter that I hadn’t read the previous books.

The Madness of Crowds is set in post-Covid Quebec. Everyone has been vaccinated and the virus is gone. But now the economy is suffering. The government asks Dr. Abigail Robinson, a mathematician, to create a plan to avoid an economic crash. Her plan while statistically the best option, is immoral. But people are so desperate for their lives to go back to before, that she starts to gain a surprising amount of followers. Trigger warnings for a lot of Covid talk and euthanasia, and suicide.

Hook: 2/2 – Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is tasked with guarding the controversial doctor while she is visiting the nearby university. Of course there is an immediate attempt to kill her and the book continues from there with an investigation and then more drama. I was very intrigued by what the doctors proposal was and we don’t find out exactly what it is until 1/4 of the way into the book. So that’s what got me hooked.

Writing: 2/3 – It was really easy to follow the plot here. I liked the flow of the writing because I never felt bored.

Plot: 3/3 – A really interesting concept, I enjoyed my first book that included Covid. It was cool to see a discussion of the negative effects of lockdowns and social distancing and then what it could be like to have all that stop. Though we aren’t quite there yet, I am looking forward to feeling safer and more free.

Characters: 1/2 – I often find with police procedural books that I get annoyed with the cops and I’m like it’s obviously this person is the murderer forgetting that I have more information than the cops to work with. The police in this book were very intelligent so it wasn’t too bad. There were a lot of characters that seemed unnecessary to me but I’m sure that’s partially because I haven’t read the other books.

Overall I really enjoyed the writing and the plot. I think maybe I will start at the beginning of the series. This was my first book by Louise Penny and I liked it!

Happy Reading!


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