The Madness of Crowds follows on last year’s novel, All the Devils are Here. That was a book that I absolutely adored. The Madness of Crowds is a book that I respect and one that has made me think.
Layered on the mystery of why the victim was killed and, if she was even meant to be the victim, are topics about community, the responsibility that we owe to one another as individuals and members of society, the high cost of tragedy and trying to save others, other ethical issues about practices in psychology and much more.
Among the characters is Abby who has a theory that some agree with and others find abhorrent. I don’t want to have spoilers so will not say more. Abby is close to Debbie who is a long time friend and her assistant. Their relationship turns out to be complex as is her relationship with a university chancellor. Then there is Haniya, a stranger to Three Pines and a controversial figure, even if she may be proposed for the Nobel prize.
The residents of Three Pines in all their eccentricity are here. So are Jean-Guy, Isabelle and the ever good man with a strong conscience Armand Gamache and his thoughtful wife Reine Marie. All are tested over the course of the novel.
This story is long, complex and thought provoking. Those of you who have read it, what did you think?