- first published by Minotaur 2014
- ISBN 978-0-7515-5364-5
- 373 pages
- #10 in the Armand Gamache series
- source: my local library
Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of the Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. But his peace is interrupted when his friend and neighbour, Clara Morrow tells him her artist husband Peter has failed to come home. She asks for Gamache's help in finding him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamche feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. But he must.
Together with his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Myrna Landers, they journey deeper and deeper into Quebec. And deeper and deeper into the soul of Peter Morrow. A man so desperate to recapture his fame as an artist, he would sell that soul. And may have. The journey takes to an area so desolate, so damned, the first mariners called it The land God gave to Cain. And there they discover the terrible damage done by a sin-sick soul.
To my chagrin, I discovered on reading this, the latest in the series, that I forgot that I haven't read the one just before (HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN) - I'm sure I have a copy somewhere ... now where is it? Apart from that, I have actually read all the titles in the series.
I found this title a rather odd mixture of philosophical discussion (what inspires an artist?) and an almost mystical quest ( the closest I can get is something like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings) as Armand Gamache tracks Peter Morrow's journey to find truth. Gamache's instincts tell him that there will be a murder at the end, although for most of the story that is not obvious.
The story that this novel weaves is at the same time fantastic and yet plausible. And as always, the characters are very real.
My rating: 4.9
I've also reviewed
4.8, THE CRUELLEST MONTH
4.9, A RULE AGAINST MURDER
5.0, BURY YOUR DEAD
5.0, A TRICK OF THE LIGHT
4.5, THE HANGMAN - a novella
4.9, THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY
The order of the Gamache books, from first to most recent, is:
Still Life, A Fatal Grace/Dead Cold (same book, different title), The Cruelest Month, A Rule Against Murder/The Murder Stone (same book, different title), The Brutal Telling, Bury Your Dead, A Trick of the Light, The Beautiful Mystery, How the Light Gets In, The Long Way Home.
My earlier mini-reviews
STILL LIFE: my rating 4.6
Louise Penny's first novel was runner up in the Crime Writers' Association's Debut Dagger Award in 2004, in manuscript form.
In the early morning of Thanksgiving Sunday, 76 year old Jane Neal is found dead in the woods of the small Canadian village of Three Pines. She has been shot through the heart by a hunter's arrow - was it an accident or is it murder? There are many secrets in this village and this case gets a distinguished detective from Surete du Quebec, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Jane had recently entered a revealing village 'portrait' into the village art competition. Her great friend Timmer Hadley had also recently died. Were the events connected? Most enjoyable, but not for the impatient, one-more-title-to-add-to my-list, reader. Be prepared to spend some time sifting the clues.
DEAD COLD: my rating 5.0
#2 in the Armand Gamache series. In the little Canadian village of Three Pines another death has occurred. A female spectator, the hated CC de Poitiers, has been electrocuted while out on the ice watching the annual Boxing Day curling match. This has to be murder but no-one saw anything. Coincidentally the victim has been living in the house that was the centre of the last murder in Three Pines, Gamache's case a year ago, the focus of Penny's debut novel STILL LIFE. Gamache renews old acquaintances in the village and we learn more about him. Do read these books in order if you can.