Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review: How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #9) by Louise Penny

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 676 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0312655479
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Aug 27 2013)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English

Book Description

“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” —Leonard Cohen

Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it’s a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn’t spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna's reluctance to reveal her friend's name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.

As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna’s friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines, and at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?

How the Light Gets In is the ninth Chief Inspector Gamache Novel from Louise Penny.

The stunning, ingenious and sinister new novel in the internationally bestselling Inspector Gamache series.


As a fierce, unrelenting winter grips Quebec, shadows are closing in on Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department and hostile forces are lining up against him.


When Gamache receives a message about a mysterious case in Three Pines, he is compelled to investigate -- a woman who was once one of the most famous people in the world has vanished.


As he begins to shed light on the investigation, he is drawn into a web of murder, lies and unimaginable corruption at the heart of the city. Facing his most challenging, and personal, case to date, can Gamache save the reputation of the Sûreté, those he holds dear and himself?

Evocative, gripping and atmospheric, this magnificent work of crime fiction from international bestselling author Louise Penny will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

About the Author

LOUISE PENNY is the New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of eight previous Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has been awarded the John Creasey Dagger, Nero, Macavity and Barry Awards, as well as two each of the Arthur Ellis and Dilys Awards. Additionally, Louise has won four Agatha Awards and four Anthony Awards. Her most recent novel, The Beautiful Mystery debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.

My Review

Louise Penny, an incredibly talented Canadian author, quickly became one of my favorite authors. She is an amazing storyteller and the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series is superb. This book debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Everyone obviously recognizes the greatness now.

Impossible to put down, particularly if you are emotionally invested in the characters in this series. I cannot emphasize enough that you, yes you, need to read this series in its entirety, in the correct order. If you do, you will experience one of the best written series and fascinating examination of the human psyche.

It is Christmas time and Gamache's family is in Paris. He'll join them soon, but not before he gets to the bottom of the murder of the last Ouelette quintuplet. Of course this evokes memories of  the famous Dionne quintuplets of were Quebecois. They were a huge part of 20th century Canadian history. Everyone knew about the Dionne quintuplets. And their supposed fairy tale life. Of course, a complete fabrication, but I digress.

Three Pines is a magical place in the Quebec Eastern townships, an area southeast of Montreal. If you've been following the series, then you'll want to know that all of your favorite characters are back the brilliant poet Ruth Zardo, Clara the amazing painter but pining for her absent husband, Myrna and the bookshop, and our favorite inn keepers and bistro owners Gabri and Olivier. In fact it is Myrna, who brings Gamanche back to the village once again, in search of her missing friend.

Gamanche's Sûreté du Québec is in an uproar.  Jean-Guy is not speaking to Gamanche and he is giving in to his addictions. Gamanche's team has been disbanded and he is left with a team who are not loyal to him. Who in the Sûreté du Québec is out to get Gamanche...and why? This mystery has been in the background of the last few books...

Leading up to the ending, the novel is quite is suspense filled and action packed. Gamanche is brilliant.  Beauvoir's coming out his self pity fog. But what really makes a Louise Penny novel so special is her understanding of the human character and her ability to depict the details that make people so unique and special. The ending itself is beautiful.

There is a crack in everything, that is how the lights gets in.

This book is No. 1 this week for a reason. It is incredibly well-written. The characters are like your family. You really must read the entire series to fully appreciate this amazing story in its entirety.

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