by Louise Penny
borrowed from my bookclub buddy
This is my first Louise Penny book and even though this is part of a series, and yes there is a ton of character development I missed out on from previous book, but ultimately it was fine. I didn’t feel like I was missing all that much because most everything is explained enough to get the reader to understand what happened in the past to affect the present and enough about Gamache and Beauvoir to appreciate their issues and relationship.
“Cast and reel in.
It was, now that Beauvoir thought of it, not unlike what they were about to do. Case for clues, for evidence, for witnesses. And reel them in.
And eventually, when there was enough bait, they’d catch a killer.
Though, unless things became terribly unpredictable, they probably wouldn’t eat him.” (pg16)
So this book was deep and thoughtful, taking place in a hidden location with interesting thoughts on religion and unexpected moments of levity. It was lovely. But I got a little bogged down at times, probably because I wasn’t reading it leisurely, I wanted to finish by a certain date. Since the setting is away from modern conveniences and there is a limited pool of suspects, they peel the layers away slowly, through communication by finding what makes each man actually talk. It is a lovely serene tree that is rotting from the inside, you have to get in there to understand what is eating away at their little community and what exactly could cause a man of God to murder another. Convenience, music, for the better good?
If you like complex plots, psychological and theoretical insights, try this series out. I read a few reviews of other books in the series and Penny tackles the artistic community, hunting community, small villages and tackling rot from within your own community. They seem like fascinating psychological studies with a little psychological warfare thrown in, that slowly reveal who is doing what and where. I will be tracking down the first one, Still Life so I can find out all there is to know about Gamache. They aren’t ones I want to rush into, but I think they will keep me entertained for years to come as I catch up. 4 stars filled with chocolate covered wild blueberries made by monks in the wilds of Canada, mmmmmmm.