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The Brutal Telling: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Paperback – August 31, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Penny has been compared to Agatha Christie, [but] it sells her short.” ―Booklist (starred review)
“An intricate, almost mythic plot, superb characters, and rich, dark humor.” ―People
“Magic . . . [with] an elegance and depth not often seen.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“If you don't give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A treat for the mind and a lesson for the soul, this is a novel full of surprises.” ―Richmond Times-Dispatch
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Top Customer Reviews
The first chapter of this tale opens deep in the forest where we overhear a conversation between a man identified only as "The Hermit" and a man called Olivier. The tone carries hints of fantasy and the forest primeval as The Hermit warns, "Chaos is here, old son." There is an immediate sense of isolation and fear. The story then quickly shifts to the village and the discovery of the body in the village Bistro, a body recognized only by the Bistro's owner Olivier, who chooses to keep his knowledge of The Hermit to himself. Enter Chief Inspector Gamache and the hunt is on. Who is the dead man? Where was he killed and why? Who is telling the truth and who is lying? Who amongst them is a murderer?
"The Brutal Telling" stands out from the standard issue police procedural because, intertwined with the familiar workings of the murder investigation, are bits of poetry, art, and culinary magic. There is also history, philosophy, psychology, and wisdom woven into a tapestry that feels both ancient and new. Readers new to the series will be as delighted as those returning. This is a place where you want to linger and wander about.Read more ›
The Gamache books do a very good job of mixing a cozy-style mystery plot with the sort of subjects you'd find on PBS during the weekend (e.g., cooking, antiques, lifestyle portraits, travel, the arts). The puzzle at the heart of the mystery is not exceptional; many mystery lovers will figure out the culprit's identity before the end. Luckily, Penny's books have more to offer than the crime plot alone; the beautiful backdrop, the perceptive characters and the various other smaller subplot mysteries grab the reader's interest. None of it is very new, mind you, but it all adds up to make a good if not great read.
If you like P.D. James' Inspector Dalgliesh, you'll probably like Gamache. They're similar in their sensitivities and sensibilities. Also, the overall tone of this crime series reminds me of the British TV program "Midsomer Murders" featuring Inspector Barnaby. In that series, the village environment is used well, the crimes are shocking but not overly violent, and the characters draw you in with their small-town likability and, at times, eccentricities. I'd say the same is true of Penny's works including this one, "The Brutal Telling."
I give this book three stars because I found it entertaining and enjoyable but not especially innovative or enlightening; filling a novel with references to poetry and art, for example, isn't a substitute for actual ideas.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written, with lovely, poetic prose. The storyline keeps you guessing till the end.Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
My favorite of the series so far. Loved learning about the native culture and artist Emily Carr and Susan Vreeland's "The Forest Lover". Read morePublished 6 days ago by Kindle Customer
This is my favorite of the series. I feel totally blessed to have stumbled across this magnificent author and am hungrily devouring every word she writes. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Kim in Richmond
Reading Louise Penny novels in order. A Brutal Telling is intricate, many interwoven stories, history, lore and current themes make this a literary mystery. Read morePublished 17 days ago by K. Brooks
Normally I give the Inspector Gamache Series 5 stars but something about this one(the 5th book) just didn't do it for me. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Cookie