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Glass Houses: A Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel) Kindle Edition
|Length: 400 pages|
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Top customer reviews
Armand Ganache is now the Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec. He knows that legally he can’t do anything about that figure in the green. But that doesn’t stop him from being worried that something could happen. And yes, what he worries about happens - someone is murdered.
There’s a lot going on here, with Gamache dealing with the murder and also with his duties as head of the Sûreté du Québec (as readers of the previous novels will remember that the Sûreté had a corruption problem that Gamache exposed.) The regulars from Three Pines are here (Gabri, Clara, Myrna, Ruth and her duck Rosa), though not as much as you’d expect considering that this is Three Pines. Unlike her previous novels, here the action switches between November when the incidents start and we see Gamache trying to determine who the killer is, and July, when the trial begins for the accused begins.
This is a standalone novel. There really isn’t much information from previous novels that you need to understand the relationships. However, if you haven’t read any Armand Gamache novels, I recommend you start with her first novel - Still Life - to really enjoy the series.
Reading a Louise Penny/Inspector Gamache novel is always a treat. Yes, there’s a lot going on but the author does a wonderful job of pulling it all together.
So, why not 5 stars? I don’t want to say too much as much of the joy of the books in this series is how disparate plot points come together but I found myself frustrated that once again we have the clever Armand Gamache looking like he’s in over his head. I enjoy more complicated murder plots versus a simpler murder plot plus another story line. There were some plot points that seemed a stretch. (All I could think was "Really? This is all happening in Three Pines??") I thought this book was darker than some of her other books. I found myself putting the book down - needing a break from reading it.
While this is one of those books that I’m glad I read, unlike some of the other books in the series, I don’t see myself reading it again.
Three Pines and Inspector Gamache never disappoint. More than just a mystery - this is a book that takes you into the characters, challenges your assumptions and leaves you wondering who is as they appear, and who is genuine. I loved this latest in her series - as expected she picked up from recent events in the prior novel and goes to the task of writing a story that is both compelling and puzzling.
A mysterious figure appears in Three Pines only to be followed by death. The story flashes between the current time - summer in Montreal, and the previous chilly fall. As she toggles between the two timelines, she weaves the tale around you, pulling you in slowly with interesting detail and surprises at turns. Separate plot lines and stories - seemingly disparate - tie together so beautifully, and the core mystery at heart of it all is beautifully revealed. She surprised me with the defendant on trial, and the ultimate set of villains in this book, while bringing along my favorite characters and developing them further. This book again touches on the personal relationship between Gamache and Beauvoir - co-workers, mentor-mentee, and father-in-law/son-in-law. It also touches on friendships and what can haunt long standing relationships.
Around all of the rich dialogue, descriptive food, and comfortable atmosphere of our beloved cast of characters, she introduces some characters you don't know quite know to trust. I love how she references the state of the world and a broad ranging diversity with her characters. People with drug abuse, distrust of the police and their competence, the hard working and dedicated law enforcement officers, politicians you don't quite want to trust, and couples living marriage equality. She doesn't disappoint with strong lead female characters including a new lead officer - Superintendent Touissaint as well as an old favorite - Isabel Lacoste. Women in roles that aren't traditionally highlighted, is awesome to see. Its something I appreciate as she has characters and references to current events that capture the timeliness of today.
This was a page turner for me. I found myself saving the book until I knew I had a few days over the course of which I could read and enjoy this book. I was not disappointed.
New readers can truly enjoy this series from the beginning with Still Life.
If she were only a superb novelist who sometimes faltered as a mystery writer, we'd have something to say
If she were only a great plotter whose characters sometimes left a lot to be desred, we'd have a handle there too
If only she didn't pull off every one of her books with a panache and aplomb that makes your everyday fine writer look like a hack, well
But, alas she isn't and doesn't
So, sadly, we are left with only another damn near perfect read