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Glass Houses: A Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel) Hardcover – August 29, 2017
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“Penny’s absorbing, intricately plotted 13th Gamache novel proves she only gets better at pursuing dark truths with compassion and grace.” ―PEOPLE
“Louise Penny wrote the book on escapist mysteries.” ―The New York Times Book Review
“You won't want Louise Penny's latest to end….Any plot summary of Penny’s novels inevitably falls short of conveying the dark magic of this series.... It takes nerve and skill ― as well as heart ― to write mysteries like this.”
―Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post
“Ms. Penny has a gift for linking the mundane to the mythic. Steadfast, civilized and grimly determined, Gamache becomes a heraldic figure, as brave and cunning as the hero of an Icelandic saga, and the contemporary evils he battles have apocalyptic overtones....[With a] cinematic finale, in which the book’s well-laid and carefully sustained suspense is at last released.” ―Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
“Outstanding....On all counts, ‘Glass Houses’ succeeds brilliantly, full of elegant prose, intricate plots, and―most of all―Penny’s moving, emotionally complex hero and his circle of friends and colleagues.”
―The Seattle Times
“Penny―whose books wind up on Best Novels of the Year lists, not 'just' Best Mysteries―is a one-woman argument against literary snobbery....Top notch....Penny is a master of the slow burn, with readers only seeing the final pattern as everything is set aflame.” ―Christian Science Monitor
“In the most intriguing installment yet….Louise Penny deftly combines crime and punishment, a timeless avenger and a dark exploration of the conscience….A great and twisting tale, as we’ve come to expect from the previous 12 Gamache novels, but also an exploration of moral judgments, mental frailty and the eerie notion of reckoning: We all must pay our debts…A profound story.” ― Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Penny's latest is one of her best ever. From the very first page, when Gamache begins his testimony in a court case, the reader is riveted....I couldn't stop reading. This is the perfect holiday weekend book.”
―Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail
“Gamache will face life-changing questions about the nature of guilt and innocence and the thin blue line separating law and conscience, leaving the reader contemplating these conundrums well after the final page has been turned.” ―BookPage (Top Pick in Mystery)
“With grace and insight…Penny has pushed the boundaries of the genre with each novel, and ‘Glass Houses’ takes them still further. With an intricate and intelligent storyline, cherished characters, a setting that cries out ‘come live here’ and a terrifying climax, she produces another stellar literary novel. And she does so with compassion, decency and love as she depicts evil, exalts courage and neither flinches nor preaches as she confronts moral ambiguities―and the health and sickness within each soul.”
“Louise Penny steers the complex plot… to a white-knuckle ending….If it is conceivable for Penny to top herself, she has done so in this soul-searching, psychologically insightful journey into each of her memorable characters.” ―Bookreporter.com
“The tension has never been greater…A meticulously built mystery that follows a careful ascent toward a breaking point that will leave you breathless. It’s Three Pines as you have never seen it before.”
―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Three Pines is a sublime metaphor for the precariousness of harmony wherever we find it...one of the most entrancing fictional worlds in popular literature.” ―Booklist (starred review)
“The award-winning Penny does not rest on her laurels with this challenging and timely book. Though touched by the evils of the outside world, Three Pines remains a singular place away from time.”
―Library Journal (starred review)
“Penny’s poetic style of writing and her deeply realized characters, with their mix of flaws and heroism, make her novels irresistible….Penny delicately explores the tension of an officer who may be sworn to uphold the law, but who feels compelled to do something else, in a fascinating novel that is sure to appeal to a variety of readers―whether they typically enjoy mysteries or not.” ―ShelfAwareness
“An exciting, high-stakes climax.” ― Publishers Weekly
About the Author
LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels (Still Life, A Fatal Grace, and The Cruelest Month). She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (six times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Louise lives in a small village south of Montréal.
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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.
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.