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A Great Reckoning: A Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel) Hardcover – August 30, 2016
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"Deep and grand and altogether extraordinary....Miraculous."
―The Washington Post
“Artful… powerful… magical.”
―The New York Times Book Review
―O, the Oprah Magazine
“Transcends the mystery genre.”
―AARP, The Magazine
"Luminous prose, complex but uncluttered plots, and profound compassion."
“Satin prose… A splendid and moving novel.”
―Richmond Times Dispatch
“A Great Reckoning succeeds on every level."
―St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Louise Penny [is] legendary... The magic of Penny’s books lies in the details."
"This complex novel deals with universal themes of compassion, weakness in the face of temptation, forgiveness, and the danger of falling into despair and cynicism over apparently insurmountable evils."
―Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed)
"A compelling mystery and a rich human drama in which no character is either entirely good or evil, and each is capable of inspiring empathy."
"A chilling story that's also filled with hope a beloved Penny trademark.”
―Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"Riveting...with characters of incredible depth who only add to the strength of the plot."
―Library Journal (starred)
“Smart and Satisfying.”
“Delivers answers to perplexing puzzles…[with] engaging characters and richly layered plot.”
―Minneapolis Star Tribune
Additional Praise for Louise Penny and the Armand Gamache Mysteries
“Penny sustains her high-wire act, creating characters of remarkable depth in an exhilarating whodunit.”
“Louise Penny is unsurpassed at building a sense of heart-stopping urgency."
―The Charlotte Observer
“Penny, who raises the bar with each entry in this superb series, has always mixed murder and corruption with issues of morality...[S]he does so with her accustomed talent for a gripping plot, rich characterizations, arresting prose and thought-provoking questions of mercy, malice and the contradictions of the human race." ―Richmond-Times Dispatch
"This series dominates best-seller lists and award lists for a reason. Penny tells powerful stories of damage and healing in the human heart, leavened with affection, humor and – thank goodness – redemption."
―Salem Macknee, Charlotte Observer
“Penny writes with grace and intelligence about complex people struggling with complex emotions. But her great gift is her uncanny ability to describe what might seem indescribable – the play of light, the sound of celestial music, a quiet sense of peace.”
―New York Times Book Review
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. 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.
Top customer reviews
I loved this book and believe it is one of Penny's best. The heart and soul of this story matches the mystery. I couldn't put it down.
For those of you new to Louise Penny's Gamache mysteries, I would highly recommend you start at the beginning with Still Life. You could read this book as a stand alone, but it will truly mean so much more to you if you are familiar with Gamache's history.
For Penny fans, you will find this book spends time with old friends in Three Pines, as well introducing some wonderful new characters.
I highly recommend this novel.
Once again the fictional Three Pines where Inspector Gamache has retired with his wife Reine Marie and charming dog Henri offers a mystery for the Inspector. He uses this as a training exercise for four cadets, two new and two senior cadets. An old map is found, a connection to the stained glass window in the church is seen and the cadets must find out who drew this map? What is it for? What type of map is this? Why was it hidden?
The Inspector makes several decisions which change the way things are done at the academy but some people, including himself, question his decisions. One of which is accepting a most unlikely new recruit, Amelia Choquet. Who is she? What, if anything has she to do with the Inspector? The former Commander of the academy is kept on as a professor, and what happens to him is the main mystery of the story. Interesting is that another professor talks a lot about misdirection and Ms Penny uses this herself to make you question who is really doing what.
The main characters from Three Pines; Clara, Oliver, Gabi, Myrna, Ruth ( and her duck ) contribute to the story but are more in the background in this novel. The setting alternate between Three Pines and the academy. Once again the reader is exposed to the depth of maturity, compassion and intellect of Inspector Gamache and how all these qualities are hard won.
It's hard to write a review without reveal too many details which may spoil the discovery for others. Don't miss out on this wonderful read! Louise Penny is one of my favorite authors. I can't imagine the talent of writing 12 amazing novels.
Several reviewers have noted that this is a stand alone book, and it is in the sense that there is a contained story, but I would argue that reading this book without having read at least some of the previous books is a mistake. Without the background, the echoes of meaning in this book are lost and the reading experience has to suffer. Louise Penny spends almost no time giving background material in her novels - she assumes you know.
I've found Penny's later books to have a strong undercurrent of sadness. In this book, where so much of the story is about memory and memories, the sadness is like a veil through which the whole narrative is seen. One of the lessons of the novel is that life hands us situations, many of which are painful but we decide how they impact our future. Much of the book explores how choices compel other choices, but also how each character has the opportunity to make a new choice, a better choice and change their lives, overcome failure and bitterness and find forgiveness. In the end this is a deeply hopeful book.
Louise Penny is usually considered in the class of traditional mystery writers like P.D. James and Dorothy Sayers. This is only partly true. Her books began as traditional mysteries. Still Life, her first, is a good mystery novel with interesting characters. As time went on however and her power as a novelist grew her books changed. Though they remained in the mystery genre her books have really become studies of character in a crime setting. As a writer of character and mood there is no one to touch her in the mystery field today. It didn't happen overnight, but today she is a superb novelist who happens to write about a policeman, Armand Gamache. I've read many wonderful mysteries in my life, many fine novels, but I have never read anyone in contemporary fiction with the depth and power Louise Penny brings to her best stories. Her books are luminous. Read book one: Still Life, and then read all of her other books - she will take you on a wonderful journey.
Most recent customer reviews
Interesting, BUT - this thing with a silenced revolver is just ridiculous, against...Read more