- Series: Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Book 11)
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 25, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781250022080
- ISBN-13: 978-1250022080
- ASIN: 1250022088
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,258 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Hardcover – August 25, 2015
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“Penny sustains her high-wire act, creating characters of remarkable depth in an exhilarating whodunit.” ―People
“Louise Penny is unsurpassed at building a sense of heart-stopping urgency. Sometimes the stakes are personal: a marriage, a character's sanity. Sometimes the threat is to the village, a culture or even to the province of Quebec. This time Penny manages to create a threat that could truly be worldwide, and to place its future in the hands of our friends in Three Pines.” ―Salem Macknee, The News & Observer
“[M]agical....[T]he perfect reminder of the dark side of human nature, but that side does not always win out. Penny is an expert at pulling away the surface of her characters to expose their deeper-and often ugly-layers, always doing so with a direct but compassionate hand.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred) on THE NATURE OF THE BEAST
“A strong sense of place, a multilayered plot, and well-crafted (and for Penny's fans, familiar) characters combine for a thoughtful, intriguing tale. More than a simple mystery, Penny's novel peels away the emotional and psychological layers of the inhabitants of Three Pines.” ―Library Journal, (starred) on THE NATURE OF THE BEAST
“Three Pines again proves no refuge in Penny's stellar [The Nature of the Beast]...fans will delight in [her] continued complex fleshing out of characters they have come to love.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred)
“[A] compelling mystery that leads to an exciting but tantalizingly open-ended finale.” ―Booklist on NATURE OF THE BEAST
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.
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Background: In the 1980's, a Canadian artillery expert named Gerald Bull proposed designs for 'super guns'. Saddam Hussein was interested, and started an effort known as ' Project Babylon'. Bull's involvement was not too clear, at least from what I've read, but in any case he was assassinated. Whether by Israel, who was afraid Saddam would get the gun, or on orders of Hussein, because Bull ether did not or could not produce what Hussein wanted, only those involved know.
At any rate, this much of the book is factual.
More background: There were at least two initial versions, 'Baby Babylon', which was actually built, and 'Big Babylon'. From the description in Penny's book, the gun found is clearly 'Big Babylon', based on the size of the loading chamber and bore.
Now here begin the problems: 'Big Babylon' had a barrel length of 512 feet - no, not a typo, '512' and a weight of 2100 'tonnes' - given the spelling, I assume the Wikipedia article is using British 'tonnes'.
So we have two choices: Either the gun is real, with the absurdities noted below, or what is being related is someone's nightmare or psychotic episode. Confession: I've not finished the book, nor do I intend too, but I assume that Penny is too good a writer to resort to such a weak plot device of 'none of this was real'.
So that leaves us with a real gun. There are only three ways it could have gotten there: 1) It was built in place; 2) The components were built somewhere else, and assembled in the forest; 3) It was completed somewhere else and moved there.
I don't think I need to point out how absurd any of these scenarios are. Any one of them would have been noticed by everyone in Three Pines. Remember that the reason they were able to find Laurent's stick was because, as a 9-year old, he hadn't gone 'too far' into the forest. So the gun was close to the village. A 2100 ton, 512' - and more, that was just the barrel - gun put there, and no one noticed?
A reviewer of the last Penny book, "The Long Way Home" observed that it was sad when a writer as good as Penny didn't know 'when to hang it up.' Sad indeed.