Friday, October 7, 2016

A Great Reckoning by Louis Penny

A Great Reckoning: A Novel by Louise Penny --- 389 pages

Another beautiful book in Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series (number 12 to be precise), set in Quebec.  It's almost impossible to categorize Penny's work: these are crime novels in one sense, but only in the same sense that Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is a crime story.

They are explorations of what it means to be human, the mismatch between what happens and what we think is happening, and the small but sometimes fatal difference that can make.  In a recent interview Penny says her books are not about murder but about poetry, and that she works through six or seven drafts to pare down her story and her words until only the most essential remain. One reviewer suggests that the essence of this book is what the old owe to the young in their care.  Those who have followed the Chief Inspector through his career will know that he has labored long to root out corruption in the Sûreté du Québec. Now he has left retirement to become the Commander of the Sûreté Academy, the college where new recruits receive their training --- and he suspects --- the tainted source from which the corruption flows.  And the first lesson Gamache attempts to teach these cadets is "Don't believe everything you think." 

If you've never read Louise Penny, start at the beginning with Still Life, and enjoy a literary feast!

Click HERE to watch an interview with Louise Penny at the Book Expo America 2016.

Click HERE to read the review from the Washington Post.

Click HERE to read the review from Publishers Weekly.

Click HERE to read the review from the New York Times.

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