Tuesday, January 6, 2015

a trick of the light

a trick of the light
armand gamache #7
louise penny
minotaur books
published 2011

"Hearts are broken," Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. "Sweet relationships are dead."

But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow's garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara's solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is called to the tiny Quebec village and there he finds the art world gathered, and with it a world of shading and nuance, a world of shadow and light. Where nothing is as it seems. Behind every smile there lurks a sneer. Inside every sweet relationship there hides a broken heart. And even when facts are slowly exposed, it is no longer clear to Gamache and his team if what they've found is the truth, or simply a trick of the light.

It would seem that this book has been a long time coming.  So many things that have been bubbling along for a few books finally come to surface in a book that is less about the murder and more about the people and relationships in Three Pines.

Clara finally gets what she has dreamed of for her entire life, but getting what you wish for is sometimes the worst thing that can happen to you.  At the same time the villagers are still healing from the events of The Brutal Telling.  Olivier is learning to live with what he did and what he didn't do and everyone except for Gabri seem wary.  Jean Guy is struggling with his medication addiction and Armand is trying to figure out how to help him, how much to tell him and how to protect him.

The mystery is more what will happen to the people we have grown to love (or hate) and less about who killed the woman from the past of someone unexpected.  Though she is not forgotten and her murder investigation brings out another series of unforgettable characters.

I think that's what I love about these books so much.  It's not just about one case.  There are all of these little stories that Penny has cultivated since the first book.  It turns a simple mystery into a complex story about humankind and the depth of emotion in everyone involved in murder.

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