Title: How the Light Gets In
Author: Louise Penny
Available from: Amazon (pre-order)
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My first ever Chief Inspector Gamache novel was The Beautiful Mystery, which is #8 in the series.I fell in love with Louise Penny's writing and Chief Inspector Gamache and have started on the series from the beginning, recently finishing Still Life. How the Light Gets In does not disappoint. The storytelling is luminescent, the plotting taut and filled with suspense, the characters charming and emotional. I cried for Jean-Guy, I laughed at Ruth and her duck, I ached for Chief Inspector Gamache, and I hated Francouer for what he was doing to Jean-Guy and to Gamache.
How the Light Gets In is two mysteries in one. Constance Pineault visits Myrna, her friend and former therapist, in the little village of Three Pines, but before she returns for a second visit at Christmas, she is murdered in her home. With her untimely death comes the revelation that she was the last survivor of the famous Ouillet quintuplets. In the background of her death and Gamache's investigation is Francouer's campaign to destroy Gamache.
I couldn't put it down. Penny paces the story well, keeping key information hidden while artfully placing breadcrumbs along the trail, leading the reader through the maze. Following them is compulsive, and each one is a discovery, but the motives and the solution remain a mystery until they are disclosed with all the finesse of a master magician.
I told a friend that reading Louise Penny's writing is, for me, the literary equivalent of listening to the opera. And this is opera at it's finest, complete with comical characters, tragedy, depth of emotion and, finally, redemption. If you haven't read one of these books, this one is a good place to start. I enjoyed reconnecting with Three Pines and its residents, all introduced in Still Life, but I find that each of these books stands well on its own. Like me, you'll probably finish it and then run out to get and read the rest of the series.
At the time this review is posted, this book is available on pre-order. While you're waiting for the publication date, you'll have time to read The Beautiful Mystery – or any one of the other books in the series.