Finding the little village of three pines was a marvel. The ensemble cast of odd bods certainly add to each of the stories. I have come to feel part of the village life albeit a dangerous place. Ultimately the story revolves around Chief Inspector Gamache whom now is the top policeman in Canada.
In this story a mysterious figure appears in the village green. The menace is palpable and each person starts to think that this conscience is there for their particular past misdeeds. We know there has been a murder as Gamache is in the witness box at the trial. So we begin a journey of discovery. Who is the murderer and the victim. Why is Gamache worried about his testimony. We build to an exciting climax where all is eventually revealed. We find that Gamache must wrestle with his conscience and puts his career on the line.
This is not an easy book to read. Louise uses the device of flashbacks to the events as the trial proceeds. There is more time travel than Dr Who episode. This really slows down the story as Louise only reveals the clues later in a chunk of flash back dressed as a witness statement. Most of these flashbacks start unexpectedly with a lot at the start of a new page. This interrupts any flow and a lot of rereading is necessary. A good knowledge of the characters in the village is essential so this would not be a good book to start reading the series.
As the underlying issue explored here is conscience we have a lot of introspection and discussion of philosophic issues. What is the higher court of Ghandi. Do we have different levels of conscience. Does the end justify the means. Again these weighty issues load the story to almost ponderous pace. Fortunately Gamache and Penny are not preaching and these issues are central to the story.
I thought that some of Louise's constructs were a little simplistic and stretched credulity. I cannot really discuss these without giving away some of the story. As in Agatha Christie the village is a metaphor for the world and Gamache its antithesis. He brings the world into the village which cannot contain it. A simultaneous telescope and microscope. Action which barely disturb the fabric of the larger society rend the little village.
There are a lot of surprises in this book a lot because of the trickle feeding of information. But it is enjoyable. There is great range for our village people and some will not escape unscathed. The underlying story of Carla the painter and the unfinished paintings is a joy. So settle in for a slow start because after half way you will have trouble reading fast enough.
Though the title is a bit of a mystery.
- Buy this item and get 90 days Free Amazon Music Unlimited. After purchase you will receive an email with further information. Offer valid for a limited time only. Terms and Conditions apply.” Learn more here.