All the Devils Are Here
Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector of Quebec’s police force, is one of my favorite literary characters, and this is Louise Penny’s sixteenth mystery that features him. I thought it was one of her best.
Going in, I was skeptical, for two reasons. First, in her most recent books about the detective, Penny had seemed oddly determined to give him terrible weaknesses and have his associates doubt and even hate him. Of course everyone, including fictional characters, has flaws, but her attempts seemed forced, and I simply didn’t believe them.
Second, the new book takes place in Paris, not Three Pines, Quebec, a charming town that’s almost as much a character in the series as Gamache himself. This seemed a little bit like setting a Philip Marlowe story in Butte, Montana.
However, I shouldn’t have worried. The plot is compelling, with a number of convoluted twists and turns that, in the end, fit together as neatly as a jigsaw puzzle. In addition, Gamache’s family history is fleshed out substantially, and major new character developments take place that, thankfully, are believable and moving.
Welcome back, Armand. It was great spending time with you again.