Cover image for
Title:
How the light gets in : Chief Inspector Gamache novel
Author(s):
Penny, Louise.
ISBN/ISSN:
9780312655471

0312655479
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Minotaur Books edition.
Physical Description:
vii, 405 pages ; 24 cm.
Pub Date:
Minotaur Books, 2013.
Holds:

Available:*

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Adult Mystery Fiction Book PENNY
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Summary

Summary

The #1 New York Times Bestseller

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -- Leonard Cohen

Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it's a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn't spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna's reluctance to reveal her friend's name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.

As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna's friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines, and at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?

How the Light Gets In is the ninth Chief Inspector Gamache Novel from Louise Penny.

One of Publishers Weekly 's Best Mystery/Thriller Books of 2013

One of The Washington Post 's Top 10 Books of the Year

An NPR Best Book of 2013


Author Notes

Louise Penny was born in Toronto, Canada in 1958. She earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Radio and Television) from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) in 1979. Before she turned to writing mystery novels in 2004, she was a journalist and radio host for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in various cities across Canada for 25 years. She writes the Chief Inspector Gamache Novel series. She has won numerous awards including the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards for Still Life and the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel for A Fatal Grace.

Louise's title, The Long Way Home, made the Hot Mystery Title's List for Summer 2014. Her titles The Nature of the Beast made The New York Times best seller list in 2015 and A Great Reckoning made The New York Times best seller list in 2016.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Complex characterizations and sophisticated plotting distinguish Agatha-winner Penny's masterful ninth novel (after 2012's The Beautiful Mystery). The devastating conclusion to the previous book saw Jean-Guy Beauvoir abandon his mentor, Chief Insp. Armand Gamache of the Quebec Surete, and return to substance abuse. Things have never looked bleaker for the unassuming and empathic Gamache. A corrupt superior has gutted his homicide department, and the agents he now supervises treat their cases with blatant indifference. Amid all this personal and professional turmoil, Gamache lands a strange murder case. There's no obvious motive for why somebody killed elderly Constance Ouellet-the only living member of a set of quintuplets who were national celebrities in their youth-by striking her in the head with a lamp. Fair-play clues lead to a surprising solution to the murder, while Gamache's battle to save his career unfolds with subtlety and intelligence. Once again, Penny impressively balances personal courage and faith with heartbreaking choices and monstrous evil. First printing of 300,000; author tour. Agent: Patty Moosbrugger, Teresa Chris Literary Agency. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* When we last saw Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec, he was solving the murder of a cloistered monk (The Beautiful Mystery, 2012). No problem there, but in the process, his relationship with his deputy, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, imploded, leaving Jean-Guy back on prescription drugs and in league with Gamache's enemies within the police force. That situation has only worsened, as Gamache's attempts to expose corruption and evil-doing at the highest levels of the force have prompted a vicious counterattack, leaving the chief inspector vulnerable professionally and personally. Into that cauldron comes a new murder case involving the death of the last surviving sister of quintuplets, whose birth and early life prompted a Canadian media frenzy in the mid-twentieth century. The dead woman has ties to a resident of Three Pines, the idyllic, off-the-grid village outside Montreal where several of Gamache's previous adventures have been set. Penny does something very clever here, something that heightens the tension and the emotional intensity of the novel: she not only puts Gamache in harm's way but also exposes Three Pines itself to defilement, forcing the reader to face the realization that a place too good for its time may cease to exist as we know it a cozy setting under attack from a decidedly hard-boiled world. Penny has always used setting to support theme brilliantly, but here she outdoes herself, contrasting light and dark, innocence and experience, goodness and evil both in the emotional lives of her characters and in the way those characters leave their footprints on the landscape. Another bravura performance from an author who has reinvented the village mystery as profoundly as Dashiell Hammett transformed the detective novel. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Penny's last novel received a 100,000-copy first printing. This one triples that, only one indication that, in Penny's case, literary quality and commercial success are feeding one another.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist


Library Journal Review

This follow-up to the Agatha Award-winning The Beautiful Mystery finds Chief Inspector Gamache and the Homicide Division that he has created at his beloved Surete du Quebec at their lowest ebb. His formerly top-notch division is tatters, his crack agents have scattered to other units, and his cherished lieutenant, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, has been set on a path of addiction and destruction by Gamache's greatest enemy, the head of the Surete. It appears that Gamache is being herded toward retirement by the forces arrayed against him. In the middle of this corrupt bureaucratic war, there is one more murder involving Gamache's friends in the village of Three Pines. And as Gamache works tirelessly to solve the crime, he uses the cover of routine police work to show his friends, his remaining allies, and, most of all, his loyal readers that he might appear down, but he is never out. VERDICT Penny's mysteries are really character studies. There is police procedure being followed, but the forensics take second place to Gamache's absolutely fascinating probe into the characters of every single person involved in the investigation: the police, the witnesses, and especially the suspects. He cares passionately about each person and makes the reader care. Highly recommended for mystery lovers, readers who enjoy character-driven mysteries, and those who like seeing good triumph and evil get its just desserts. [300,000-copy first printing.]--Marlene -Harris, Seattle P.L. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

ONE Audrey Villeneuve knew what she imagined could not possibly be happening. She was a grown woman and could tell the difference between real and imagined. But each morning as she drove through the Ville-Marie Tunnel from her home in east-end Montréal to her office, she could see it. Hear it. Feel it happening. The first sign would be a blast of red as drivers hit their brakes. The truck ahead would veer, skidding, slamming sideways. An unholy shriek would bounce off the hard walls and race toward her, all-consuming. Horns, alarms, brakes, people screaming. And then Audrey would see huge blocks of concrete peeling from the ceiling, dragging with them a tangle of metal veins and sinews. The tunnel spilling its guts. That held the structure up. That held the city of Montréal up. Until today. And then, and then ... the oval of daylight, the end of the tunnel, would close. Like an eye. And then, darkness. And the long, long wait. To be crushed. Every morning and each evening, as Audrey Villeneuve drove through the engineering marvel that linked one end of the city with another, it collapsed. "It'll be all right." She laughed to herself. At herself. "It'll be all right." She cranked the music louder and sang loudly to herself. But still her hands on the steering wheel tingled, then grew cold and numb, and her heart pounded. A wave of slush whacked her windshield. The wipers swept it away, leaving a half moon of streaky visibility. Traffic slowed. Then stopped. Audrey's eyes widened. This had never happened before. Moving through the tunnel was bad enough. Stopped in it was inconceivable. Her brain froze. "It'll be all right." But she couldn't hear her voice, so thin was her breath and so great the howl in her head. She locked the door with her elbow. Not to keep anyone out, but to keep herself in. A feeble attempt to stop herself from flinging open the door and running, running, screaming out of the tunnel. She gripped the wheel. Tight. Tight. Tighter. Her eyes darted to the slush-spattered wall, the ceiling, the far wall. The cracks. Dear God, cracks. And the half-hearted attempts to plaster over them. Not to repair them, but hide them. That doesn't mean the tunnel will collapse, she assured herself. But the cracks widened and consumed her reason. All the monsters of her imagination became real and were squeezing out, reaching out, from between those faults. She turned the music off so she could concentrate, hyper-vigilant. The car ahead inched forward. Then stopped. "Go, go, go," she pleaded. But Audrey Villeneuve was trapped and terrified. With nowhere to go. The tunnel was bad, but what waited for her in the gray December sunlight was worse. For days, weeks, months--even years, if she was being honest--she'd known. Monsters existed. They lived in cracks in tunnels, and in dark alleys, and in neat row houses. They had names like Frankenstein and Dracula, and Martha and David and Pierre. And you almost always found them where you least expected. She glanced into the rearview mirror and met two frightened brown eyes. But in the reflection she also saw her salvation. Her silver bullet. Her wooden stake. It was a pretty party dress. She'd spent hours sewing it. Time she could have, should have, spent wrapping Christmas gifts for her husband and daughters. Time she could have, should have, spent baking shortbread stars and angels and jolly snowmen, with candy buttons and gumdrop eyes. Instead, each night when she got home Audrey Villeneuve went straight to the basement, to her sewing machine. Hunched over the emerald green fabric, she'd stitched into that party dress all her hopes. She would put it on that night, walk into the Christmas party, scan the room and feel surprised eyes on her. In her clingy green dress, frumpy Audrey Villeneuve would be the center of attention. But it wasn't made to get everyone's attention. Just one man's. And when she had that, she could relax. She'd hand over her burden, and get on with life. The faults would be repaired. The fissures closed. The monsters returned to where they belonged. The exit to the Champlain Bridge was in sight. It wasn't what she normally took, but this was far from a normal day. Audrey put on her signal and saw the man in the next car give her a sour look. Where did she think she was going? They were all trapped. But Audrey Villeneuve was more trapped. The man gave her the finger, but she took no offense. In Québec it was as casual as a friendly wave. If the Québécois ever designed a car, the hood ornament would be a middle finger. Normally she'd give him a "friendly wave" back, but she had other things on her mind. She edged into the far right lane, toward the exit to the bridge. The wall of the tunnel was just feet away. She could have stuck her fist into one of the holes. "It'll be all right." Audrey Villeneuve knew it would be many things, but all right probably wasn't one of them. Copyright © 2013 by Three Pines Creations, Inc. Excerpted from How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.