I wish I could describe my thoughts and feelings about Louise Penny's books. Everything I come up with sounds so superlative - over the top and unbelievable, but that is really how I feel. Those of you who have read them know what I'm talking about and those who haven't read them are greatly missing out.
Penny's writing transports us to the village of Three Pines just south of Montreal and to the wonderful, kooky, flawed, generous characters who live there. I feel like I could almost dissolve into the book and be there myself, surrounded by good friends. Of course, I'd be hoping for a murder so Inspector Gamache would have to join the group.
"He smiled and not for the first time she thought the rarest thing she'd ever found was Chief Inspector Gamache."
The Brutal Telling is the 5th in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. It's a series that starts out strong and just gets better with each book. In this one a murdered body is found in Olivier's bistro - a body that no one in the village can identify! Gamache and his team are called to to strip back layers of lies and catch an unlikely killer.
There are many facets of meaning to every one of Penny's books. The plot itself is immensely spellbinding as is Penny's ability to grasp the intricacies of human nature. I love the way she will use a motif several times throughout her books and apply it to different circumstances or turn it in a new light to add greater meaning and depth. I've often thought that if these books were not mysteries she would have a greater audience and be among the best selling fiction authors. Many who shrug off mysteries as unfit literary fare would be surprised and pleased with the graceful, eloquent writing.
I'm anxiously looking forward to the next in the series which will be out the end of Sep. I may have to fight my husband for it because he loves the books as much as I do. And then there's my mother - but I think we can grab and run with it faster than she can!
A few of my favorite passages. I like to reread the passages I've book darted and when I do the story comes back to life for me. I'm only going to add two of the many that I marked. You are welcome to read these, if you'd like, but I include them mostly for my benefit.
What a tale those eyes told Gamache. In them he saw the infant, the boy, the young man, afraid. Never certain what he would find in his father. Would he be loving and kind and warm today? Or would he sizzle the skin off his son? With a look, a word. Leaving the boy naked and ashamed. Knowing himself to be weak and needy, stupid and selfish. So that the boy grew an outer hull to withstand the assault. But while those skins saved tender young souls, Gamache knew, they soon stopped protecting and became the problem. Because while the hard outer shell kept the hurt at bay, it also kept out the light. And inside the frightened little soul became something else entirely, nurtured only in darkness.
He was like Pinocchio. A man made of wood, mimicking humanity. Shiny and smiling and fake. And if you cut into him you'd see rings. Circles of deceit and scheming and justification.