Jan and I were quite anxious to read this fifteenth novel in this series. Inspector Gamanche, his family, and the residents of Three Pines have always intrigued us and as we have followed these books we have developed a fondness for all the characters. So, it was with lots of anticipation, we read this new recently published book.
In the midst of a threat from devastating Spring floods, Vivienne Godin, 25 and pregnant, is missing, her father is frantic, and her drunken, abusive husband, Carl Tracey, is suspected at having a hand in her disappearance. As the father of a daughter the same age, Gamache finds himself increasingly unable to stay objective as they search for the missing woman. Mistakes are made. A side plot included vicious social media attacks on Gamache for his past actions.
At the same time Clara is publicly criticized for her art, but I found this side plot uninteresting. And somehow I missed the significance of the flooding.
It pains me to do this but it’s time for me and Armand to part ways. I’ve loved this series from the start but it has lost it’s charm. There was a lot of repetitiveness, unprofessional and unrealistic behavior and attitudes in Gamache and the other detectives, and the case is not truly investigated until the last 25%. The moral lessons are heavy-handed and Gamache himself has become insufferable. I won’t list all the instances that caused my eyes to roll, but there were many.
There are plenty of people who still find this series charming and wonderful, but I’ve not found it to be so for several recent books. Sometimes readers outgrow a series and that’s the case with me.
I’m giving it 3 stars for the history I have with this series and my respect for the author.
· I received a copy of the book from Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.
I have always been a Louise Penny enthusiastic reader and always awaited her new books with lots of anticipation and happiness. So I am totally bummed that I didn’t like this book as much as I had hoped.
I know that different readers have contrasting reactions to stories and in that we see how people are different in what they read and feel. It makes reading a book so very interesting because we can view divergent opinions and ways of looking at things.
What I found in this story that set me off was the repetitious nature of the book. Perhaps it was because of having read all the others in this series that I felt there was material that I had heard many times. Another thing was how I felt the whole persona of Gamache changed in this story. I always thought he was a strong character, a man who always seems to know what to do, and yet in this go round he seemed tenuous, unsure, and weak. I was disappointed to see a change in him. Perhaps the author was trying to make him more human and vulnerable but sometimes it made him seem supercilious and sanctimonious. The other characters just didn’t have the charisma they once had and of course this made me not care as much about them as I use to.
I did like the last section of the story which really did show the investigative process we so often saw in all the other books in this series. I wish that this could have been the whole focus of the book. It was too late to save what for me was an uninteresting read.
So, I walk away with a less than a positive view of this book, knowing full well that so many have and will love this story. I do have a lot of respect for this author and of course my opinion is just that an opinion. Please do look at the other reviews as most of them are glowing.
Thank you to Edelweiss for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.