Potential spoiler alert...I do not plot summarize or give away specifics, but my reactions to the book in general might be enough of a hint to spoil the experience for some.
I am a huge fan of Louise Penny, and this book does not disappoint me.
This one made me particularly sad…or hit me especially hard…or was simply harder to take than the others. It’s been several days since I finished, and I have yet to download the next or move onto a different book because I’m still trapped inside this story. Yes, I am late to this series, so I have the luxury of reading several back-to-back, not waiting with bated breath for new releases…yet.
It differs from the others because it hits closer to home with the characters. Someone I already care about is in the hot seat here. It felt like finding out someone I love has a deeply disturbed side. It was a swift kick in the stomach once the story finally got to the finger-pointing moment. I kept thinking, wait, this can’t be, this is a dream sequence a la bad television, and so on.
However, this is not a negative reaction. The problem I often find with series is that the main core of characters tends to escape unscathed. It’s not remotely realistic. I mean, come on. In a tiny place like Three Pines, what’s the likelihood that every single significant character will be blameless when a murder happens just about every season? The author addresses that in this book for sure.
I can see why some might think this book is too much of a departure for the series. I disagree entirely, though. I think this is the author stepping up her game and pushing the boundaries in her series. It is definitely different, from the crime to the culprit, and everything in between. This book probably lacks the most action, yet it has a lot more introspection. I enjoyed that very much.
And finally, the visceral reaction I’m having is a clear indication that this book made an impact on me. I read (and listen to) a lot, and it is not often I have this type of reaction. I highly recommend it, especially for people reading the series in order.
Ralph Cosham is perfection as usual. He is one of my favorite narrators, and he brings Three Pines to life.
Louise Penney has written another of her beautifully worded stories - I've loved them all - but for those of you who want even more twists and turns this is it! All of your favorite characters, with an ending that is truly a surprise.
An avid reader, demanding of the story, characters and narrator. Mysteries and historical fiction are my favorites.
It is hard to write this review without spoiling the story, so I'll be intentionally vague. The characters are just as fully drawn and the story feels right; I still love them all and wish I lived there. What makes this bittersweet is that the plot is upsetting. STILL a great book and part of a series I couldn't recommend more highly. READ THIS!
You must go in order with the Three Pines series. And it helps if tu parles francais un peu.
I love books!
I was able to start reading Louise Penny novels with book #1 and I've methodically worked through them, this being book #6. Often when you read most or all of the works of a writer you can sense them evolving and their books get better the more they write. This book was #6 in the Chief Inspector Gamache crimve novels set in Three Pines, a fictituous, small village an hour south of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Ms Penny has great character development and has created a great cast of characters that inhabit Three Pines and her novels are set around these characters plus new ones she introduces each book. This book was philosophic as Gamache unravles the murder he's trying to solve. Thoreau, pricelss old art, current Canadian art, Canadian history are all weaved into the story. I thoughly enjoyed this book and look forward to #7.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
Appropriate Louise Penny, Three Pines, read for October, this being the darkest of the series for me thus far. We find our group of regulars each battling some of their own inner demons, while at the same time, trying to come to grips with the arrival of some much, unwanted outsiders. Even the landscapes in this addition were depicted more remote and shadowy than usual.
Inspector Gamache finds himself back in Three Pines, again-surrounded, by his friends and a mystery. There has been a death of a homeless man, who's body possesses some very strange physical attributes, that have Gamache, his team and the coroner at a loss. This investigation takes us deeper into the surprising backgrounds of several, Three Pines, residents who have been hiding some dark secrets for many years.
A wonderful mystery with the perfect amount of humor and beautiful snippets of philosophy woven throughout. Gamache would not be the same without Ralph Cosham's narration. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Genre fiction, trashy to literary--mystery, action, sci fi, fantasy, and, yes, even romance. Also history. Listener reviews help a lot!
Ahh, series, the lifeblood of mysteries and fantasies, authors and fans alike! But, while I almost always read the entries of a fantasy series in sequence, I have done the hunt-and-peck and read-them-as-I-find them thing with most of the mystery series I enjoy.
That said, I'd advise anyone new to this series to take the Inspector Gamache books in order. Unfortunately for me, after listening to first book--the wonderful "Still Life"--the next one I listened to was the recent "A Trick of the Light," which contains major spoilers not only for "The Brutal Telling" but also for the next book in the series. So I'm sure part of my disappointment with "The Brutal Telling" is the result of too much information about what's going to happen next.
I liked both "Still Life" and "Trick of the Light" better than this book. I found the victim's slowly unfolding story to be far-fetched (in this case, to discover who the victim is is to discover who killed him--maybe). The menage of totem poles and Charlotte's Web, native Americans and Czech immigrants--to say nothing of presumed-dead famous authors who just happen to show up and turn out to be someone's father--makes the head spin. These elements all come to roost in a hermit's cabin that's within walking distance of Three Pines' center but for years has somehow gone undetected by all but one of the town's inhabitants ... well, taken together, it's a lot of unlikely events to swallow. Woe. Or is it Woo? (Just a little TBT joke :-)
BUT in general I recommend this series, especially listening to it. Ralph Cosham's narration is poetic and mesmerizing. The main character is heroic (if a bit too much of a Saint and Martyr), and the recurring characters quickly become friends (although I doubt you'd want to live with any of these eccentrics, they are delightful to visit). The philosophical musings and the digressions about the art world are often fascinating. And the French-Canadian setting is beautifully depicted and seems like another world (although reviewers who seem to know that region a lot better than I do assert it's quite accurate).
I enjoyed this book! 1/2 of the outcome I didn't care for (the identity of the bad guy) and 1/2 was perfect (Clara's success in spite of Peter.) The narration is great. Louise Penny creates more details of Three Pines adding and removing characters. Ms Penny does a fantastic job with all types of descriptions and has the imagination to keep Three Pines and its residents interesting. This series just keeps getting better!
Chief Inspector Gavroche is as charming as ever, but this convoluted plot never fully comes together. This is the first Louise Penny novel I haven't enjoyed.
A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air
If you haven't discovered Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache mystery series, you are in for a treat. But don't start here, go back to the beginning (Still Life) and read them in sequence.
A Brutal Telling was another enjoyable entry in the series, with some surprising twists along the way. Her books make me want to visit Quebec very soon.
I only rated the performance three stars, because while the performance is quite good, I always wish that the narrator, Ralph Cosham, would pause just a moment before moving to different settings/scenes in the story.
I adore really well-written fiction, mystery series, and historical fiction, and delight in finding well-narrated translations.
While it might be considered a police procedural mystery, putting it in that genre doesn't take into consideration that this novel is deeply thoughtful, with complex and beautifully drawn characters and deep, affecting themes that remain in thought long after reading the book.
The tone and the way the characters are developed. There is an underlying thread of kindness and acceptance of human complexity that is unusual for this genre.
I have listened to all of the Three Pines novels through this one--I can't think there could be a better narrator for this work.
Manslaughter can take many forms.
I can't say enough for this writer and this series. Can't wait to get to the next one, but will space them out so that the aura of this one can settle in. This is the first mystery series I have read that I would want to read again. And possibly again.