When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes.
Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must.
And there he finds four young cadets in the Sûreté academy, and a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map.
Everywhere Gamache turns, he sees Amelia Choquet, one of the cadets. Tattooed and pierced. Guarded and angry. Amelia is more likely to be found on the other side of a police line-up. And yet she is in the academy. A protégée of the murdered professor.
The focus of the investigation soon turns to Gamache himself and his mysterious relationship with Amelia, and his possible involvement in the crime. The frantic search for answers takes the investigators back to Three Pines and a stained glass window with its own horrific secrets.
For both Amelia Choquet and Armand Gamache, the time has come for a great reckoning.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny pulls back the layers to reveal a brilliant and emotionally powerful truth in her latest spellbinding audiobook.
"Robert Bathurst puts his own indelible stamp on Chief Inspector Armand Gamache in Louise Penny's twelfth Three Pines puzzle. ...If you haven't listened to this series, start at once. You'll love your stay in Three Pines." – AudioFile Magazine
©2016 Three Pines Creations, Inc. (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
Louise Penny has become one of my favorite authors and I so look forward to each new book in her Inspector Gamache series. Often it seems that mystery writers who write a series of books with the same main character essentially end up writing the same book over and over again. Not so with Louise Penny. Her characters are multi-dimensional, and they are true reflections of the "human condition". Her books are of the "mystery" genre, yet her writing transcends genre. "A Great Reckoning" could be read/listened to as a stand alone mystery, but I highly recommend starting at book one in this amazing series.
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
This is one of the two books I have been eagerly awaiting this year. And I was not disappointed. This is the 12th in Penny's Inspector Gamache series, so the characters are now all old friends. There are very few series I stick with beyond the first 3 or 4 books and the fact that I was so excited to read the 12th entry says something about these books. Penny's overall consistency is amazing.
One big question left open at the end of the previous book, The Nature of the Beast, is answered early on in A Great Reckoning - we learn what job will take Gamache out of retirement, but not out of Three Pines.
As usual, there are multiple side mysteries going on along side the primary storyline, and as usual, they may or may not be related to the main storyline. The primary mystery - who killed an instructor at the Sûreté du Québec Academy isn't one of her most compelling story lines and seems a little straight forward, especially after the complex plot line of The Nature of the Beast. But the new characters introduced for this story kept my interest and Penny also used this book to tie up one of the loose ends from one of the earliest books in the series.
All of my favorite characters are back including Reine-Marie, Jean Guy, Isabelle and all of the residents of Three Pines. And as always, when I finish one of these books, I really wish Three Pines existed. If it did, I would be there in an instant.
After the death of Ralph Cosham, who was the voice of Inspector Gamache, I wasn't sure how I would feel about Robert Bathurst stepping into replace him. I gather this was a major concern to Penny and her publisher, since Cosham made this series one of the most successful audiobook series of all time. But now that Bathurst has narrated two of the books, I find I really appreciate his voice and style. I started this series both reading it on my Kindle and listening to the audiobooks. I have just listened to the last few books in the series and due to the quality of the narration, that is all I will do going forward.
I am a business professional that travels quite a bit. Audible books allow me to listen and drive, which makes the time on the road a breeze
As a fan of the Inspector Gamache series I was concerned how Louise Penny would keep my interest after Gamache's retirement. She does just that while staying true to the nature of the characters she has so artfully developed over many years. To those new to the series treat yourself to the other books first. You will appreciate the insights you will have as the tale is woven into the entertaining work that it is!
This story grabbed me near the beginning and wouldn't let me go. As always the characters were fascinating and different. Louise Penny creates characters you want to get to know. And she includes all the characters loyal readers have come to love.
The plot was great and there were lots of twists and turns to keep it interesting. And her plots always bring hope.
I highly recommend this novel.
Louise Penny is a masterful story teller. The way she weaves multiple plots and subplots into a lovely dance is so satisfying and interesting. I've yet to guess whodunnit before it was revealed. Yet her stories are more than mysteries. They are philosophical and artistic and colorful. They are an homage to the beautifully flawed characters of Three Pines. And as such I've been able to reread each of the books--more than once--because in the end it's not about who committed the murder that is central to every novel but about the journey to get there and the continuation of the saga of the people of Three Pines and the people closest to Armand Gamache. My heart lives there and I await each new installment with bated breath. This one had many loose ends that were tied up and it makes me anxious that we are reaching the end of the Three Pines stories. I so hope I am wrong.
Interesting plot and characters both familiar and new; good narration; nice long length; dense plot.
It reminds me of some of Carolyn Graham's best works in the sense of the density of the plot and the language; well written.
Yes; quite comparable to his recent initial foray (replacing previous narrator who was very much identified with the Armand Gamache series).
The sins of the fathers?
I had some reservations as sometimes Louise Penny's work can be uneven and some books are more enjoyable than others, but I enjoyed this one quite a lot and would highly recommend it. I did figure out what had happened (more or less) but there were still plot twists that made it very interesting. These novels always have an underlying theme based on human emotions - in this case it was grief, regret, atonement.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
WOW! Louise Penny is a treasure. What a marvelous novel. Armand Gamache is no longer the retired Chief Inspector of Sûreté du Québec (Quebec police) living a life of leisure in Three Pines. He is now Commander of the Academy of Sûreté du Québec (police academy commander). There is a murder to solve and other interesting happenings. The final sentences of the book reveal a wonderful secret.
Pay no attention whatever to the initial low ratings here at Audible. Those people either did not listen to the book or have some unknown issue with the author. A Great Reckoning is a yet another great Gamache/Three Pines novel by Louise Penny. All of the recurring characters are there. Robert Bathurst again narrates very well. I shall always miss the wonderful narration of the late Ralph Cosham, but Bathurst is a fine replacement.
For those who like detective thrillers Penny's Three Pines series stands above most of the rest.
Ralph Cosham, you are sorely missed. I just can't get up much enthusiasm for Robert Bathurst as narrator.
He doesn't do a separate voice for Gamache. As a result, there are times it's hard to tell if Gamache is speaking or not.He can do voices, he does one for Ruth.
Can't say I like it much, it lacks the overt nuttiness laid over a complex personalty, of Cosham's interpretation. But it does prove he can do voices.
Not too enthusiastic about Jean Guy Beauvoir either. There were times I couldn't tell if it was Jean Guy or Gamache speaking until something in the text clarified it, such as "Gamache said".
As he settles into the role, I hope he'll develop a Gamache voice.
The story rises to Ms. Penny's usual exacting standards. It's complex; I found myself rewinding to listen again when it became obvious I'd missed something. Since each part of the story hinges to every other part, make sure to pay careful attention.
Will I keep reading this series? You bet, but with a bit of annoyance at the blase narration.
I listened to the entire Gamache series this year and Ralph Cosham quickly became not only the incredibly perfect voice of Gamache, but my favorite audiobook narrator. His portrayal of all characters was spot on. His passing is a great loss. Inconceivably, the replacement chosen has a very strong British accent and his French is not good, and that's coming from an Anglo! I found myself lost many times because I couldn't tell one character's voice from another's. It has ruined the Gamache series for me. 😞
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