A trail of astounding clues and treasures - from first editions of Charlotte's Web and Jane Eyre to a spider web with the word "WOE" woven in it - lead the Chief Inspector deep into the woods and across the continent in search of the truth, then back to Three Pines as the little village braces for the final, brutal telling.
Listen to another Three Pines mystery.
©2009 Louise Penny; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Excellent....Readers keen for another glimpse into the life of Three Pines will be well rewarded." (Publishers Weekly)
I've listened to all of the Three Pines novels now, having started with Still Life and fallen in love with the seemingly idyllic town and truly eccentric but delightful characters. Penny does a very fine job of drawing out the souls who people her novels as well as the settings, so much so that I wish I could find a Three Pines and move there.
As another reviewer had done, once I listened to Still Life, I downloaded and essentially devoured the remaining novels. I do hope Penny has another novel planned; this last one--The Brutal Telling--shook my gestalt as much as it did the citizens of Three Pines and the police. Although Penny is consistent in her story-telling, it wasn't until this last novel that I realized what it is that I like so much about her work: while her mysteries are traditional police procedurals, there's also an strong undercurrent of philosophy and psychology. The Chief Inspector's ruminations on human nature are what saved this particular novel from devastating me, leaving me with a tinge of hope, but also with an heightened understanding of how none of us is saved from those things that are "supposed" to happen to other people.
Like the Chief Inspector, I find myself ruminating about Three Pines and its inhabitants long after the "case is closed." And I hope I don't have to wait too long before there's another installment in this series.
I simply adore her books and her writing. I find her use of theme to tie all of her subplots together just wonderful...not since reading my first Sayers novel, The Nine Tailors, have I found a mystery writer more inspiring.
I have listened to many great books but have never written a review. This book left me feeling completely satisfied. Can not wait to get another by this wonderful writer.
A lovely weaving of mystery and small town charm. Characters are beautifully developed and the plot keeps you listening for the next twist. Funny too. lovely.
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.
This is the fifth Inspector Gamache book I have read. One thing I like about this series is that we readers get to see the imperfect side of the characters in addition to all of things they do right. However, I didn't expect that behind the facade of one of the seemingly "normal" and likable Three Pines characters that we would ever find something like what is unveiled in this story!
I gave the story three stars -- I liked it, but just not as much as I've liked other Gamache books. I tend to like mysteries that have more to do with action, limiting the time spent on motive to a basic explanation -- and I felt that this book spent more time than I would have liked "inside the heads" of the victim and the perpetrator of the crime. Also, too much symbolism left unexplained throughout the story whose ultimate reason for being was weak.
The narrator is great.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
I have loved all the books in this series. Especially, I have enjoyed listening to this narrator as he makes Gamache, all the characters, and the settings come alive.
"The Brutal Telling" is a particularly engaging entry. The mystery is unusual and fascinating, and the resolution changes things in ways that I won't give away. This story stands out in this great series.
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.
Classical history buff, but find most of history fascinating. Love books, ballet, and basketball.
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).
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