Wednesday, September 10, 2014
THE LONG WAY HOME by Louise Penny
Eagerly awaited and happily received the 10th mystery starring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Quebec Surete is one of novelist Penny’s finest. She has the unique, compelling ability to not only weave a beautifully constructed mystery but also to layer it with emotional currents and probing insights. In this way she delivers fully formed characters with whom many can relate and sympathize.
As The Long Way Home opens we find Gamache and his wife, Reine-Marie contentedly settled in the peaceful village of Three Pines. It is there he takes his ease allowing his wounds to heal, trying to forget the horrors that he experienced and those that still exist in the world.
His quietude is interrupted when a friend, Clara, asks for his help. Though he wishes to remain undisturbed he cannot refuse her. She is a successful painter married to a once successful painter, Peter Morrow. When her career grew while his dwindled jealousy developed and the two decided they needed some time apart. They agreed to a year long separation in the hopes of recapturing their former loving relationship. Peter promises to return in exactly one year. Believing him when the time arrives Clara has purchased steak, wine in order to prepare his homecoming dinner.
When Peter does not return she worries, concerned that something has happened to him. The search begins which takes them into the nether regions of Quebec. Gamache’s aide Jean-Guy Beauvoir and Clara’s friend, Myrna, joins in the quests as with each step they learn moree about why Peter has stayed away and what he might be searching for.
Gamache fans will relish this further development of his character as in searching for Peter he as well as the others discover some things about themselves. New readers will be intrigued.
- Gail Cooke