A #1 New York Times Bestseller, Louise Penny's The Long Way Home is an intriguing Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.
Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole."
While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There's power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.
Together with his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and Myrna Landers, they journey deeper and deeper into Québec. And deeper and deeper into the soul of Peter Morrow. A man so desperate to recapture his fame as an artist, he would sell that soul. And may have. The journey takes them further and further from Three Pines, to the very mouth of the great St. Lawrence river. To an area so desolate, so damned, the first mariners called it the land God gave to Cain. And there they discover the terrible damage done by a sin-sick soul.
Officially retired, former chief of homicide Armand Gamache is at his beloved Quebec village of Three Pines, healing in mind and body after his ordeal in 2013's How the Light Gets In, when a neighbor, celebrated artist Clara Morrow, asks him to find her estranged husband. Peter Morrow, also an artist, had departed Three Pines the previous year, promising to return on a specific day to discuss the status of their marriage. He didn't make it and Clara is concerned. So is Gamache, who, as Penny has it, sees the shadow of murder even on sunny days. Thus begins a long, long journey during which Gamache, his loyal former assistant and now son-in-law, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, Clara, and some of the other delightfully eccentric villagers have an assortment of adventures. Cosham, who has been this series' narrator for a while, has a comforting, avuncular British accent. To this he smoothly blends in a French influence that becomes more apparent in his pronunciation of Canadian names, places, and Quebecois dialogue. Cosham voices Gamache with a wary, almost fearful caution as he approaches the new case, but as the search for the missing painter goes from Toronto to Paris to a desolate spot on the St. Lawrence River, his voice grows stronger as his energy level rises. Jean-Guy, too, sounds more assertive and alive. Cosham's vocal interpretations are mainly subtle Clara, for example, doesn't sound very different from Gamache's wife, Raine-Marie but his version of the village's eccentric old poet, Ruth, has a distinctive sharpness not unlike that of the latter day Katharine Hepburn. A Minotaur hardcover.
The Long Way Home
Louise Penny has a great way of holding your attention as she unfolds another mystery with Armand Gamache leading the way. An artist leaves a small town in Quebec. After not returning the search for Peter Morrow is lead by Gamache. There are some interesting twists along the way. I loved the way she involved an environmental problem in this story. Being from northern VT, I could relate to the area as well as the environmental impact this product has had to people.
Great and satisfying read
The Gamache series blends solid mysteries with well developed characters and bursts of insight and humor. Highly recommended.
The Long Way Home
It simply does not get old. The characters of Three Pines are like family. The insights shared are those of growth, love, community and life. A very valued treasure.