"I don't know. I was wrong. I'm sorry. I need help."
These four sentences are the principal guiding philosophies that Inspector Armand Gamache says inform his actions. I'd add another one that I see as evident in all his choices: "Be kind".
Gamache is the creation of Louise Penny, who has recently released the twelfth novel in this mystery series, A Great Reckoning. Each time I read the author's latest offering, I fall under the spell of the world she has created; a place inhabited by idiosyncratic characters, attempting to live as best they can in a society that is swirling with currents of cruelty and self interest.
Each time she releases a new novel, I devour it and then declare it the best she has written. A Great Reckoning shows that Louise Penny has taken her storytelling to a new level. With several plot lines intertwining and twisting through the story, this is a powerful novel that examines authority, grief, corruption, and the enduring sanctuary of Three Pines, a village that does not exist on official maps.
If you haven't read any in the Gamache series, start with the first one, Still Life. As you progress through the series, you will appreciate the masterful character development and complex story lines that sometimes take a few books to be significant.
That is the sign of a writer at her peak.
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