How The Light Gets In by Louise Penny

how the lightA stranger has come to the village of Three Pines.  And in a few weeks time, there will be more, some of them less than welcome.

Constance Pineault Is a long-standing friend of Myrna Landers, the bookshop owner in the village; she is visiting to unwind from the craziness of Montreal.  She leaves a few days later with promises to return later in the month for Christmas.

But she doesn’t – and in the ensuing investigation, during which Constance is found dead in her home, it turns out that she had one really big secret, one that was once known far and wide.  Constance was the last survivor of a set of quintuplets that were a media sensation in Canada from birth onwards.

Drawn into the case is Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, who has previous attachments to Three Pines.  Assuming this case adds to his already full plate, to say the least.  Gamache has watched his own department dissolve around him, as his most trusted detectives are shuttled off to other offices, and he feels the strong urge to retire from all sides.  Plus, his closest sidekick, Jean Guy Beauvoir, has now moved on and refuses to speak to Gamache.

 There’s way more going on besides the murder of the famous quint.  There is some serious corruption in higher circles within the Sûreté, and Gamache has few that he can trust, and many who think him delusional and want him gone.

Gamache and his trusted few play an unnerving cat and mouse game with the Sûreté authorities.  Modern technology and its uses have never seemed so sinister, and even in the idyllic setting of Three Pines, the outside world encroaches and threatens.  

Louis Penny writes readable, intelligent thrillers that are a mix of cozy and heart-stopping plot twists, with very subtle dashes of humor.  After reading her first (Still Life) and this latest, there’s still a whole back catalog to delve through, which I will gladly do. 

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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