The Long Way Home by Louise Penny

long way homeArmand Gamache is a retired man.

After a distinguished career as chief inspector for the Sûreté du Québec, he now has a life of calm in the village of Three Pines, probably one of the most idyllic places to spend one’s golden years.

It’s not to say that Gamache doesn’t have his own demons from the past.  His closest friends in the town notice certain behaviors of his that seem odd, particularly his daily sojourn to a bench on the edge of town.

His friend Clara has an issue of her own – her agreed-upon year of separation from her husband Peter has gone into overtime with no news from him.  She mentions it to Gamache, and at first doesn’t want him to get involved.  Gamache needs the peace of retirement, but… he’s forever the inspector, and quite soon, he agrees to help her find Peter, aided by his son-in-law and former second in command Jean Guy, and their mutual friend Myrna, the owner of the town bookshop.

As they piece together details of Peter’s life through the past year, their search takes them far beyond the boundaries of Three Pines.  A clutch of mysterious paintings provide clues into Peter’s far-flung traveling, dictated by a changing artistic sensibility, or a descent into insanity.

Gamache and company literally travel to the ends of the earth – a sparsely populated edge of coastal Quebec – to find out Peter’s fate, and to test their own fortitudes.

The Long Way Home explores the mysteries of love and art, mixing a chatty style with some harrowing discoveries of human nature.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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