A Better Man by Louise Penny - Armand Gamache is no longer Chief Superintendent. His gamble in Kingdom of the Blind to allow drugs into Quebec to be able to take down the organization behind the drug trafficking was successful but the risks taken and the shootout that followed had personal consequences. The politicians in Quebec City have demoted him to Chief Inspector of Homicide expecting him to resign rather than accept the humiliation of loss of status and position. As well he would be thrust upon his son-in-law, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, the current Chief, who will soon be leaving his position for a new job in Paris. Gamache confounds everyone by gracefully accepting.At the first meeting of the Homicide team Detective Lysette Cloutier advises a young woman is missing. Vivienne Godin has not arrived at her father’s place. Her husband, Carl Tracey, has been abusive. The father, Homer, is a friend of Cloutier. Detective Cloutier is an investigative genius with numbers and a Closseau with physical police work. Holding her ground before an angry Chief Inspector Beauvoir at a Homicide Department meeting she challenges him:
“How would you feel, sir? If your child didn’t come home?”Beauvoir assigns Gamache and Cloutier to investigate. It is a return for Gamache to his police roots. He had loved being an investigator and was glad to be back in the field.
Vivienne’s father sank, slowly, slowly to his knees. The slowly, slowly folded over. His head in the muck. His hands clutching the ground. The big man curled himself around his heart.In Three Pines a 100 year flood, the second in Ruth’s lifetime, threatens the village. The flooding has enveloped much of Quebec. In the crisis the tensions within the Surete affect decision making.
Intertwined in the story is Clara’s struggling career. Internet trolls are savaging her work. Never the most sanguine personality she is doubting herself. Is her work over-rated? It is the most interesting story line. I wish it had been the focus of the book.
The young family disappeared through the dooer, Honore, holding up his hand to wave goodbye.
It was the secret wave he and his grandfather had worked out after Great-aunt Ruth had shown the boy the one-finger wave. Papa had explained that really, three fingers were even better. For the three pines.Those lovely moments to her stories together with her insignts into the human psyche will keep me reading the series no matter how much she frustrates me on legal matters.
Penny, Louise – (2005) - Still Life; (2006) - Dead Cold (Tied for 3rd Best fiction of 2006); (2007) - The Cruelest Month; (2009) - The Murder Stone (Tied for 4th Best fiction of 2009); (2010) - The Brutal Telling; (2011) - Bury Your Dead (Best Fiction of 2011); (2011) - A Trick of the Light; (2012) - The Beautiful Mystery (Part I) and The Beautiful Mystery (Part II); (2013) - "P" is for Louise Penny - Movie Producer and Review of the Movie of Still Life; (2013) - How the Light Gets In; (2014) - The Long Way Home; (2014) - The Armand Gamache Series after 10 Mysteries - Part I and Part II; (2015) - The Nature of the Beast (Part I) and The Nature of the Beast (Part II); (2016) - A Great Reckoning - The Academy and Comparisons and The Map; (2017) - Glass Houses - Happiness and Unhappiness and Getting the Law Wrong; (2019) - Kingdom of the Blind and Irreconcilable Dispositions; Hardcover