First Line: Armand Gamache sat in the little room and closed the dossier with care, squeezing it shut, trapping the words inside.
At first thought to be an oddity, an old hand-drawn map found in a wall of the bistro in Three Pines winds up in the hands of Armand Gamache as he begins his new job as head of the Sûreté Academy. There the map will lead Gamache to secrets. To four young cadets. And to a dead professor.
The time has come for a great reckoning.
Not having been a fan of Penny's last book, The Nature of the Beast, (and feeling like an abject traitor) I was thrilled to read A Great Reckoning and see that she's back on track with her siren-like magic.
Although the books in this series can be read as standalones, each book is actually a chapter in one long story arc. This means that the books will have a much greater impact on readers if they are read in order, beginning with Still Life.
Corruption in Quebec's police force has been a long-running subplot, and in A Great Reckoning Gamache heads to the Academy to finish the task of "cleaning house." You can get rid of dishonest cops from positions of power in government and from the streets and patrol cars, but if you don't go to the source-- the Academy-- and clear out the bad teachers and cadets, you're never going to solve the problem in its entirety. This is the task Gamache has set himself, and he is well aware that it means he will have to do things that he does not wish to do.
The investigation into the professor's murder, the significance of the old map, the true identity of a cadet named Amelia Choquet... all these things and more combine to make a page-turning narrative that tugs at the mind and the heart. And, I'm happy to say, the citizens of tiny, idyllic Three Pines are back to being their vibrant selves-- especially Ruth.
I know that Louise Penny has a specific ending in mind for this series, but I sincerely hope we can all look forward to a few more trips to my favorite village in Quebec.
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
Minotaur Books © 2016
eBook, 400 pages
Police Procedural, #12 Armand Gamache mystery
Source: Purchased from Amazon