Mystery Mondays is a sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly and sometimes monthly review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.
“Armand Gamache considered himself more an explorer than a hunter. The goal was to discover. And what he discovered could still surprise him. How often had he questioned a murderer expecting to find curdled emotions, a soul gone sour? And instesd he found goodness that had gone astray.” (p. 3)
In her last book, How the Light Gets In it appeared that Louise Penny had written a satisfying conclusion to her series. The conclusion of that book felt sort of like the conclusion of her series therefore I was surprised to find out she had further books coming out in her Inspector Gamache series and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The Long Way Home occurs shortly after the events of How the Light Gets In. Gamache is now no longer “Inspector” Gamache has retired in the village of Three Pines with his wife, Reine-Marie. Though content, Gamache is still somewhat restless and I liked how this book explores the concept of trying to find peace and how can we move forward in life after experiencing something incredibly life changing. After all it’s not just the character of Clara, who seeks Gamache’s assistance to find her husband that is in search of something although Gamache also appears to be in search of something.
What I loved with reference to The Long Way Home was that we get to travel back and visit the characters of Three Pines again. Penny has created such a wonderful, unique and even magical set of characters that live in the village and it is always a pleasure to check in again with characters such as Myrna, a former psychologist turned bookstore owner in addition to Ruth, an award winning poet and her pet duck, Rosa. Furthermore I liked seeing a confident Clara in this book, after all that has happened to her I like how she now takes charge of things even if it veers on the edge of being a little bossy at times.
However, while it was lovely revisiting the characters of Three Pines, my favourite thing regarding this book without a doubt was seeing Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir working together again. Having been on opposing sides in the previous book, it was wonderful to see the old team together. The two of them settled back nicely into their old dynamics despite the fact that Gamache is retired and their relationship is slightly different than it was.
Like all of her other books, The Long Way Home is an extremely emotional and powerful read. I recently had a conversation with an elderly woman on why we both love the books in the Inspector Gamache series. And I came to the conclusion that it’s probably for the reason that the books focus on the human psychology of the characters which in itself is a truly fascinating thing. This is why I appreciated the fact that in the, The Long Way Home, we gain more insight into the character through the glimpses into his past and his parents.
The Long Way Home is an excellent book for those who are unfamiliar with the series to start with, although if you start with this book don’t be surprised if it causes you to go back and read all of the previous books in the series. In addition, I will continue to stick with this series as I am extremely curious as to where Louise will take her characters next.
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.