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How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny

How the Light Gets In

by Louise Penny

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (9)

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1,5261137,282 (4.36)1 / 218



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When we left off in the last book, Chief Superintendent Francoeur had managed to turn Jean-Guy Beauvoir against Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete and gotten him back on prescription drugs. Jean-Guy is filled with hatred for Gamache for leaving him behind in the factory raid and for other things that Francoeur has created out of thin air. Gamache has been investigating not only who released the attack on the factory recording but also what Francoeur is really up to and who he works for. They got the Pierre Arnott who was the Chief Superintendent at the time and tried to blow up the dam at the factory that Gamache stopped. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Gamache is working with Superintendent Therese Brunel and her surgeon husband, Jerome, who is an amateur hacker to dig into the Surete files to find what is being hidden.

Meanwhile, Myrna Landers of Three Pines asks Gamache to look into the disappearance of a friend of hers who was supposed to come down to visit but never showed. Constance Pineault had come down before and made friends within the village, especially the irascible Ruth Zardo the poet who always has a drink in her hand and a barb on her tongue. It turns out that Constance was really Constance Ouellet one of the famous quints born back in 1934 to a farmer and his wife who feared to never have children. Constance was the last of them. And when Gamache goes to check on her at her house he finds that she has been murdered. Who would murder a woman who had no friends and no real family left? A woman who kept to herself and valued her privacy? Was it because of her being a quint or was there another reason? Are all the quints really dead or was one of them murdered?

Detective Inspector Isabelle Lacoste cannot believe that Gamache is letting the homicide department be overridden by people who mock him almost to his face and who don't do their jobs while he seems to not be doing anything about it. Jean-Guy is being sent on one raid after another pushing his nerves to the limit to try to send him over the edge while they are giving him various new drugs to take along with the Percocet. No one knows how much longer he will last. Gamache and his group must now go into their planned hiding in order to continue their work. Gamache will bring someone from the past that no one is sure whether or not they can trust them but they have no choice at this time because they need them.

This one is a real nail-biter. Will they all make it out alive? Can the town of Three Pines be protected as they seek to protect Gamache and his gang? Can Jean-Guy be saved or is he lost forever down a rabbit hole of drugs fueled by hate and anger? What is Francoeur really up to and who is his mysterious backer? Louise Penny finally delivers on something that has been building for many books now and boy does she. The mystery, while a bit incidental is still quite interesting in its story of a life of quints and how things went wrong. This book won the 2014 Left Coast Crime Calamari Award and was a finalist for the Agatha, Golden Dagger, Edgar, and Macavity Awards. Penny really knocks it out of the ballpark with this one not just with the mystery but with the emotional depth of the book. This book is a must read. I give it five out of five stars.


“I think you might try leading your life as though it’s just you. If he comes back and you know your life will be better with him, then great. But you’ll also know you’re enough on your own.” Clara smiled. “That’s what Myrna said too. You’re very alike, you too.” “I’m often mistaken for a large black woman,” [Armand] Gamache agreed. “I’m told it’s my best feature.” “I never am. It’s my one great failing,” said Clara.

-Louise Penny (How the Light Gets In p 104)

Fear created its own reality.

-Louise Penny (How the Light Gets In p 113)

“Coach?” asked Gamache, walking beside her. “It’s French for asshole. Coach.”

-Louise Penny (How the Light Gets In p 134-5)

But there wasn’t just kindness there. Armand Gamache had the personality of a sniper. He watched, and waited, and took careful aim. He almost never shot, metaphorically or literally, but when he did, he almost never missed.

-Louise Penny (How the Light Gets In p 207) ( )
  nicolewbrown | Oct 1, 2018 |
This is the ninth novel in the Inspector Gamache series of books. Gamache is investigating the apparent suicide by a woman who is using an assumed identity. He unveils a tragic story of the woman's past. This investigation provides a background to the culmination of events involving his former second-in-command and friend, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and the Chief of the Sûreté, Sylvan Franceur.

Gamache returns to Three Pines for his base of operations because of it's lack of connectedness to the outside. This allows all the familiar characters of Three Pines to become a part of the story.

This is a well-told mystery, although it deviates from the traditional mystery in that it has major themes continuing through the series. This book brings it all to a close and set up what looks like a change in the series with the next book. The writing is excellent and the characters engrossing. But the series should be read in order!! ( )
  Nodosaurus | Sep 20, 2018 |
Another great book in Penny's wonderful series about Inspector Gamache. As always, Penny gives us thoughtful, nuanced characters and a compelling plot.

I would suggest that she stay away from computer hacking as a major plot element in the future. It is usually boring to read about if you include all the technical details and unconvincing if you don't. The ending was too easy as well - high level corruption, conspiracy, murder and drug addiction all resolved in a package too neat to be convincing.

But I loved the book anyway, and it's a worthy addition to the series. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
Yet another Inspector Gamache mystery that I just couldn't put down!
Once more, it's winter in Three Pines, and an expected Christmas guest doesn't show up. One more, Gamache is on it, in his pensive, inquisitive way.

One of the lovely things about this series is that each of the books can stand on it's own quite nicely, yet there's so much more that weaves through the series that makes each successive book even richer.

I love my local library, where I return one book and they have the next one waiting for me. 😊 ( )
  CYGeeker | Sep 6, 2018 |
How the Light Gets In is a very exciting, fast-paced read, while still remaining thoughtful and intelligent. I believe this one differs the most from her previous novels.I admire Penny's ability to change up her writing style; not becoming complacent and formulaic.

This novel features multiple investigations; one so hideously unimaginable forcing Gamache and his team to act proactively and urgently. All this while dealing with a close team member suffering a critical crisis.

Gamache grasps human emotions quickly, listens carefully, engenders loyalty from his staff provding them with respectful, positive support. His open-mindedness allows him to command without ego.

Another excellent book in the Gamache series.
  Bookish59 | Aug 10, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Penny, Louiseprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, WillCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
ShutterstockCover imagesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, LauraProducersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description

As a fierce, unrelenting winter grips Quebec, shadows are closing in on Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department and hostile forces are lining up against him.


When Gamache receives a message about a mysterious case in Three Pines, he is compelled to investigate - a woman who was once one of the most famous people in the world has vanished.


As he begins to shed light on the investigation, he is drawn into a web of murder, lies and unimaginable corruption at the heart of the city. Facing his most challenging, and personal, case to date, can Gamache save the reputation of the Sûreté, those he holds dear and himself?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312655479, Hardcover)

The newest book in the New York Times bestselling, critically acclaimed series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:21 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In Three Pines Chief Inspector Armand Gamache investigates the disappearance of a woman who was once one of the most famous people in the world and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.

» see all 4 descriptions

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