“Armand Gamache sat in the little room and closed the dossier with care, squeezing it shut, trapping the words inside.”
With those words, Louise Penny marks the start of her twelfth and what is possibly her best Inspector Gamache mystery novel. We are taken to the town of Three Pines where an old map has been discovered hidden in the walls of the bistro. While it looks like something of a novelty at first glance, it becomes obvious upon closer inspection that there is a greater significance to this discovery than originally thought. The map is given as a gift to Gamache for his first day of work as the new Commander of the Sûreté Academy, and soon becomes part of a murder investigation in which there are many worthy of suspicion, including Gamache himself.
“It’s so easy to get mired in the all too obvious cruelty of the world. It’s natural. But to really heal, we need to recognize the goodness too.”
This series has been a favourite of mine for a few years now, and with each new release it is always lovely to be transported to the beloved Three Pines and its familiar and charismatic cast of characters. Each book delivers an intriguing mystery and a new adventure, all of which have been entertaining and easy to get lost in. A Great Reckoning is no exception, and I found it to be an outstanding novel that has fast become my favourite in the series. The mystery as always is compelling, however the truly exceptional part of Louise Penny’s books is the depth and nuance with which the characters are portrayed. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good mystery and character driven stories. It can absolutely be read as a stand alone if you have not read the series, however there are certain aspects that would be a spoiler for events that occurred in previous books. A Great Reckoning is a wonderful novel and I eagerly anticipate any future releases.