Title: How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Gamache #9)
Author: Louise Penny
Reader: Ralph Cosham
Audio published: August 27, 2013 by Macmillan Audio
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it’s a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn’t spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna’s reluctance to reveal her friend’s name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.
As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna’s friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines, and at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?
I almost didn’t listen to How the Light Gets In. The Inspector Gamache series is one of my absolute favorites, but I was just devastated at the end of the last one, The Beautiful Mystery. I am so glad I listened to mother and read it. Listened to it, technically, but that’s how I’ve approached all except the first in this series. Ralph Cosham, the narrator, has really become Gamache and I would miss too much not hearing the characters, the accents, the pronunciations.
In a nut-shell, I loved it. It’s an excellent series and you should read it, even if you’re not usually a mystery reader.
It was everything I enjoy about the series: a good mystery, the characters I feel like I know, the village where I would love to live. Most important, though, is I was happy with the ending. Okay, I have a confession. I actually read the last bit back in September- my mom had pre-ordered it and I couldn’t resist. I skip to the end, I’ve admitted it before. So some of the suspense and tension was lost on me, thankfully. I don’t like the stress that goes with not knowing what’s going to happen and you really don’t know here.
I’m not going to go much into the plot. If you’ve read any of them, you know that Gamache is in a power struggle with the powers that be. They’re bad guys and we know it, the question is how is the war going to end and what is the final battle going to be. The base mystery of who killed Myrna’s friend is a minor part of the book, but I like that there was a standard mystery still, even with everything else going on.
This would not work as a stand-alone. Too many threads are carried over from previous books. but honestly, if you were as upset #8 as I was, read this one, you’ll be happier. Or maybe I’m the only one that gets that emotionally involved in books.
Listen to an excerpt:
Chief Inspector Gamache Series
- Still Life
- A Fatal Grace
- The Cruelest Month
- A Rule Against Murder
- The Brutal Telling
- Bury Your Dead
- A Trick of the Light
- The Beautiful Mystery
- How the Light Gets In
Novella for emerging readers featuring Gamache but not part of the series