Book 7, in the Chief Inspector Gamache series
In this story we are back on board with Inspectors Gamache and Beauvoir who are still on the mend and recovering from the investigation that went terribly wrong in “Bury Your Dead”, this time they are back at a village made famous in previous novels, the fictional and quint village of Three Pines. “A Trick of Light” is more than a murder mystery; it explores the emotions and the inner struggle brought on by success and rejection, something every artistic painter has to deal with in his quest for fame and recognition.
The suspense begins with the violent death of a nasty art critic whose words have crushed the careers of many inspiring artists. The critic was discovered in artist Clara Morrow’s garden the morning after celebrating the opening of her first solo exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. There is no shortage of suspects in this competitive field, the list is endless and is sure to include fellow artists, dealers, curators and critics. The case calls for the Sûreté du Québec’s finest and who else but Inspector Gamache and his trusted team are given the challenge…
With subtle and sparse writing, the plot deepens in complexity when Gamache and Beauvoir assisted by Agent Lacoste delve deeply into the art scene and press to uncover its long-hidden secrets. The in depth investigation leads them to the inner circle of the AA just another layer in the mystery they have to deal with….At this point, Ms. Penny’s smooth words spin the tale with so many twists and turns, the reader is sure to find himself in a game of intense speculation trying to stay one step ahead and guess who could be the guilty one.
Although the pacing may seem slow at first it slowly draws you in and once the story starts to gel you are hooked and will enjoy every bit of it to the last page. Ms. Penny is a master when it comes to developing warm and charming characters with unique personalities and complex relationships. She builds a strong atmosphere of soft suspense, the hard core details are left to the reader’s imagination, however fertile it may be.
This series is an addiction for me; I follow it faithfully and always look forward to read what Inspector Gamache will be up against in his next case.
For any newcomers I suggest starting with “Still Life”, that way you will start on the ground floor and develop a rapport with the characters and a better understanding of the culture.