Book 50 on my “March to 100 for 2019″—Louise Penny: A Great Reckoning—Police corruption, a mysterious map, a small village, and a murdered teacher.
This is the twelfth book in the Armand Gamache series and I will be going back to the first book and reading them all. Somehow, I have never had the pleasure of Louise Penny’s beautiful language and the way she paints scenes.
Gamache, the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec (Quebec’s provincial police), is coming out of retirement to to lead the police academy. Having already purged the provincial police of corruption, he is now focused on the corrupt practices of the academy, removing many of the old faculty and putting others under his watchful eye. He also invites new professors into the academy, some of which ruffle the feathers of the new head of the Sûreté.
In one of his first moves, he reviews the incoming freshman class and makes changes, including adding Amelia Choquet who had been previously rejected because of her history and lack of fit.
In Armand’s home village, an old map is found hidden away in the walls of a building. Curious of the meaning of the map, he assigns four cadets, including Amelia, the task of deciphering it.
When a professor at the academy is murdered on campus, the suspect pool is wide, including Armand himself. One of the few clues is Amelia’s copy of the mysterious map found in the dead professor’s bedside table.
This intricate, slowly unfolding tale is richly woven. The author makes you feel the heat of a fire in the fireplace, taste the food served in a pub, and hear the snow crunch under your feet. And, mostly, you wonder who murdered the professor, what is the purpose of the map, and why did Armand allow Amelia to attend the school.
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P.S. – Yes, I am now 50% of the way to my goal. Unfortunately, only 25% of the year is left. If I am focused, I will probably read 75 or so books this year. As they say, “Wait until next year!”