Ms. Penny has truly blessed us with her masterpiece in How The Light Gets In. And that should sum it all up right there – honestly, this was an incredible read. However, you cannot “start” reading these Inspector Gamache series with this one. This one is so deep into the past story of Gamache and his right-hand man, Beauvoir that starting the series here would not allow you the full appreciation of their story and of this instalment in the series. But, I get away from my gushing about this instalment in the Inspector Gamache series. Not only does this one receive my enthusiastic accolades for the story, but again, for the incredible and amazing narration of it by Ralph Cosham. He has taken the beautiful and poetic prose of Ms. Penny and brought it to such life you feel as though you are watching it unfold on the big screen.
On the cover of the audiobook case are these words of absolute truth and wisdom “Not enough praise can be accorded Ralph Cosham, who has served as the reader for all the audiobooks in this series. His voice is simply magnificent.” – Star-Ledger (but said about The Beautiful Mystery).
Ralph Cosham is pure genius in his narration. He IS Chief Inspector Gamache and he continues to share his gift by bringing to life all the personalities involved, not just Gamache. He will leave you laughing and crying and revelling in his expertise. Indeed, there is one highly charged and emotional moment between Gamache and Beauvoir where I had tears streaming down my face (and I hide no shame in sharing that!). Part of this story takes us back to the community of Three Pines and we are blessedly graced with the presence of Ruth, the acerbic and drunken old poet. Oh how Cosham can read Ruth! He’s even given Ruth’s pet duck an incredible and hilarious voice! He’s embodied the caustic voice of Ruth into the duck’s quack. It’s brilliant.
However, in order to narrate this story, it had to be created by Louise Penny. And wow, is this one fantastic. I absolutely loved, loved, loved how she weaved events that are significant in Canadian folklore into an expert whodunit. I was completely giddy when she started to spin a tale that gave us a fictitious Dionne quintuplet story, as well as the intricate care she took to shine light on an issue between police brutality and cruelty in the Native communities. She also tackles the corruption of the construction industry in Montreal. All of this is woven so seamlessly into this incredible story that also still leaves you guessing to the end.
Not only is the above storyline fantastic, she also continues to shape, mold, and give loving attention to her characters. Three Pines remains a place I want to run to, hide away and just sit and spend my time in. I want to sit in the bookstore or café and have a conversation with Gamache and the friends in Three Pines. In How the Light Gets In, we continue to discover the tortured and fractured relationship between Gamache and Beauvoir. We are also left breathlessly wondering if this will mark the end of Gamache’s career. Is the corruption he is becoming so painfully close to unveiling going to mark the end of Gamache himself? It is an edge-of-your-seat mystery all the way along.
It was an audiobook/novel I never wanted to hear end. 5 glowing stars. I’m certain this will be a story I read again in the future. I just want to wrap my arms around it once more and never let it go.
And, many thanks to Audiobook Jukebox and MacMillan Audio for the pleasure of the audiobook. This was read for the Solid Gold Reviewers program.
Here’s a fantastically worded synopsis, taken from Goodreads:
The stunning, ingenious and sinister new novel in the internationally bestselling Inspector Gamache series.
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.
A DEADLY CONCLUSION
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?
Evocative, gripping and atmospheric, this magnificent work of crime fiction from international bestselling author Louise Penny will stay with you long after you turn the final page.