by Louise Penny

Reviewer Rating:


​In her newest book, How the Light Gets In, Louise Penny brings us back into the lives of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the renowned Quebec homicide​ force, his former assistant Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and the alluring village of Three Pines. Numerous plotlines combine the murder of a nationally beloved quintuplet, an apparent suicide, and the gradual revelation of the destruction Gamache's nemesis, Superintendent Francoeur, has been plotting for years. As always, Penny draws on Quebec history and culture in crafting an interesting, complex​, ​and seamless mystery.​ This story also culminates many of the hanging storylines and gripping character development of her earlier books.

Because of that, the great reviews, and just having seen Louise Penny herself at Tattered Cover (who was absolutely delightful), I had very high expectations for this book. Maybe they were too high; I was a bit disappointed. I enjoyed it, but not as much as her other recent books, particularly The Beautiful Mystery. This book felt TOO complex to me. There was too much going on to settle into any one part of the story and enjoy it as much as I usually do.

Maybe I was also  just too worried about what was going to happen to some of my favorite characters, after following them through almost ten books. But as always with Penny's books, even the darkest human storylines do not leave us hopeless. Gamache continuously restores our faith in the human heart and its potential for healing. As the title reminds us (graciously lent to Penny for free by Leonard Cohen), "There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."


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