A wonderful mystery/suspense novel. It took me a while to "read" (this was an audiobook), through no fault of the book.... I am new to audiobooks, so I would listen to a cd, a few days would pass and I would forget what had happened and would have to start over... and over.... and over. But it was well worth it because the story is VERY good. If you like mysteries, I would definitely recommend it. (and I am going to keep at audiobooks, lol to become a better "audial" reader).
Inspector Gamache has been called to the little, not-on-the-map village of Three Pines because Myrna's friend Constance was supposed to come to visit for Christmas. Constance is elderly and come to find out is a Ouellet (pronounced sort of like "Wee-lay) quints (that author Louise Penny says was inspired by the real Dionne quints -- 2 of the real ones are still living). Of the Ouellet quints, Constance is the last surviving sister and is missing. Inspector Gamache unravels a sordid tale involving the tragic family... (no spoilers here!)
Meanwhile, Inspector Gamache has also been trying to figure out what the heck is going on with his department that he presides over. All of his police have been transferred out by higher-ups and it seems as if one or more of his superiors is trying to get him to quit. They are getting at him in anyway they can to effect him-- getting his ex-son-in-law addicted to drugs (who he looks at like a son), to monitoring him, even tracking his movements, but it is because they are afraid of him. A year earlier he had foiled a plot to destroy a large dam that would have created untold damage and loss of life, and they were afraid that he would discover not only that they were behind it, but why they wanted to do it and what they had planned to do next, which was worse. They were also afraid that he would uncover their decades of corruption and misappropriation of government funds and the corruption went very high up the chain of command indeed. I won't tell anymore so as not to ruin it for anyone, I will just say that I was on the edge of my seat until the very end.
I liked the way the narrator (Ralph Cosham) told the story... you felt as if you were there with Inspector Gamache. His inflections in the different character's tones, etc.-- I really felt as if I knew each of the characters to some degree. I was amazed to learn at the end of the book, in an interview between the author and the narrator, that he NEVER reads the book ahead of time-- he is reading it cold as it is being recorded. He has an amazing knack for making a story come to life.
I won this book in a giveaway and am ever so glad I did! I so much enjoyed it!