Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (2010)

This Inspector Armand Gamache novel has three stories going at once.We start out with a tense moment, when Gamache leads his team into a dangerous situation, hopefully to rescue a hostage. We quickly understand that this did not go well and that Gamache has gone off to heal and recuperate in Quebec with his old mentor and Jean Guy Beauvior gets sent off to Three Pines, supposedly to also recuperate, though he is not fond of the town. This novel follows The Brutal Telling, where Olivier gets convicted of murdering a hermit in the woods. Olivier's partner Gabri keeps sending Gamache notes asking "Why did he move the body?" Gamache keeps mulling it over an finally sends Beauvior out to Three Pines to look into it - unofficially. So Three Pines gets barely a third of the story, but we still get to see our favorite characters, and it is interesting to see the effect Three Pines has on Beauvior. We also see that the health spa seems to be doing well.

Most of the book centers around Gamache in Quebec. He is doing research in the English Literary and Historical Society library (the Lit & Hiss for short), when a body is found in their basement, the body of a fanatic, looking for the bones of the founder of Quebec - Samuel de Champlain (1574-1635). It took me a while to realize they were talking about Champlain, as in the audio book the pronunciation in French is quite different than English and didn't get it until they mentioned the lake in Vermont. It was interesting to hear a bit about Canada's history, a topic I am sorry to say I know nothing about. Gamache is fascinated with some battle that was won by the British. Anyway, Gamache gets pulled into the investigation of this murder and we learn about the uncomfortable relations between the English speaking community and the French. Of course I loved the fact that much of the action was happening in a library and that clues were looked for in old books.

The third and more horrifying story gets woven between these other two, as Gamache and Beauvior remember the events that led up to their getting injured, and not just physically. Gamache keeps hearing Paul Moran's voice, as he was responsible for keeping him talking for hours, as there was some bomb set up to go off if the conversation stopped. Gamache is racked with guilt that he made mistakes, though as the story unfolds, it seems he still was the hero and did all he could in spite of being thwarted by a superior officer, avoiding a major catastrophe, far beyond the lives of a few good officers.

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