Sunday, May 2, 2021

All The Devils Are Here by Louise Penny


Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his wife Reine-Marie have left Quebec to come to Paris for a joyous occasion.  Their daughter Annie, married to Armand's former second in command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, is about to give birth to a daughter.  Their son, Daniel, and his family are also living in Paris.  Making the occasion even more special, Armand's godfather, billionaire Stephen Horowitz, is in the city for a meeting as well.  The entire clan gathers for a dinner for all to catch up.  Afterwards, Armand walks Stephen back to his hotel but tragedy strikes.  Stephen is mowed down by a hit and run driver and must be rushed to the hospital.

Armand suspects that the accident was instead an assassination attempt.  Horowitz is a major figure in finance circles and he knows many secrets.  When a murdered man is found in the apartment Horowitz keeps in Paris, Armand's suspicions are confirmed.  Someone wants Stephen dead but why?

Although the French police are investigating, Armand is not sure they are doing a diligent job or taking Stephen's position into account.  He decides that he must investigate himself with the help of Jean-Guy and his various contacts in Paris.  The group quickly discovers that there is corruption involved that reaches to the head of corporations and the government itself.  Can they hope to solve the case and avert more tragedies?  Complicating matters is the fact that Armand and his son, Daniel, have been somewhat estranged for years and this estrangement blows up as it becomes clear that Daniel may also be involved.  

I listened to this novel and the narrator was excellent.  He had the perfect accent and his voice, while not emotional, was not deadpan.  It was a perfect reflection of a man in Armand's professional position who is now embroiled in a matter that touches his own family deeply.  Such a man is not overtly emotional but would not be able to successfully tamp down all emotions when his family is threatened.  The narrator was able to convey this with his change in tempo and inflections.

This is the sixteenth novel in this much beloved series.  It explores the Gamache family's relationships and old friendships while filling in much of the backstory of Gamache's early upbringing and the forces that shaped his life.  The mystery behind the assassinations and the degree of corruption is breathtaking and the reader is left hoping that it is not realistic while fearing that money and governments may be entwined in corruption as portrayed.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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