Monday 5 December 2016

Crime: The Long Way Home by Louise Penny

Little Brown €16.99

Margaret Carragher

Published 30/05/2016 | 02:30

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny.
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny.

When Louise Penny's 10th novel was launched in hardback last year it went straight to the top of the New York Times list as well as the Canadian Globe and Mail, making it the best selling book in North America. Now out in paperback, it's easy to see why.

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Set in Canada, The Long Way Home features chief inspector Armand Gamache. Retired from the Canadian police force, he and his wife have moved from Montreal to the village of Three Pines in south Quebec. But Gamache's retirement plans are put on hold when his friend Clara Morrow asks for his help in finding her husband Peter, who left Three Pines a year previously in search of his increasingly elusive artistic mojo.

Credit card records track Peter's journey from Canada to Europe and back - where the trail goes cold.

Then a collection of Peter's paintings turns up in his sister's home. Crude and slapdash but bursting with new found creativity, they may throw light on Peter's whereabouts - and perhaps give an insight into the mind of someone who would put their art ahead of everything.

Indeed the theme of art, ego and the quest for artistic excellence is at the very core of this novel.

With characters as wonderfully complex as the storyline, Penny brings her readers from rural south Quebec to a place known by ancient mariners as the land God gave to Cain.

It is here in this desolate spot that the story reaches its sudden, shocking end. Thoroughly gripping.

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