ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE by Louise Penny

An entry in the Gamache mystery series that doesn’t take place in Three Pines? What is the world coming to??

Paris.

The premise

Armand Gamache is once again head of Homicide for the Sureté de Quebec. He is on vacation in Paris to visit his grown children and await the birth of his newest grandchild. His billionaire godfather Stephen is there, too, making for a happy family reunion. That is, until Stephen is critically injured by a hit-and-run driver.

Witness to the accident, Gamache and his wife know this was no random accident but attempted murder.

Aided by his son-in-law Jean-Guy Beauvoir, until recently Gamache’s second-in-command and now working for a Paris-based multinational engineering firm, Gamache is determined to find out who wanted to kill his godfather. Together, they will uncover a string of mysteries, including a dead body in Stephen’s lux pied-a-terre and questionable links to the French Resistance during World War II, plus funny business at the engineering firm.

The action ranges across Paris, giving us an armchair tour through rainy arrondisements. We are swept across the city, from the legendary Georges V hotel to the wounded Notre Dame cathedral to the Luxembourg Gardens and dozens of points in between. Secrets and the unexplained nip at our heels.

Note on Style

The style is often staccato, with short, sharp sentences to heighten emotional impact.

She grabbed him to her again, and they held on to each other.

Weeping for Stephen.

For themselves.

A little of that goes a long way for me and I wish it was used more sparingly, but this technique keeps the drama high.

The plot of ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE, the 16th Gamache mystery, is solid. The climax was wholly believable and connected all the dots, especially when it comes to character development.

Bottom line

I loved the way the ending became a happy turning point for the Gamache narrative. My guess is that subsequent books will enjoy the original atmosphere and framework which underpin the success of the series.

Highly recommended.

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