Book Review: The Nature of the Beast

(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #11)
08.25.2015 | Minotaur Books
Rating: 4/5 stars


Nine-year-old Laurent Lapage is known around Three Pines for his overactive imagination and frequent tendency to cry wolf. Laurent has claimed the woods to be full of aliens and dinosaurs and giant beasts! His tales are those of fantasy and fairytales, but his latest might have also been full of truth. Laurent has disappeared after spreading word that he had found the biggest gun to ever exist, which was being guarded by a monster. The hunt for the boy ends in sorrow as his body is discovered in a ditch. Unable to believe that Laurent’s death was an accident, Armand Gamache calls upon the Surete du Quebec to find this boy’s killer.

Some people keep their darkness inside and some hide their light.

The investigation into Laurent’s death reveals that the history of Three Pines traces back to a several individuals hiding in the shadows as they worked on a machine that would change the way wars are fought and bring terror to the world. This quaint, charming town has a past that is now claiming the lives of those they know, as an old crime leads to new ones being committed. A monster once visited this village and put down roots that are quickly coming back for more. Can Armand get to the bottom of this case before time runs out and more lives are lost?

But they both knew that words were weapons too, and when fashioned into a story their power was almost limitless.

Louise Penny has officially won me back after I was less than satisfied with book 10 in this series. THE NATURE OF THE BEAST contains a fascinating backstory for the village of Three Pines that involves a few residents we have come to know over the series. This backstory is perfectly interspersed with the current murderous activity gripping the village. Penny has once again charmed me with Armand Gamache leading this case. Despite being retired, he still has the ability to command a situation and allow others to work and shine as well. There are multiple layers to this story and each one is more interesting that the last. Penny lands a brilliant ending to lure readers to carry on and pick up book 12!

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