Book Review: A Great Reckoning

A GREAT RECKONING | Louise Penny
(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #12)
08.30.2016 | Minotaur Books
Rating: 4/5 stars

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Armand Gamache has started his new job as the head of the Surete academy. He is now responsible to ensuring that young cadets receive the proper training they will need for wherever they end up in the department. A group of four cadets have sparked an interest in Gamache, with Amelia Choquet being the most intriguing of the group. Amelia hails from a life of poverty, drug use, and possible prostitution. Beneath her various tattoos and piercings Gamache sees a woman who wants to change her life and has the potential to flourish.

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Don’t believe everything you think.

Back in his home of Three Pines, Gamache’s neighbors discover an old map that they believe holds secrets about the village. Thinking that this intriguing project would do well for his select group of cadets, Gamache assigns them a side project to work on finding the origins and purpose of this map. When a controversial professor is murdered at the academy, the lives of these four cadets and Gamache are turned upside down. Everyone is a suspect, including Gamache. Suddenly his relationship with these cadets and Amelia in particular is put under scrutiny. Has Gamache done the unthinkable and murdered his colleague or is he hiding the real killer in Three Pines?

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It’s so easy to get mired in the all too obvious cruelty of the world. It’s natural. But to really heal, we need to recognize the goodness too.

A GREAT RECKONING kicks off with Gamache starting his new job and all of the drama that comes with his past at the Surete du Quebec. There is bad blood between him and some of the professors at the academy, which leads to students in the upper classes doubting his abilities before even meeting him. It was great to see Gamache back in a mentoring role, as he chose those cadets who most interested him. Each one had their individual personality quirks that shined through and made the reading experience truly enjoyable. The mystery in this book was one that left Gamache under suspicion and while I hate for one of my favorite characters to be a suspect, it really added to the drama factor. I would have to say my favorite part of this novel was discovering Gamache’s ultimate reason for being interested in Amelia Choquet. Penny definitely knows how to leave the reader wanting more and flipping through pages to finally reach the answer to your questions. A GREAT RECKONING is another strong showing in Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series!

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