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This is book number 16 in the Chief Inspector Gamache Novel series.
The 16th novel by #1 bestselling author Louise Penny finds Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec investigating a sinister plot in the City of Light
On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man’s life.
When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour d’Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.
It sends them deep into the secrets Armand’s godfather has kept for decades.
A gruesome discovery in Stephen’s Paris apartment makes it clear the secrets are more rancid, the danger far greater and more imminent, than they realized.
Soon the whole family is caught up in a web of lies and deceit. In order to find the truth, Gamache will have to decide whether he can trust his friends, his colleagues, his instincts, his own past. His own family.
For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in that darkness devils hide.
Praise for A Better Man
“‘A Better Man,' with its mix of meteorological suspense, psychological insight and criminal pursuit, is arguably the best book yet in an outstanding, original oeuvre.” —Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
“Enchanting…one of [Gamache’s] more ennobling missions.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“Pensive and moral Quebec police inspector Armand Gamache is justly beloved, and Penny’s evocative prose is unfailingly admirable.” —Seattle Times
“The deeper reward lies in how the books probe the psyches of Gamache, his family and colleagues, as well as this circle of small-town bohemians, the author picking off her characters, psychologically at least, one by one.” —The Globe and Mail
"The appeal of this series and especially of Gamache himself has always been Penny's ability to show her hero moving from the tangible, brutal facts of murder to the emotions within, the stories in the blood. There are multiple stories, often contradictory, to be found in the many-tentacled web of human tragedy and suffering that Gamache teases to the surface in this moving exploration of ties that both bind and destroy." —Booklist, starred review
"Wrenching... Penny explores the depths of human emotion, both horrifying and sublime. Her love for her characters and for the mystical village of Three Pines is apparent on every page."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Penny's lyrical writing opens up Gamache's soul-searching in an almost poetic way. "A Better Man," it turns out, isn't so much a novel to wrap up certain story lines in this 14-book series, but one to breathe new life into them.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune
“This title brings several character arcs to a close while resetting others to make this psychological mystery serve both as a beginning for new readers and a satisfying continuation for series fans. Gamache is an explorer of the human psyche, and the care he takes with the victims, their friends and family, as well as his own allows this series and his character continually to surprise, delight, and enthrall. Highly recommended for lovers of psychological, character-driven mysteries." —Library Journal, starred review