Saturday, September 7, 2013

How the Light Gets In

Title: How the Light Gets In
Author: Louise Penny
Series: Inspector Gamache, book 9
Genre: Mystery
Published: 2013
Rating: 8/10

Review: I bought the hardcover copy of this book at Louise Penny's recent library visit to my neighborhood. My copy says, "To Maria, Welcome back to Three Pines". I may have criticized the ending of the previous book while she was signing my book, but I was still certainly looking forward to finding out what was going to happen to Gamache and Beauvoir.

The story is set back in Three Pines once more. In fact, during her talk, the author mentioned that she's planning to continue staging her series in Three Pines every other book in order to make sure that Three Pines doesn't turn into Cabot Cove. In this book, Gamache investigates a murder of a woman who was famous for being born a quint -- one sister out of five sharing a birthday -- born naturally before IVF was invented.

However, the murder of a quint is probably the least significant part of the novel because the story arch of conspiracies and treacheries started in the previous books finally comes to a resolution. We get to find out who leaked the warehouse attack video and more about Francoeur's political dealings as well as his latest plot.

It's a comparatively action-packed book and one I enjoyed more than several preceding offerings. It's a very satisfying ending and one I really enjoyed. There were a few things that bothered me in the book -- some of the events came together a little too smoothly, but overall it was a pretty gripping plot. I am still not convinced about the Beauvoir's relationship to Gamache in this series, but I am willing to suspend my disbelief at the premise and enjoy the rest all the same. Especially with all the favorite folks from Three Pines back in the game.

I also really liked Louise Penny's explanation for the title of this book. Apparently it comes from a verse of Leonard Cohen's lyrics:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
The imagery fits really well with the contents of the book and I am totally looking forward to the next book in the series.

P.S. On a completely unrelated note I saw How the Light Gets In on NPR's hardcover fiction list with a completely incorrect plot summary. How do these people manage that? Ruth does not disappear in this book... sigh. 

1 comment:

  1. So many things in this review that made me laugh.

    I think I did something similar at a book signing with Lev Grossman a few days ago: criticizing something while he was signing a book for me. I called myself out for being ridiculous while I was doing it but couldn't stop myself.

    Lev's brother laughed and said something to the effect of, "It's cool. That how we knew a book really struck a chord with a reader."

    I learned a few years ago that Cohen began as a published poet before he started masquerading as a vocalist. I've been curious to check him out but have yet to do so.

    The NPR thing is plain old sad. I can only hope those people aren't in paid positions...