All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
Gamache and family face sinister forces in the City of Light. Paris and the French police play a strong part in this nail-biting thriller/mystery
Louise Penny has the uncanny ability to create suspenseful tension within a cozy environment that appeals to the softer side of the reader while ratcheting up the nervous jitters all the while. Her estimable protagonist Armand Gamache is an enigmatic figure: unfailingly just, steadfastly courageous and lovingly tender with his family and friends. He is also doggedly stubborn about seeking truth despite the damage it may inflict on himself or his loved ones. How he balances this self-harm and peril to his circle is humbling to behold. Would that we all were as moral and dedicated to right.
Here we have the whole family transplanted to Paris and away from their comfortable smalltown cocoon to face a sinister conspiracy of felonious corporate villains who murder without compunction. Who to trust, of whom should we be suspicious, who has changed sides, are our lifelong acquaintances what they have always appeared to be? All questions that are batted about and answered, maybe. Maybe not. That’s the magic of Penny’s style. We never truly know what’s going on until she decides to reveal the outcome. It’s murder mystery on steroids.
We learn more about Gamache and his immediate family, but also about longtime friends and colleagues. With each new book the full story gains detail and richness. The author does not allow the characters of plots to become stale or predictable. Births, deaths, threats and resolutions all come with equal wonder to the reader. The Parisian street scenes, bistros, bars and museums all contribute to the charm and atmosphere in a most satisfying way.
For longtime fans of Penny’s work or those just discovering these outstanding whodunits, this (or any of her many volumes) will not disappoint. She should be high on everyone’s list.