Saturday, 12 October 2019

A Better Man

Finished October 1
A Better Man by Louise Penny,

As the book begins, Armand Gamache is back in the role of Head of Homicide, but he overlaps for a couple of weeks with Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and that is just one of the adjustments that must be made. The relatively recently-added homicide agent, Lysette Cloutier brings the squad's attention to a missing person, and Armand agrees to investigate the case with her. The missing woman Vivienne Godin, has been a victim of domestic abuse by her husband in the past, but charges were never laid, and the two were still living together when she went missing. Her father says that she called him, saying that she was leaving, but not wanting his presence. As Armand digs deeper into the case, more information and characters come along, including an ex-CFL player turned police officer.
Back home in Three Pines, Clara is going through a bad time. Her latest series of work, a collection of miniatures has been panned, with the result that her entire career's work is called into question. Her friends try to offer support, but not always with the results they expect.
In the larger world, Quebec is facing severe flooding, and decisions must be made on how to deal with the rising water, the threat of rivers overflowing their banks, and the aging dams upriver. Armand is brought into the consultation, but politics play a role in whether he will be listened to or not. There is also a larger reputation issue going on for him online, with rumours and misinformation being widely shared and emotions becoming heated.
All the usual characters are back: Ruth, Myrna, Billy Williams, and Annie among them. There are also new characters from the ex-CFL player to a New York art critic than bring new storylines with them. As enjoyable as ever.

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