23 October 2010

REVIEW: Bury Your Dead by L. Penny

Author:  L. Penny
Genre / Pages:  Fiction, Mystery / 371
Publication: Sphere, 2010
Rating:  TOP shelf 
Source:  Chapters Indigo
lj's plot in one pot: After a mysterious and fatal police raid, Armand Gamache takes refuge in Quebec City during Carnaval.  He becomes involved in a murder investigation of someone looking to dig up the past (literally).  He too, wants to dig up the past and sends Inspector Beauvoir back to Three Pines to take another look at the murder of the Hermit (from book 5 in the series).

Okay, okay, so that wasn't really one sentence, but the book is so amazing, I didn't want to leave anything out.  As stated, the book takes place in the beautiful, historic Quebec City.  I have to go back there, because in my mind, it represents trying (unsuccessfully) to communicate and being charged double for a haircut.  That being said, Penny's description of the city makes a person long to see the history in person.  

I was a little disappointed that more of the story didn't take place in Three Pines (as I really come to love this fictional town), but she does such a fantastic job of describing Quebec, that I forgave her for moving to the big city.

The plot of this story was moving and tragic.  Having myself been recuperating from a collision, I found a lot of the passages dealing with pain (physical and emotional) very hard to read.  The author is so on point, so in touch with humanity, that I felt like she was writing to me - especially when Beauvoir reveals that even the most well-intentioned sympathy can often feel like pity to the injured person.
I really don't want to be giving plot away, any more than I already have, but this book is simply fantastic and even if you haven't read the others (there are 5 previous books), you must read this one, and then perhaps you too will be sucked into the world of Three Pines and Chief Inspector Gamache.
"Instead he stopped and slowly straightening he looked right at Gamache.  He stated for ten seconds or more, which, when eating a chocolate cake isn't much, but when staring, is." p.29
 "And when the Quebec sun set on a Quebec forest, monsters crawled out of the shadows.  Not the B-grade movie monsters, not zombies or mummies or space aliens.  But older, subtler wraiths.  Invisible creatures that rode in on plunging temperatures.  Death by freezing, death by exposure, death by going even a foot off the path, and getting lost.  Death, ancient and patient, waited in Quebec forests for the sun to set." p.74

Want more info?  You know you do!  Click here for the author's website.

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