Top positive review
Cold, Dark and Disturbing
13 March 2017
This is the second novel in Inspector Armand Gamache, and revolves around two Christmas deaths: one of a vagabond, bag woman, and another of a resident of Three Pines, the mythical, happy village that Louise Penny has created in the middle of Quebec. There is also the Arnot case ghost which is lurking in the shadows.
Armand Gamache solves both the cases, with his usual elan, sensitivity, humanity, empathy and personal courage. The solution, as usual, is unexpected and clever - though the reader can place some of the pieces early on. It is also rather tragic.
Louise Penny does a skilful job of mixing extremes: the desolate, haunting beauty of Quebec, the warmth and humanity of Three Pines villagers, the chilling ugliness of the victim's psyche, and the companionship of a white Christmas. She also uncovers a darker parochialism through comments on the 'madness' of 'Anglos', on the 'darkness' of Czech psyche, on the 'craziness' of Hindu philosophy.
All in all, a good and gripping read.