A GREAT RECKONING by Louise Penny
Kirkus Star

A GREAT RECKONING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Within a police force, some members must be trained in the science, and art, of solving murders. But does this training create people highly capable of committing them?

In Penny’s 12th Gamache novel, the former chief inspector takes up a new post. He’s not back to active investigating—not after finally having the chance to heal in the Québécois village of Three Pines. But he can’t pass up the chance to complete his yearslong fight to end corruption within the Sûreté. By taking the job as commander of the Sûreté Academy, he can clean the rot from its wealthiest source—the impressionable minds of cadet trainees. But Gamache makes a questionable decision in choosing to fight fire with fire. He decides to keep the most corrupt staff member, Serge “the Duke” Leduc, the former No. 2 of the Academy. Gamache’s choices verge on madness when he announces he will also bring on Michel Brébeuf—the original domino to fall within the Sûreté—as an example of how corruption can ruin you. In his lessons, Gamache invites his cadets to internalize these mottos: “Don't trust everything you think”—words for bettering their minds and investigative skills—as well as “a man's foes shall be they of his own household,” from Matthew 10:36—words of warning for what they may face ahead. These lessons become all too relevant when the Duke is found murdered and it’s clear the murderer is one of them. And then a copy of an old map is found at the crime scene, the same map Gamache is using as an exercise with four cadets he has brought under his wing and into his home (one lost soul in particular, freshman Amelia Choquet). Gamache is forced to accept that Leduc’s grip on the Academy is stronger and more suffocating than he thought possible. Is the household he has vowed to protect more unsafe than ever before? Young, learning minds are precious things, and Penny is here to make us aware of the evil out there, eager for a chance to mold—and poison—them.

A chilling story that's also filled with hope—a beloved Penny trademark.

Pub Date: Aug. 30th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-250-02213-4
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2016




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