Tuesday, August 25, 2020

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

September 1 is release date for Louise Penny's All the Devils Are Here, my favorite of all sixteen of the books in the Armand Gamache series. She's had others that advanced the storyline, or brought a climatic resolution to long-brewing situations. This one, though, is a novel of the heart, of family and love. All the Devils Are Here finally reveals Armand's backstory. We've seen glimpses here and there. We know of the tragic loss of his parents. This novel tells what happened after his parents died. It delves into the story of his relationship with his son, Daniel. It tells of his courtship of Reine-Marie. Penny brings all of Armand Gamache's beloved family together in Paris, the City of Light, the City of Love. Light and love have long been strong symbols in Penny's books. They shine strong in this beautiful masterpiece.

The gardens of Musee Rodin have been beloved by Armand and his godfather Stephen Horowitz since Armand was a boy who visited Horowitz every year after his parents died. His godfather was the one who made sure Gamache was steeped in art and history, saw beauty in gardens, knew the stories behind art. This time, on their walk, Stephen quotes The Tempest, "All the devils are here. And hell is empty." At that moment, though, Armand doesn't hear the warning. He's only aware of the contentment, the light in the garden. He doesn't see the darkness coming.

Gamache's entire family is in Paris. He and Reine-Marie own a small apartment there, left to him by his grandmother, Zora. Daniel and Roslyn, along with their two daughters, live in Paris. Jean-Guy Beauvoir, once Gamache's second-in-command, is now working for a multinational engineering firm headquartered in Paris. Because Annie, Jean-Guy's wife and daughter to the Gamaches, is pregnant and due to deliver at any time, the entire family has gathered. All the adults meet for dinner, but  Stephen seems restless, checking his phone constantly. After dinner, they join the Parisians in a leisurely stroll, enjoying the evening and the beginning of the light show at the Eiffel Tower. As Gamache turns to point it out to Stephen, a van runs down the ninety-three-year-old man. And, Gamache knows it's no accident.

When Armand and Reine-Marie can't convince a police officer that the hit-and-run wasn't an accident, Gamache calls an old friend, Claude Dussault, Prefect of Police in Paris. Of course, Dussault knows of Horowitz, a billionaire who has fought against corrupt businesses for his entire career. But, he doesn't believe it's more than a hit-and-run, either. So, Gamache and Reine-Marie set out to find out why someone would want to kill the old man. They start at Horowitz' apartment, a scene that sets the entire family on a search for answers.

Everyone in Gamache's family has an expertise that enables them to contribute to the investigation. As they dig deeper, the search takes them all over Paris, revealing the deepest fears of some, a fear of heights, a fear of closed-in places. But, the search also uncovers family fears and truths that rock Armand and Reine-Marie. Even they never saw some of the secrets that are revealed.

All the Devils Are Here is a treasure. Family and love is an essential element in this story, and there are moments that stop a reader's heart with anxiety and fear. While Armand Gamache deals with crimes and violence on a grand scale, Louise Penny always brings the story back home to family, whether of birth or of love. Gamache's extended family, his wife, children, grandchildren, his godfather, and the people of Three Pines offer love. He builds and thrives on that love.

Yes, it may seem as if "All the devils are here", but so are "The better angels of our nature." Louise Penny, who always deals in the duality of light and darkness, offers both devils and angels in her latest work.

Louise Penny's website is www.louisepenny.com

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny. Minotaur Books, 2020. ISBN 9781250145239 (hardcover), 439p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.

NOTE: The cover is lovely, but, oh,  MaryAnna Coleman's endpapers are stunning! Check them out!


Linda C said...

Wonderful review! Can't wait to read it.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Linda. It's a beautiful book. And, the review had no spoilers!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

And you've done it again! A WONDERFUL review, Lesa. Hard to write a review about a Louise Penny book without spoilers, but you always manage to do it and always get to the very heart of the story. This is my favorite in the series, which is saying something. And the endpapers are stunning. This is a book to treasure. And doesn't it make us want to go back?!

Lesa said...

Oh, it does make me want to go back, Kaye! And, I wouldn't even have to go in the Musee Rodin again, just the gardens to see The Burghers of Calais. Of course, I know how much The Thinker means to you (wink).

Thank you. It is difficult to write a review of her books without giving anything away. But, I did hear back from Louise, and she loved the review. I'm happy with it. Quite often I want to tinker with it. I don't think so, this time. You're right. The book is one to treasure.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

you made me laugh.

Lesa said...

I love a day when I can make you laugh, Kaye.

Kay said...

What a fabulous review, Lesa! Truly. I am so excited to get to read this book and now I'm even more over-the-top excited. I've ordered mine from Murder By the Book in Houston. After reading Louise's last newsletter, she pointed out a few virtual events that she'll be taking part in - and an invitation to one comes with my purchase at this great bookstore. Cannot wait.

Lesa said...

The virtual event should be terrific, Kay. And, the book? Just wonderful. And, I didn't give anything away except for the fact that I love the sculpture and story of The Burghers of Calais.

Gram said...

I love her books. I will wait for the large print to come out and then I can savor it.

Lesa said...

It's worth savoring, Gram, every word.

Bonnie K. said...

I'm looking forward to reading this one. I can't wait to get the book.

Lesa said...

I can't wait until all of her readers get a chance to read it, Bonnie.