Tuesday, August 25, 2020
All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
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!