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A better man
2019
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Summary

"'A Better Man,' with its mix of meteorological suspense, psychological insight and criminal pursuit, is arguably the best book yet in an outstanding, original oeuvre." --Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal

"Enchanting... one of his most ennobling missions." --Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

Catastrophic spring flooding, blistering attacks in the media, and a mysterious disappearance greet Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as he returns to the Sûreté du Québec in the latest novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny.

It's Gamache's first day back as head of the homicide department, a job he temporarily shares with his previous second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Flood waters are rising across the province. In the middle of the turmoil a father approaches Gamache, pleading for help in finding his daughter.

As crisis piles upon crisis, Gamache tries to hold off the encroaching chaos, and realizes the search for Vivienne Godin should be abandoned. But with a daughter of his own, he finds himself developing a profound, and perhaps unwise, empathy for her distraught father.

Increasingly hounded by the question, how would you feel ..., he resumes the search.

As the rivers rise, and the social media onslaught against Gamache becomes crueler, a body is discovered. And in the tumult, mistakes are made.

In the next novel in this "constantly surprising series that deepens and darkens as it evolves" ( New York Times Book Review ), Gamache must face a horrific possibility, and a burning question.

What would you do if your child's killer walked free?

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Booklist Review
Agreeing to a demotion from chief superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, Armand Gamache has returned to his old job as head of homicide, but that's not enough for some of his critics, who launch a vicious Twitter attack against the former chief. Meanwhile, once-in-a-century flooding threatens both the city of Montreal and the entire province, and the new superintendent is loath to take Gamache's advice on how to proceed. There's trouble at home, too, in the idyllic village of Three Pines, where artist Clara's series of miniature paintings is being savaged by critics. And, yes, there is also a murder, this time of a pregnant woman who appears to have been thrown off a bridge by her abusive husband. When the husband is cleared of the crime on a technicality, Gamache and his son-in-law, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, both fathers of daughters, and their colleague Isabelle Lacoste must confront their own rage against the system and the abuser, who has slipped through their grasp. With a line from Moby-Dick reverberating in Gamache's mind ""All truth with malice in it"" the three investigators look beyond the surface to the ""subtle demons of life and thought."" The appeal of this series and especially of Gamache himself has always been Penny's ability to show her hero moving from the tangible, brutal facts of murder to the emotions within, the stories in the blood. There are multiple stories, often contradictory, to be found in the many-tentacled web of human tragedy and suffering that Gamache teases to the surface in this moving exploration of ties that both bind and destroy.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The buzz has begun months in advance for the book that will be on every mystery fan's late-summer must-read list.--Bill Ott Copyright 2019 Booklist
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