AN AUGUST 2017 LibraryReads PICK
When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.Read more...
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AN AUGUST 2017 LibraryReads PICK
When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.
From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Surete du Quebec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.
But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.
Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montreal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache's own conscience is standing in judgment.
In Glass Houses, her latest utterly gripping audiobook, number-one New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny shatters the conventions of the crime novel to explore what Gandhi called the court of conscience. A court that supersedes all others.
Audio: The lessons of Vietnam
Geoffrey C. Ward wrote the script for “The Vietnam War,” Ken Burns’ extraordinary documentary that aired on PBS this fall. As he’s done so successfully with previous Burns documentaries, Ward also co-wrote its companion volume, The Vietnam War: An Intimate History, read here by Burns himself. The aim is to make some sense of this turbulent chapter of our past, overseen by five presidents, and to hear from all sides—Americans who supported the war, Americans who vehemently opposed it, North Vietnamese and South Vietnamese fighters and witnesses. We’ve been admonished by many that “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Perhaps having this clear explication of what happened will help us understand what led to the deaths of 58,000 Americans and more than 3 million Vietnamese, North and South, and to the most divisive period in our history since the Civil War, with scars still visible today. May we not be “doomed” to repetition.
“I need you,” is all the text says. But Isa doesn’t need further explanation. She knows Kate sent the message, knows what she has to do and knows that Fatima and Thea will react in exactly the same way. They’d gotten the same text 17 years earlier, when all four of them were students at Salten House, a girls boarding school. An inseparable clique, spending every weekend in the ramshackle mill where Kate lived with her “step-brother” and her loving, easygoing artist father, the foursome had been drawn into a dark lie by that call for help—one that changed their lives and sent them scattering. Isa, now a lawyer with a 6-month-old baby girl, narrates The Lying Game, Ruth Ware’s third bestselling thriller, as it moves seamlessly in time from now to then, slowly letting the pieces fall into place, past and present converging in a terrifying denouement. Imogen Church’s fine performance gives each character in this riveting tale an authentic, nuanced voice.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
Glass Houses is Louise Penny’s 13th Inspector Gamache novel, and she—and he—are at their best. In the stifling summer heat of a Montréal courtroom, Gamache, now superintendent of the Sûreté du Quebec, is being grilled by the chief crown prosecutor. The two should be on the same side, but something is off. That something is revealed in flashbacks to the previous fall, when a murder is presaged by the appearance of a masked man cloaked in black on the village green in Three Pines. The sinister figure turns out to be a cobrador, a relic of medieval Spain who silently follows a person who owes a debt, monetary or moral, until he pays up. Why a cobrador would be in Gamache’s serene, out-of-the-way village takes us through the twists and turns of Penny’s deftly interlaced plots, involving opioid-trafficking cartels, the survival of the Sûreté and what Gamache will do to destroy one and save the other. Robert Bathurst narrates perfectly, as always, and then engages Penny in a fascinating discussion of her creative process and her deeply held belief in conscience, good and evil. Their conversation offers an intriguing bonus to this intriguingly told story.