The Long Way Home leaves Three Pines for Toronto, Paris, Scotland and finally a remote stretch of the St. Lawrence River where the search is on for Clara's missing husband, artist Peter Morrow. I found the plotline in this one a little weak, it didn't hold my interest as strongly as some of the others did... regardless, still worth the read. Although Gamache has now retired from active duty and has moved to Three Pines to enjoy a quieter life, he obviously has not fully given up his "former life and love" and is willing to help out Beauvoir and the others solve the mysterious disappearance. Penny obviously has a great understanding of the art world, as she conveys how art is created and how various people react to it. (I am still contemplating the upside down photo on the cover..,am I missing something?)
The Nature of the Beast returns to Three Pines where there is a dark cloud of evil lurking. In fact this is likely the "darkest" story in the series, with not only the murder of a child but what seems to be a serial killer, not to mention draft dodgers and war criminals, arms dealers and government corruption. I was surprised to learn at the end that the character Gerald Bull (an engineer who developed long range artillery) and "the beast" were real. I don't want to give away too much of this superbly crafted storyline, suffice it to say this is likely some of Penny's best writing. This story will no doubt lead you to reading further on the My Lai massacre (South Vietnam, 1968) as it did me, for I was too young at the time to understand much of what was happening with the Vietnam war.
|photo from book jacket|
The worst part about finishing a book is having to find another that is just as good or better than the last.