The 16th novel by bestselling author Louise Penny finds Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec investigating a sinister plot in the City of Light. On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand's godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man's life.
As always, Penny excels at creating a meticulously constructed mystery. In the process, she reveals unvarnished truths about the hidden workings of the world—as well as a nuanced portrait of the Gamache clan—warts and all ... Plus, her evocation of the City of Light is as masterful as the increased role she ever so subtly allots to Reine-Marie. The librarian’s research skills are crucial to untying the intricate knot at the mystery’s core. As ever, Penny’s deft touch with plotting only enhances her in-depth character studies ... Penny is very special and All the Devils Are Here is an exceptional addition to the Gamache series.
The thrill ride, unusually action packed for a Penny book, begins with sweet reunions ... Most satisfying, though, is the pivotal role played throughout by Reine-Marie Gamache, a retired archivist, who turns out to be not only smart and skilled but also delightfully sneaky ... Despite the growing jeopardy to pretty much everyone, the book’s atmosphere isn’t relentlessly dark, though. Penny excels at creating a sense of place, and she brings Paris to life with scenes small (a favorite garden at the Rodin museum) and big (the top of the Eiffel Tower) ... As satisfying as it is, All the Devils Are Here seems likely to be the most polarizing in the series. Some faithful readers wait eagerly to revisit Three Pines with every new book and could well be disappointed to find themselves spending time in the City of Light instead.
Penny excels at character exploration. She delves below the skin, then deeper into the heart, mind, and soul, through the layers from loftiest to basest humanity. Ultimately we know the main characters’ pains and dreams and needs so intimately that some of us feel the need to take a shower afterward ... The author’s evocation of character makes us care about them in spite of ourselves ... The plot progresses in clean, expressive, even masterful writing that draws you along eagerly. But then...the sentences get shorter. And shorter. And start repeating points. To hammer them in. Make sure you get it. Reinforce effect. Emphasize agony. Or suspense ... Then the style reverts back and the story sails on. It includes side trips into culinary and artistic magnificence, French history, Parisian ambiance. These, combined with the character delving, give the thriller plot a literary quality. The writing is rich to the point of succulence sometimes. But if you’re more interested in action than cuisine, then some sections get laborious enough to inspire skimming to the next advancement ... Nevertheless, the combined mystery—tension—stakes—people—place are drawn so well that it’s nigh impossible to put the book down ... a deep dive into human psychology and the eternal battle between good and evil. You might need scuba tanks and an armor-plated wet suit for the plunge into such dangerous, emotional depths!