Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache,
former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has
found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings
he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in
Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead,"
his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the
While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara
tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come
home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of
their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having
finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the
thought of leaving Three Pines. "There's power enough in Heaven,"
he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to
cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.
Together with his former second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir,
and Myrna Landers, they journey deeper and deeper into Québec. And
deeper and deeper into the soul of Peter Morrow. A man so desperate
to recapture his fame as an artist, he would sell that soul. And
may have. The journey takes them further and further from Three
Pines, to the very mouth of the great St. Lawrence river. To
an area so desolate, so damned, the first mariners called it the
land God gave to Cain. And there they discover the terrible damage
done by a sin-sick soul.