How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise PennyHow the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny

How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

byLouise Penny

Hardcover | August 27, 2013

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The #1 New York Times Bestseller

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen

Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it's a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn't spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna's reluctance to reveal her friend's name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo.

As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Increasingly, he is not only investigating the disappearance of Myrna's friend but also seeking a safe place for himself and his still-loyal colleagues. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines, and at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?
How the Light Gets In is the ninth Chief Inspector Gamache Novel from Louise Penny.
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Mystery/Thriller Books of 2013
One of The Washington Post's Top 10 Books of the Year
An NPR Best Book of 2013

LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (six times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions ...
Title:How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 9.38 × 6.43 × 1.38 inPublished:August 27, 2013Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312655479

ISBN - 13:9780312655471

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good suspense and deeply caring stort Excellent characters that grow on you just want to read the next book right away. Don't want to say much more . Read the book and enjoy
Date published: 2015-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Never a disappointment Another good story. If you enjoy the previous stories of Inspector Gamache as I have, you will enjoy this one too.
Date published: 2015-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the Light Gets In The Inspector Gamache series has become a favourite. As a Canuck, though not a Quebecois, it's nice to read well-written stories that take place in our northern climes. Great characters, great plots. Would love to visit Three Pines and have a coffee in the bistro, if only it existed - alas.
Date published: 2015-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the light gets in... Breathless. I loved this book (as I have loved all of Louise Penny's novels. Will read it again - and I don't read books twice often.
Date published: 2015-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Hero! What can I say, I've always been a huge fan of Inspector Gamache and How the Lights Gets In made me remember that he's my hero!
Date published: 2015-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the Light Gets In Great book and great series. I love the village of Three Pines.
Date published: 2014-09-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from How the Light Gets In Certainly the most suspenseful to date. Cleverly woven, as usual.
Date published: 2014-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the light gets in I love the characters in this series. The story lines are set up so well. I can't wait to read the next book.
Date published: 2014-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from How the light gets in. This is the first time I have read this authors work. Enjoyed it immensely and will certainly read more of her work.
Date published: 2014-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the light gets in Loved it! I Laughed I cried. I couldn't put it down. Perfect summer read.
Date published: 2014-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the Light Gets In I 've evaluated as a 5 ...I could've also evaluated as a 1. I m an English canadian born in the west. I moved to Quebec in 1975. It hurts deeply to find you an author I admire for the depth of her perception of human reality, creating a simplistic relationship between the quebecois desire for sovereignty and such ugly terrorism. Will you recreate the balance by making a simplistic relationship between english Quebecers desire to preserve federalism at any cost and terrorism??? It's not simple, as a popular author this book subtly reinforces the connection between sovereignty for the quebecois and terrorism! I feel used, abused, by someone I perceived as having a more objective view of our so very complex reality. I guess I hope you'll respond so I know what you really think and whether or not I'm projecting something you didn't intend to infer Merci de bien vouloir me lire et m'écouter. Kate Bulman,
Date published: 2014-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the Light gets on Have read most of Penny's books and this is my favourite to date. More complex, rich in intrigue and our favourite characters enjoyed for their weaknesses and their strengths. The end is perhaps a little too perfect but consistent and reassuring.
Date published: 2014-06-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the light gets in This was her best book so far. I could not put it down.
Date published: 2014-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the light gets in Loved it ! After the 9th book these characters really become your friends. I dont want this series to end !
Date published: 2014-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the Light Gets In Best Gamache novel yet!
Date published: 2014-03-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from How the light gets in Only a woman with love in her heart can write this beautiful novel. Characters will live in our memories for a long long time.
Date published: 2014-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the light gets in Only a woman with love in her heart can write this beautiful novel. Characters will live in our memories for a long long time.
Date published: 2014-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the light gets in This series is very good, I've read every book, I'm two thirds into this one and can't wait to get to the end.At the same time I don't want it to end
Date published: 2014-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the light gets in As always, Louise Penny's work is stupendous. Her characters and their struggles are deeply real - her ability to see beauty in the humble and everyday is gorgeously transmitted through her choice of language. Reading Louise Penny should be on everyone's bucket list.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How the light gets in I have been enjoying this series immensely, Penny's characters are wonderfully human and deceptively complex. Her prose is luminous. Her Inspector Gamache inspires you and breaks your heart-he is never manipulative or sentimentalized--Penny is such a thoughtful writer who takes the time to get to know her characters and to craft their stories with depth, humour and panache. This latest novel in the series is so satisfying that I've read it twice. You really need to read all of the books in order to fully appreciate the story arc, but How the Light Gets In could also stand on its own as a story of community, loss, redemption and mature love. Taking up just a few months after the devastating ending of the previous novel, Gamache is once again trekking off to Three Pines in the townships in answer to a call from a friend. The mystery that at first parallels and then takes back seat to the primary story that has been building since we are first introduced to Gamache in "Still Life" was a wee bit disappointing, as I deduced it halfway through (and that is unusual for this reader). Still, considering the distractions Gamache is dealing with, it is not surprising that he is slower than usual to make a connection. On the whole, this is an Edgar-nominated novel that couldn't be more of a treat to read.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A "Must" Read This Winter ! A fabulous read! Louise Penny at her best in this latest volume with Inspector Gamache! Set in picturesque Quebec against the political backdrop of corruption in the construction industry, you will read this all in one sitting!
Date published: 2014-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book of the Series (In my opinion) I really liked this book and finished it in 2 days. In my opinion its the best book of the series because it actually seems to tie up some of the Surete problems which have just been passing from book to book waiting to come to a climax. I appreciated Louise Penny's ability to bring some resolve to Inspector Gamache's story but at the same time found the Ouelette murder anti-climactic. Also, Jean-Guy's character played well on all our natural hopes for his moral redeption and reunion with Inspector Gamache.
Date published: 2014-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A wonderful book This book simply must be read - I finished it in one day because I couldn't stop reading it! I can't say enough good things about this book.
Date published: 2013-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Louise Penny's writing is magical! 'The Light Gets In' is the culmination of the Inspector Gamache series and does not disappoint. Louise Penny leads you to the height of suspense and intrigue and finally answers all of the questions that were left lingering in the books leading up to this one. As always, her descriptive writing seems almost magical and transports you to a place of wonderment and awe. It makes me see this beautiful country for what it really is and makes me proud to be a Canadian. The characters are riveting, and Inspector Gamache, as always, the epitome of reason and logic and warmth and kindness. It inspires the human spirit. The book had me in its grip from the first page until the very last and left me with a smile on my face. Truly a wonderful read.
Date published: 2013-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best! I love Louise Penny's books and being set in Quebec makes them even better since I can picture the area. This particular book has a really topical twist at the end which just made my day. No wonder Louise Penny has won so many awards and beein labelled the Agatha Christy of N. America. If you enjoy mystery and detective stories, this is for you. My grandson has gone off with it having seen the author on TV!
Date published: 2013-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent I was waiting with anticipation to find out of Gamache and Jean Luc would reunite. So glad the team were still together to back Gamache. I hope this is not the end of the series, would love to see Jean Guy continue in Gamaches footsteps etc.
Date published: 2013-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant series I (and a lot of other readers and listeners) have been eagerly awaiting Louise Penny's latest mystery - How the Light Gets In. This is the ninth entry in this absolutely brilliant series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. Gamache is an unfailingly polite, soft spoken, caring, thoughtful , principled man. He is also dedicated - to his family, his friends and solving his cases. But he is reviled by his boss. The reasons for this have been alluded to from the beginning, increasing in intensity through each book, culminating in a cliff-hanger in book eight - The Beautiful Mystery. Penny has masterfully built this tension and animosity through each book. In How the Light Gets In, Penny finally gives us answers in a stunning finale, that mirrors real life. Three Pines is the fictional small Quebec town that features prominently in Penny's books. The inhabitants of the town are rich and varied and have become as near and dear to my heart as Gamache himself. Their personal lives are as much a draw as the mystery in each book. The crime portion of this book also takes inspiration from real life. The last surviving member of the Ouellet quintuplets is found murdered in her home after failing to arrive for a scheduled visit to Three Pines. Canadians of course will recognize the story of the Dionne quintuplets. Although Penny provides enough background so that each book could be read as a stand alone, I encourage you to pick up the first book - Still Life. You'll fall in love with Gamache and the village of Three Pines - and be very glad that there are eight more (so far!) books to go. I cannot wait to see what's in store for book number ten. I've actually chosen to listen to the last few books. Ralph Cosham is the reader and he completely embodies the mental image I had created for this wonderful character. The low, somewhat gravelly tone of Cosham's voice and his well modulated pace just draws you further into the story. His French accent and pronunciation is well done and believable. The voices he provides for other characters are just as well done. The cranky old poet Ruth is a favourite of mine. Actually, all the residents of Three Pines come alive with his interpretations, and make me wish I could visit to Three Pines and chat with them. At the end of the last disc, there was an unexpected bonus - an discussion between Cosham and Penny. It turns out that Ralph doesn't read the books before he narrates for the audio version. He prefers to discover the story as he reads. Can you imagine keeping all the voices straight and reading through without preparation? How the Light Gets In was an absolute joy to listen to. Highly, highly recommended. "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." Leonard Cohen
Date published: 2013-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Spectacular in every way, characters, plot, pacing. This is my new favourite of Louise Penny's novels.
Date published: 2013-09-05

Read from the Book

ONE Audrey Villeneuve knew what she imagined could not possibly be happening. She was a grown woman and could tell the difference between real and imagined. But each morning as she drove through the Ville-Marie Tunnel from her home in east-end Montréal to her office, she could see it. Hear it. Feel it happening.The first sign would be a blast of red as drivers hit their brakes. The truck ahead would veer, skidding, slamming sideways. An unholy shriek would bounce off the hard walls and race toward her, all-consuming. Horns, alarms, brakes, people screaming.And then Audrey would see huge blocks of concrete peeling from the ceiling, dragging with them a tangle of metal veins and sinews. The tunnel spilling its guts. That held the structure up. That held the city of Montréal up.Until today.And then, and then … the oval of daylight, the end of the tunnel, would close. Like an eye.And then, darkness.And the long, long wait. To be crushed.Every morning and each evening, as Audrey Villeneuve drove through the engineering marvel that linked one end of the city with another, it collapsed.“It’ll be all right.” She laughed to herself. At herself. “It’ll be all right.”She cranked the music louder and sang loudly to herself.But still her hands on the steering wheel tingled, then grew cold and numb, and her heart pounded. A wave of slush whacked her windshield. The wipers swept it away, leaving a half moon of streaky visibility.Traffic slowed. Then stopped.Audrey’s eyes widened. This had never happened before. Moving through the tunnel was bad enough. Stopped in it was inconceivable. Her brain froze.“It’ll be all right.” But she couldn’t hear her voice, so thin was her breath and so great the howl in her head.She locked the door with her elbow. Not to keep anyone out, but to keep herself in. A feeble attempt to stop herself from flinging open the door and running, running, screaming out of the tunnel. She gripped the wheel. Tight. Tight. Tighter.Her eyes darted to the slush-spattered wall, the ceiling, the far wall.The cracks.Dear God, cracks.And the half-hearted attempts to plaster over them.Not to repair them, but hide them.That doesn’t mean the tunnel will collapse, she assured herself.But the cracks widened and consumed her reason. All the monsters of her imagination became real and were squeezing out, reaching out, from between those faults.She turned the music off so she could concentrate, hyper-vigilant. The car ahead inched forward. Then stopped.“Go, go, go,” she pleaded.But Audrey Villeneuve was trapped and terrified. With nowhere to go. The tunnel was bad, but what waited for her in the gray December sunlight was worse.For days, weeks, months—even years, if she was being honest—she’d known. Monsters existed. They lived in cracks in tunnels, and in dark alleys, and in neat row houses. They had names like Frankenstein and Dracula, and Martha and David and Pierre. And you almost always found them where you least expected.She glanced into the rearview mirror and met two frightened brown eyes. But in the reflection she also saw her salvation. Her silver bullet. Her wooden stake.It was a pretty party dress.She’d spent hours sewing it. Time she could have, should have, spent wrapping Christmas gifts for her husband and daughters. Time she could have, should have, spent baking shortbread stars and angels and jolly snowmen, with candy buttons and gumdrop eyes.Instead, each night when she got home Audrey Villeneuve went straight to the basement, to her sewing machine. Hunched over the emerald green fabric, she’d stitched into that party dress all her hopes.She would put it on that night, walk into the Christmas party, scan the room and feel surprised eyes on her. In her clingy green dress, frumpy Audrey Villeneuve would be the center of attention. But it wasn’t made to get everyone’s attention. Just one man’s. And when she had that, she could relax.She’d hand over her burden, and get on with life. The faults would be repaired. The fissures closed. The monsters returned to where they belonged.The exit to the Champlain Bridge was in sight. It wasn’t what she normally took, but this was far from a normal day.Audrey put on her signal and saw the man in the next car give her a sour look. Where did she think she was going? They were all trapped. But Audrey Villeneuve was more trapped. The man gave her the finger, but she took no offense. In Québec it was as casual as a friendly wave. If the Québécois ever designed a car, the hood ornament would be a middle finger. Normally she’d give him a “friendly wave” back, but she had other things on her mind.She edged into the far right lane, toward the exit to the bridge. The wall of the tunnel was just feet away. She could have stuck her fist into one of the holes.“It’ll be all right.”Audrey Villeneuve knew it would be many things, but all right probably wasn’t one of them. Copyright © 2013 by Three Pines Creations, Inc.

Editorial Reviews

"A magnificent writer who deftly and sympathetically explores the dark desires, pains and joys of the human heart in each immaculately-crafted tale she writes." -Cleveland Plain Dealer on How the Light Gets In"Masterful...Once again, Penny impressively balances personal courage and faith with heartbreaking choices and monstrous evil." -Publishers Weekly (starred) on How the Light Gets In"Penny has always used setting to support theme brilliantly, but here she outdoes herself, contrasting light and dark, innocence and experience, goodness and evil both in the emotional lives of her characters and in the way those characters leave their footprints on the landscape. Another bravura performance from an author who has reinvented the village mystery as profoundly as Dashiell Hammett transformed the detective novel." -Booklist (starred) on How the Light Gets In"Highly recommended for mystery lovers, readers who enjoy character-driven mysteries, and those who like seeing good triumph and evil get its just desserts." -Library Journal (starred) on How the Light Gets In"Three Pines, with its quirky tenants, and luminous insights into trust and friendship...will hook readers and keep them hooked." -Kirkus Reviews (starred) on How the Light Gets In"Penny writes with grace and intelligence about complex people struggling with complex emotions. But her great gift is her uncanny ability to describe what might seem indescribable - the play of light, the sound of celestial music, a quiet sense of peace." -New York Times Book Review"Gorgeous writing.fresh and fully realized." -The Washington Post on The Beautiful Mystery"Penny proves again that she is one of our finest writers." -People on A Trick of the Light