The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise PennyThe Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny

The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

byLouise Penny

Hardcover | August 26, 2014

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A #1 New York Times Bestseller, Louise Penny's The Long Way Home is an intriguing Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.

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 wounded whole."

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.

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:The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 9.49 × 6.37 × 1.24 inPublished:August 26, 2014Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250022061

ISBN - 13:9781250022066

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great story I found myself engrossed in the book after just a few pages and wish it had gone on longer.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from a quiet slow mystery ""murder is done by weak people or strong people in a moment of weakness"" a very interesting quote from the book. I found this book to be quite slow to the point where you almost give up on it as your mind wanders a bit while reading. I think its essential to have read at least the 3 books prior to this one to really fully enjoy the characters as this book is quite an introspective character development. The drama and events really only get going by about page 300, and while the ending is satisfying enough this book really wasn't the best of the series. On another note the dust-jacket on the hardcover is a really nice linen feel, and the artwork will bring meaning to you once you have read the book. I will still recommend and read future books by this author.
Date published: 2016-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Very happy with this purchase, a great book. Like the Canadian flavor of these books. Bought one for a Christmas gift and two for myself. All three were hard to put down and kept you involved. Would recommend to anyone.
Date published: 2015-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slower paced..... I can't think of a more anticipated next book for mystery fans than The Long Way Home by Louise Penny. This is one of my absolute all time favourite series. Penny's lead character is Quebec S?ret? Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. The crimes and mysteries are always intricate, well plotted and well written. There was a subtle secondary plot that began early on in the first nine books and it exponentially grew through the first nine books, culminating in a startling conclusion in How the Light Gets In. Where could this series go after such a ending? Spoilers ahead..... Many questions that were left at the end of book nine have been answered in the opening pages of The Long Way Home. I felt a little cheated that the resolutions surround Gamache's prot?g? Jean Guy had taken place without me and that life has moved on without the reader being involved. Gamache has retired to the small village of Three Pines, an oft used setting for Penny. Over the course of the series, readers have come to know and love the residents. Some more than others. Clara and Peter are artists who make their home in the village. A year ago, Peter left, promising to Clara to return in a year to see if their marriage could be repaired. The year has come and gone with no word from him. Clara enlists Gamache in her search to find him. So, we have a case that again utilizes Gamache's skills, albeit in an unofficial capacity. The path and the clues to Peter's whereabouts are found in a series of paintings and the world of art. Penny does an admiral job bringing her visual plotline to the written page, but I did find it a bit esoteric and slower paced than I would have liked. And okay, by the end I was tired of hearing about the upside down smile painting. Jean-Guy, after having factored so heavily in previous novels, has been relegated to the sidelines. There were some odd side stories - notably the androgynous niece/nephew Bean. As a colleague and I discussed one morning, The Long Way Home almost seems like a character study with the mystery of Peter's whereabouts as the secondary plotline. But my real problem was with Clara. The residents of Three Pines have become quite 'real' over the course of the series. I quite like most of them - notably Ruth and her duck Rosa. But here's my problem - I was never taken with Clara to start with and throughout The Long Way Home my dislike of her steadily grew. This is a testament to Penny's writing skills, but it made it harder to become fully engaged in the case and its outcome. I've chosen to listen to the last three or four books in this series. Ralph Cosham is the reader. His wonderfully paced, rich, sonorous voice completely embodies Gamache for me. 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. Sadly Ralph Cosham passed away this past September. I enjoyed The Long Way Home, but didn't love this one. Penny is at work on a new novel - and it will be one I'll definitely read. I'm curious as to where she will take Gamache et al next.
Date published: 2014-11-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A gently told tale Like all Penny mysteries this one is set in the fictional Three Pines, Quebec. And like all Penny novels, her characters share a deep love, respect and acceptance of each other despite intrusions of murder. I like that Penny's characters have 'moved on' to retirement for Gamache and marriage for Jean Guy. Penny does not write gritty, grizzly stuff which is why I love her writing; it's like pulling up a rocking chair by the fire and while the Canadian winter roars outside.
Date published: 2014-11-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a good read it is an intelligent and very readable 'who-dun-it'. I love that it is set in Canada, Quebec. the characters are relatable.
Date published: 2014-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing! Louise Penny's 10th novel does not disappoint. Her characters are engaging (and maturing), her dialogue is superb and the descriptions of the landscape make me want to travel there. Although her previous two books captured my attention more, I would certainly recommend this novel.
Date published: 2014-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Louise Penny did not disappoint I loved this book. I don't think a spoiler alert is needed when I say I have never liked Peter so I was not sure how sympathetic I would be to this book. But all the regulars were there in all their glorious characters and it was lovely to get to know Reine Marie. Interesting twists and I was sent to my maps to find yet more Quebec locations. Yes I would totally recommend to a friend. I have all her books so far, but would only loan to a very trustworthy friend.
Date published: 2014-09-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from C'est dommage... This book never seems to take off. Maybe, as much as we were sorry to think that Gamache had retired, Penny should have let him enjoy retirement a little longer. The characters that we have come to know are now walking around the village square with not much to do. And now, what really annoys me with Louise Penny's book: the morsels of French thrown here and there ( mistakes included), and her obsession with the French-Anglo situation in Qu?bec. She sounds like a preacher who keeps repeating that everything is all right or will be but has never really been in the discussed situation. The reader wants a good detective story with characters to love or to dislike, not a lecture which never seems far in Mrs Penny's mind. This story stalls and I get the sad feeling that the author had to fill a given number of pages. Well, she did that part of the homework but as for the story and the characters they are drifting away?.
Date published: 2014-09-03

Read from the Book

ONE As Clara Morrow approached, she wondered if he’d repeat the same small gesture he’d done every morning.It was so tiny, so insignificant. So easy to ignore. The first time.But why did Armand Gamache keep doing it?Clara felt silly for even wondering. How could it matter? But for a man not given to secrets, this gesture had begun to look not simply secretive, but furtive. A benign act that seemed to yearn for a shadow to hide in.And yet here he was in the full light of the new day, sitting on the bench Gilles Sandon had recently made and placed on the brow of the hill. Stretched out before Gamache were the mountains, rolling from Québec to Vermont, covered in thick forests. The Rivière Bella Bella wound between the mountains, a silver thread in the sunlight.And, so easy to overlook when faced with such grandeur, the modest little village of Three Pines lay in the valley.Armand was not hiding from view. But neither was he enjoying it. Instead, each morning the large man sat on the wooden bench, his head bent over a book. Reading.As she got closer, Clara Morrow saw Gamache do it again. He took off his half-moon reading glasses, then closed the book and slipped it into his pocket. There was a bookmark, but he never moved it. It remained where it was like a stone, marking a place near the end. A place he approached, but never reached.Armand didn’t snap the book shut. Instead he let it fall, with gravity, closed. With nothing, Clara noticed, to mark his spot. No old receipt, no used plane or train or bus ticket to guide him back to where he’d left the story. It was as though it didn’t really matter. Each morning he began again. Getting closer and closer to the bookmark, but always stopping before he arrived.And each morning Armand Gamache placed the slim volume into the pocket of his light summer coat before she could see the title.She’d become slightly obsessed with this book. And his behavior.She’d even asked him about it, a week or so earlier, when she’d first joined him on the new bench overlooking the old village.“Good book?”“Oui.”Armand Gamache had smiled as he said it, softening his blunt answer. Almost.It was a small shove from a man who rarely pushed people away.No, thought Clara, as she watched him in profile now. It wasn’t that he’d shoved her. Instead, he’d let her be, but had taken a step back himself. Away from her. Away from the question. He’d taken the worn book, and retreated.The message was clear. And Clara got it. Though that didn’t mean she had to heed it.*   *   *Armand Gamache looked across to the deep green midsummer forest and the mountains that rolled into eternity. Then his eyes dropped to the village in the valley below them, as though held in the palm of an ancient hand. A stigmata in the Québec countryside. Not a wound, but a wonder.Every morning he went for a walk with his wife, Reine-Marie, and their German shepherd Henri. Tossing the tennis ball ahead of them, they ended up chasing it down themselves when Henri became distracted by a fluttering leaf, or a black fly, or the voices in his head. The dog would race after the ball, then stop and stare into thin air, moving his gigantic satellite ears this way and that. Honing in on some message. Not tense, but quizzical. It was, Gamache recognized, the way most people listened when they heard on the wind the wisps of a particularly beloved piece of music. Or a familiar voice from far away.Head tilted, a slightly goofy expression on his face, Henri listened, while Armand and Reine-Marie fetched.All was right with the world, thought Gamache as he sat quietly in the early August sunshine.Finally.Except for Clara, who’d taken to joining him on the bench each morning.Was it because she’d noticed him alone up here, once Reine-Marie and Henri had left, and thought he might be lonely? Thought he might like company?But he doubted that. Clara Morrow had become one of their closest friends and she knew him better than that.No. She was here for her own reasons.Armand Gamache had grown increasingly curious. He could almost fool himself into believing his curiosity wasn’t garden-variety nosiness but his training kicking in.All his professional life Chief Inspector Gamache had asked questions and hunted answers. And not just answers, but facts. But, much more elusive and dangerous than facts, what he really looked for were feelings. Because they would lead him to the truth.And while the truth might set some free, it landed the people Gamache sought in prison. For life.Armand Gamache considered himself more an explorer than a hunter. The goal was to discover. And what he discovered could still surprise him.How often had he questioned a murderer expecting to find curdled emotions, a soul gone sour? And instead found goodness that had gone astray.He still arrested them, of course. But he’d come to agree with Sister Prejean that no one was as bad as the worst thing they’d done.Armand Gamache had seen the worst. But he’d also seen the best. Often in the same person.He closed his eyes and turned his face to the fresh morning sun. Those days were behind him now. Now he could rest. In the hollow of the hand. And worry about his own soul.No need to explore. He’d found what he was looking for here in Three Pines.Aware of the woman beside him, he opened his eyes but kept them forward, watching the little village below come to life. He saw his friends and new neighbors leave their homes to tend to their perennial gardens or go across the village green to the bistro for breakfast. He watched as Sarah opened the door to her boulangerie. She’d been inside since before dawn, baking baguettes and croissants and chocolatine, and now it was time to sell them. She paused, wiping her hands on her apron, and exchanged greetings with Monsieur Béliveau, who was just opening his general store. Each morning for the past few weeks, Armand Gamache had sat on the bench and watched the same people do the same thing. The village had the rhythm, the cadence, of a piece of music. Perhaps that’s what Henri heard. The music of Three Pines. It was like a hum, a hymn, a comforting ritual.His life had never had a rhythm. Each day had been unpredictable and he had seemed to thrive on that. He’d thought that was part of his nature. He’d never known routine. Until now.Gamache had to admit to a small fear that what was now a comforting routine would crumble into the banal, would become boring. But instead, it had gone in the other direction.He seemed to thrive on the repetition. The stronger he got, the more he valued the structure. Far from being limiting, imprisoning, he found his daily rituals liberating.Turmoil shook loose all sorts of unpleasant truths. But it took peace to examine them. Sitting in this quiet place in the bright sunshine, Armand Gamache was finally free to examine all the things that had fallen to the ground. As he had fallen.He felt the slight weight and bulk of the book in his pocket.Below them, Ruth Zardo limped from her run-down cottage, followed by Rosa, her duck. The elderly woman looked around, then glanced up the dirt road out of town. Up, up the dusty path, Gamache could see her old steel eyes travel. Until they met his. And locked on.She lifted her veined hand in greeting. And, like hoisting the village flag, Ruth raised one unwavering finger.Gamache bowed slightly in acknowledgment.All was right with the world.Except—He turned to the disheveled woman beside him.Why was Clara here?*   *   *Clara looked away. She couldn’t bring herself to meet his eyes. Knowing what she was about to do.She wondered if she should speak to Myrna first. Ask her advice. But she’d decided not to, realizing that would just be shifting responsibility for this decision.Or, more likely, thought Clara, she was afraid Myrna would stop her. Tell her not to do it. Tell her it was unfair and even cruel.Because it was. Which was why it had taken Clara this long.Every day she’d come here, determined to say something to Armand. And every day she’d chickened out. Or, more likely, the better angels of her nature were straining on the reins, yanking her back. Trying to stop her.And it had worked. So far.Every day she made small talk with him, then left, determined not to return the next day. Promising herself, and all the saints and all the angels and all the gods and goddesses, that she would not go back up to the bench the next morning.And next morning, as though by magic, a miracle, a curse, she felt the hard maple beneath her bum. And found herself looking at Armand Gamache. Wondering about that slim volume in his pocket. Looking into his deep brown, thoughtful eyes.He’d gained weight, which was good. It showed Three Pines was doing its job. He was healing here. He was tall, and a more robust frame suited him. Not fat, but substantial. He limped less from his wounds, and there was more vitality to his step. The gray had left his face, but not his head. His wavy hair was now more gray than brown. By the time he was sixty, in just a few years, he’d be completely gray, Clara suspected.His face showed his age. It was worn with cares and concerns and worries. With pain. But the deepest crevices were made by laughter. Around his eyes and mouth. Mirth, etched deep.Chief Inspector Gamache. The former head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec.But he was also Armand. Her friend. Who’d come here to retire from that life, and all that death. Not to hide from the sorrow, but to stop collecting more. And in this peaceful place to look at his own burdens. And to begin to let them go.As they all had.Clara got up.She couldn’t do it. She could not unburden herself to this man. He had his own to carry. And this was hers.“Dinner tonight?” she asked. “Reine-Marie asked us over. We might even play some bridge.”It was always the plan, and yet they rarely seemed to get to it, preferring to talk or sit quietly in the Gamaches’ back garden as Myrna walked among the plants, explaining which were weeds and which were perennials, coming back year after year. Long lived. And which flowers were annuals. Designed to die after a magnificent, short life.Gamache rose to his feet, and as he did Clara saw again the writing carved into the back of the bench. It hadn’t been there when Gilles Sandon had placed the bench. And Gilles claimed not to have done it. The writing had simply appeared, like graffiti, and no one had owned up to it.Armand held out his hand. At first Clara thought he wanted to shake it good-bye. A strangely formal and final gesture. Then she realized his palm was up.He was inviting her to place her hand in his.She did. And felt his hand close gently. Finally, she looked into his eyes.“Why are you here, Clara?”She sat, suddenly, and felt again the hard wood of the bench, not so much supporting her as stopping her fall. Copyright © 2014 by Three Pines Creations, Inc.

Editorial Reviews

"Ms. Penny's books mix some classic elements of the police procedural with a deep-delving psychology, as well as a sorrowful sense of the precarious nature of human goodness, and the persistence of its opposite, even in rural Edens like Three Pines." -The New York Times"Again and again, Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series is Exhibit A for how to write a great crime novel, with each installment improving on the previous." -Sarah Weinman, National Post"A counterintuitive and absorbing mystery from a superb author." -USA Today"Penny, as always, creates a complex story about people dealing with complex emotional issues. And she does so with deeply drawn and ever-evolving characters, a sense of place that leaps from the pages and prose that invites multiple re-readings.A story that examines the making of art and the struggles of artists, The Long Way Home is itself a work of art, a novel that transcends genre, engages heart and mind and, like all of Penny's work, leaves the reader awestruck by the depth of her skills and the decency of her spirit." -Richmond Times-Dispatch"Penny tells powerful stories of damage and healing in the human heart, leavened with affection, humor and - thank goodness - redemption." -The Charlotte Observer"As with all the author's other titles, Penny wraps her mystery around the history and personality of the people involved. By this point in the series, each inhabitant of Three Pines is a distinct individual, and the humor that lights the dark places of the investigation is firmly rooted in their long friendships, or, in some cases, frenemyships. The heartbreaking conclusion will leave series readers blinking back tears." -Library Journal (starred review)"Penny dexterously combines suspense with psychological drama, overlaying the whole with an all-powerful sense of landscape as a conduit to meaning...Another gem from the endlessly astonishing Penny." -Booklist (starred review)"Perceptive . . . perfectly paced . . . Penny offers real insight into the evolution of artistic style as well as the envy that artists feel about each other's success . . . . The prose is remarkable fresh, filled with illumination and delightful turns of phrase." -Publishers Weekly"Penny develops the story behind Peter's disappearance at a slow, masterful pace, revealing each layer of the mystery alongside an introspective glance at Gamache and his comrades, who can all sympathize with Peter's search for purpose. The emotional depth accessed here is both a wonder and a joy to uncover.." -Kirkus Reviews