A World of Curiosities

Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Chief Inspector Gamache, Bk. 18). Nov. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781250145291. $28.99. M
In 1989, a young Armand Gamache was on the scene of a mass slaying when 14 women were killed at Montreal’s École Polytechnique. It changed his life and propelled him into a career in homicide. Ten years later, while investigating Clotilde Arsenault’s murder, Gamache recruited an angry, undisciplined officer, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Both events trigger current events in 2019. Gamache and his wife, Reine-Marie, took Clotilde’s daughter, Fiona, under their wing, although she and her brother, Sam, were involved in their mother’s death. After Fiona graduates from the École Polytechnique, she and Sam head to Three Pines. Gamache sees an evil in Sam that he only ever saw in a serial killer in prison for life. However, it’s a mysterious painting, bricked up in a house in Three Pines, that sends Gamache on a search into the past, looking into his own heart for the fears that threaten the people he loves. With newcomers to Three Pines, the Arsenaults’ history, and the secrets hidden behind the wall, danger is closer than Gamache imagines.
VERDICT Penny’s 18th Gamache novel (after All the Devils Are Here) is intense as the detective digs deep into his own fears. The darkness in this intricately plotted story forces readers to search for contrasting moments of hope.
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