cover image A Better Man

A Better Man

Louise Penny. Minotaur, $28.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-250-06621-3

Bestseller Penny’s wrenching 15th novel featuring Chief Insp. Armand Gamache (after 2018’s Kingdom of the Blind) finds Gamache, former chief superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, returning to work after a nine-month suspension and demotion, and reporting to his own his son-in-law and one-time protégé, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. When the body of Vivienne Godin, 25 and pregnant, is found in a river near Three Pines, trapped in the debris of a violent spring flood, Gamache and Beauvoir are sure that she was killed by her drunken, abusive, supremely unlikable husband, Carl Tracey. But knowing who did it and proving it are two different things. After an exhaustive investigation, the detectives build a convincing circumstantial case against Tracey. But a shocking twist forces Gamache to look at the evidence anew. With an uncompromising eye, Penny explores the depths of human emotion, both horrifying and sublime. Her love for her characters and for the mystical village of Three Pines is apparent on every page. Agent: Teresa Chris, Teresa Chris Literary. (Aug.)