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A Better Man Catastrophic spring flooding blistering attacks in the media and a mysterious disappearance greet Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as he returns to the Sûreté du uébec in the latest novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Louise PennyIt's Gamache's first day back as head of the homicide department a job he temporarily shares with his previous second in command Jean Guy Beauvoir Floodwaters are rising across the province In the middle of the turmoil a father approaches Gamache pleading for help in finding his daughterAs crisis piles upon crisis Gamache tries to hold off the encroaching chaos and realizes the search for Vivienne Godin should be abandoned But with a daughter of his own he finds himself developing a profound and perhaps unwise empathy for her distraught fatherIncreasingly hounded by the uestion how would you feel he resumes the searchAs the rivers rise and the social media onslaught against Gamache becomes crueler a body is discovered And in the tumult mistakes are madeIn the next novel in this constantly surprising series that deepens and darkens as it evolves The New York Times Book Review Gamache must face a horrific possibility and a burning uestion What would you do if your child's killer walked free


10 thoughts on “A Better Man

  1. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    Everytime I start reading a Louise Penny novel I am confronted with a dilemma Do I read it uickly because really I don't want to put it down or do I read it slowly because I don't want it to end? How does she do it? This is the 15th I the Three Pines series and it keeps getting better and better In this one I my opinion she outdid herself combining some important issues of the day with an outstanding difficult to solve mystery The issues of climate change abuse and the devastation it causes and the good and bad of social media All combined seamlessly in the lives of various members of the community we have come to love She shows us the many depths of personality that can live inside one person Characteristics based on the past the present life experiences that make us the people we are She shows us friendship love respect integrity compassion kindness and the struggle to know when to hold on and when to let go Ratchets up the tension and then fits in some appropriate humor that makes us laugh Oddly enough a new character comes to Three Pines and affects the future of one member This was a particularly emotional entry in the series as one chapter closes and a new one begins And now I am resolved as I await the next in this stellar seriesThat twisted reality until malice and truth were intertwined and indistinguishableARC from Minotaur books


  2. Paromjit Paromjit says:

    Louise Penny is a treasure when it comes to the world of crime fiction this is a stunning addition to this stellar series set in the village of Three Pines in uebec Canada featuring the incomparable and wise Chief Inspector Gamache having now been demoted by those spineless self serving and ambitious wanting to besmirch the reputation of a man they perceive as having too much power and a threat They never expected Gamache to accept the demotion to Head of Homicide from being Chief but they fail to comprehend the kind of man he is why he inspires such loyalty and respect in others he has no ego and wishes merely to be the best police officer he can be It's a joy to see the return of beloved characters even the rude indomitable cantankerous elderly poet Ruth Zardo and her familiar the duck Myrna Reine Marie and all the others The artist Clara is having a particularly tumultuous time with her latest works the miniatures not being well received in fact her reputation is being trashed on social media with many uestioning if she ever had any artistic abilities at allGamache's return to the Surete du uebec goes down even less well on social media with a tirade of vile postings not to mention fake videos Those who know Gamache are outraged at the lies and vitriol being expressed but Gamache has an inner strength that can weather almost anything Work colleagues and friends observe closely at how well he will take to being under the command of Jean Guy Beauvoir his protege and son in law around for 2 weeks before uitting the police to move to Paris to embark on a new life Agent Lysette Cloutier and Gamache inuire into a missing pregnant woman Vivienne Godin who failed to turn up at her father Homer's home Homer is frantic and with good reason Vivienne is married to an abusive husband the ceramic artist the deplorable and nasty piece of work that is Carl Tracey In the meantime the weather is atrocious for April with no sign of spring and even worse the worst flooding threatening death and destruction is being forecast for uebec Herculean efforts are reuired from the Three Pines residents as they build sandbag defences on the banks of the Bella Bella river to try and save the villageTwo phrases ring true throughout in this novel all truth in malice and what might appear to be contradictory things are strongest when they are broken Penny writes with humanity and compassion with insight and wisdom on the contradictions and complexities of individuals no one is purely good not even Gamache or just evil The strengths of this series are the rich complicated often uirky characters from Ruth to Jean Guy and their development Three Pines is a village of people who love and support one another a force to be reckoned with as they come together to fight the threat of catastrophic dangerous flooding illustrating their strength as a community no one is alone This was a fantastic moving and profound crime read one which I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending highly Many thanks to Little Brown for an ARC


  3. JanB JanB says:

    In the midst of a threat from devastating Spring floods Vivienne Godin 25 and pregnant is missing her father is frantic and her drunken abusive husband Carl Tracey is suspected at having a hand in her disappearance As the father of a daughter the same age Gamache finds himself increasingly unable to stay objective as they search for the missing woman Mistakes are made A side plot included vicious social media attacks on Gamache for his past actionsAt the same time Clara is publicly criticized for her art but I found this side plot uninteresting And somehow I missed the significance of the floodingIt pains me to do this but it’s time for me and Armand to part ways I’ve loved this series from the start but it has lost it’s charm There was a lot of repetitiveness unprofessional and unrealistic behavior and attitudes in Gamache and the other detectives and the case is not truly investigated until the last 25% The moral lessons are heavy handed and Gamache himself has become insufferable I won’t list all the instances that caused my eyes to roll but there were manyThere are plenty of people who still find this series charming and wonderful but I’ve not found it to be so for several recent books Sometimes readers outgrow a series and that’s the case with me I’m giving it 3 stars for the history I have with this series and my respect for the author• I received a copy of the book from Edelweiss All opinions ae my own• This was a buddy read with Marialyce and both of us were left disappointed For this review and others please visit


  4. karen Moore karen Moore says:

    I was SO disappointed by this book I have loved this series and have been looking forward to A Better Man for months and it was just such a let down Her writing style seemed to change and this book is filled with sentences Broken up Into multiple sentences For no reason So so many sentence fragments I do that occasionally in texts to emphasize a point but doing it constantly throughout the book makes the techniue lose all sense of emphasis and just gets really annoying Also and this is maybe just me? some of the story line just didn't make sense Yes having a young woman who's pregnant get abused and then killed is terrible but it is not remotely the most terrible thing that these cops have seen And yet they all immediately take it personally and see it as something so horrible that they are unable to be unbiased It just didn't seem to be in character It was a fine book If I hadn't read any of her other books I would probably have not been as annoyed and disappointed I just expected so much


  5. Matt Matt says:

    After getting my hands on the latest Louise Penny novel I could not wait to get started This explosive series set in rural uebec gives not only the feel of a wonderful mystery but also hones in on all things Canadian After serving his suspension Armand Gamache is back in his position as Chief Inspector within the Sûreté du uébec though there is a whispered power struggle within Homicide While many are worried about how it will resolve itself Gamache wants only to work and agrees to investigate a uery of a pregnant woman whose gone missing When Gamache arrives he meets the woman’s husband a known abuser who explains that he has no idea where his wife might be but could not care less Gamache gets a bad feeling about it all but is eually distracted when uebec’s spring thaw begins to cause issues His community of Three Pines is set to flood which could be devastating if the floodwaters don’t drop soon With no signs of the pregnant Vivienne Godin Gamache tries to determine if there may have been foul play which is exacerbated when a body is discovered amongst some cracked ice close to a bridge The receding waters reveal much including a potential murder scene with the perfect suspect who denies having anything to do with his wife’s death Trying to connect the dots Gamache turns to some of his fellow villagers who use social media to coax out a slew of information Will it be enough to convict a man who holds his wife in such low regard that she is only good as a punching bag? Additionally the higher ups within the Sûreté are keeping a close eye on Gamache especially as old troubles have an uncanny way of resurfacing Could the Chief Inspector’s return have been a set up to bury him once and for all? A wonderful addition to this stellar series sure to keep fans wanting Recommended to those who have loved Armand Gamache from the early Three Pines days as well as readers who enjoy police procedurals with a Canadian flavour After a major binge of the series last summer I was forced to wait like the rest of the Penny fans for this newest piece in the Gamache series It was well worth the wait though I know Penny has had some personal issues which makes the publication of this piece even exciting Gamache remains on point working through the blips that had him sidelined and trying to keep from letting the politics of the job get to him Still eager to help both within the Sûreté and towards his friends in the Eastern Townships Gamache makes his mark in a variety of ways Keen to solve crimes he has little time for those who seek to circumvent justice or cut corners to get the answers they want Other characters continue to evolve in the series though the locals are background than at the forefront of the case There are a few new faces whose presence could become regular depending on how Penny chooses to advance the series I am eager to see how this will all play out in the coming years The story remains exciting and fresh though there are some significant mentions of past events which thicken the plot and the series development effectively Penny has a wonderful handle on the series even fifteen books in She represents Canada and the genre so well choosing interesting plot twists that keep the reader wondering Established chapters and current events weave together a story that many readers will surely devour as I did leaving them begging for The need for patience is high by the time the book ends but there is still so much to learn Alas it will likely be another year or soKudos Madam Penny for dazzling your fans with another strong novel Gamache is in good hands under your guidance Lovehate the review? An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons a different sort of Book Challenge


  6. Paula Paula says:

    After finishing #15 in the Inspector Gamache series I am sadly saying goodbye I’m tired of Armand Gamache getting into trouble with the higher ups in command I liked it better when he was solving murders and uoting poetry In this book Gamache and his sidekicks Jean Guy Beauvoir and Isabelle Lacoste all get together to find a woman who has disappeared which is unusual in itself as it is not known if she is dead or not Also over the years Jean Guy and Isabelle have been promoted and they would not readily be available to assist in this mystery A little bit too far fetched for meAnd why does Clara’s art all of a sudden need to get panned by the critics? And the flood?What did warm my heart was the author’s dedication Louise Penny dedicated this book to her dog Bishop She and her husband first brought home a golden retriever named Bonnie after their honeymoon Penny let’s us understand that her husband Michael wanted nothing to do with dogs but found him cradling their new pup in his arms and the dog was his forever After Michael was diagnosed with dementia years later their golden Trudy passed away Her husband keep looking for their dog A friend brought over an old golden named Bishop who lived with them for 14 years till he died Bishop’s death occurred while Louise Penny was writing this book A touching tribute3 out of 5 stars🐾🐾🐾


  7. Phrynne Phrynne says:

    Just returned from my annual visit to Montreal and Three Pines Sadly it only took a day but I met all my old friends again and caught up on all the gossip I really should have made the trip last longer Now I have a whole year to wait until the next timePoor Gamache and Clara both attacked and vilified by social media Beauvoir Annie and little Honore bags packed and off to live in Paris Rising river levels and the race to save the province but especially Three Pines from flooding All this wrapped around an excellent mystery about a missing woman and a court case which goes terribly wrong or does it Wonderful Now I am left with the difficult decision of what to read next How am I supposed to follow that?


  8. Esil Esil says:

    Our date came a bit early this year Armand which makes it bitter sweet Sweet because I got to catch up with you and our friends in Three Pines a little earlier in the summer than usual Bitter because our time together is already over until next yearI found this year’s dose of Louise Penny got off to a slow start Armand Gamache is struggling as usual with his place in the uebec police and the mystery at the centre of A Better Man focuses on a seemingly straightforward missing person case And I must admit that the story itself didn’t really grow much in intensity for me Armand continued to struggle The people of Three Pines were thrown into turmoil because Clara’s paintings are getting bad reviews And I uickly guessed what was meant to be a not so obvious resolution to the missing person plotBut for true fans of Louise Penny like me the plot is often beside the point As usual Armand his family his colleagues and his neighbours make up for any plot weaknesses It’s hard not to be enthralled by these deep feeling and thinking characters who are also euipped with a good sense of humour and a love for the good things in life Despite the murders and carnage Louise Penny presents an inspiring and warm world view of human connections I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence but I can’t think of any other way to express itBut because this was not my favourite of Penny’s books I thought I should probably be fair and give it 4 stars rather than my usual 5 stars And then I read her afterword and I knew I couldn’t rate this one any less than 5 stars Penny explains why she named one of the dogs in the book Fred which made me teary Then she explained that “these books are about community About love and belonging And the great gift of friendship” Indeed So the afterword pulled me over the 5 star line – not for the first time and it’s another five stars for me Because despite the plot’s weaknesses these are the feelings I walk away with each year after I finish Penny’s latest offeringSo goodbye for now Armand I hope you’re planning something good for next year In the meantime enjoy your family and friends and don’t get into too much trouble ;Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for giving me access to an advance copy


  9. Barbara Barbara says:

    In this 15th book in the 'Chief Inspector Armand Gamache' series the detective is once again set to become Head of Homicide of the Sûreté du uébec The book can be read as a standalone but familiarity with the series is a plus Armand Gamache who resides in the Canadian village of Three Pines was Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du uébec until he engineered a risky drug operation The plan succeeded but at a terrible cost As a result self serving politicians suspended Gamache for 9 months demoted him to Chief Inspector and offered him his old job as Head of HomicideIt was assumed that Gamache would resign rather than submit to this 'humiliation' but no such luck for the vile politicos Gamache happily accepts the offer to be Head of Homicide and as the book opens it's his first day back at work As it happens Gamache's former mentee and current son in law Jean Guy Beauvoir is currently Head of Homicide but Jean Guy and his family are moving to Paris in two weeks Until then Beauvoir and Gamache will run the department togetherAs Gamache returns to work vicious Twitter trolls gleefully put him down call him filthy names and practically call for his assassination And Gamache isn't the only resident of Three Pines under attack Tweets about artist Clara Morrow who recently produced a set of unpopular miniatures are saying she's a no talent hack whose previous success was a fluke When Gamache arrives at the Sûreté for his first day of work he knows the homicide detectives have been reading the hate filled Tweets and joking and gossiping about him but he brushes it off And it's a good thing because a new case comes in almost immediately During the morning briefing Agent Lisette Cloutier's cell phone buzzes away with texts from her friend Homer Godin saying his pregnant married daughter Vivienne is missing Gamache and Cloutier hurry over to Vivienne's house to look around and interview her husband Carl Tracey It's immediately obvious that dirty disheveled foul mouthed Tracey is a nasty scumbag who abuses his wife and the detectives suspect he did SOMETHING to Vivienne though it's not clear whatWhile the detectives are searching for Vivienne an environmental crisis is developing Spring thaws and moving chunks of ice are filling the rivers to record high levels and massive floods will be the inevitable resultDrastic measures are needed and Gamache's suggestions are uickly lampooned by the politicians who want to take him down Regardless government agencies and private citizens take measures to deal with the water situation like dynamiting dams and arranging sandbagsThe investigation of Vivienne's disappearance turns up additional persons of interest and the case has overtones of adultery unreuited love and domestic violence Still Gamache and his colleagues are almost certain that Carl Tracey harmed his wife and a good part of the book follows their maneuvers as they try to prove it In the meantime Vivienne's father Homer Godin threatens to kill Tracey himself Gamache is anxious to keep this from happening so he invites Homer to Three Pines hoping his wife Reign Marie will look after the grieving father and keep him calm This doesn't uite work out and at one point Homer is arrested while Carl Tracey walks free which is the height of irony 😏Meanwhile Clara Morrow sadly laments her current reputation as an artist who's lost her spark and wonders what to do next Some Three Pines residents try to cheer up andor help Clara including innkeepers Olivier and Gabri;bookstore owner Myrna; and irascible dirty mouth poet Ruth Their efforts have mixed results but do introduce us to a uirky African American art critic from Brooklyn called Domenica OddlyIt's always entertaining to visit the locals in Three Pines including Ruth's duck Rosa whose 'uack uack uack' sounds a lot like 'fk fk fk' Like mother like daughter LOLVivienne's case is resolved eventually but not before lives are endangered and surprises come to light For me this is only a moderately successful addition to the Armand Gamache series It's of a legal procedural than a typical mystery and the legal wrangling is drawn out than necessaryOn a personal note I'm tired of the theme of corrupt Sûreté officials dirty politicians and now disgusting Twitter trolls out to get Gamache The 'war' against Gamache has been going on for years and years in Penney's books and it's time to put it to rest in my opinionThat said many reviewers love this book and fans of the series would probably enjoy itYou can follow my reviews at


  10. Marialyce Marialyce says:

    25 starsI have always been a Louise Penny enthusiastic reader and always awaited her new books with lots of anticipation and happiness So I am totally bummed that I didn't like this book as much as I had hoped I know that different readers have contrasting reactions to stories and in that we see how people are different in what they read and feel It makes reading a book so very interesting because we can view divergent opinions and ways of looking at things What I found in this story that set me off was the repetitious nature of the book Perhaps it was because of having read all the others in this series that I felt there was material that I had heard many times Another thing was how I felt the whole persona of Gamache changed in this story I always thought he was a strong character a man who always seems to know what to do and yet in this go round he seemed tenuous unsure and weak I was disappointed to see a change in him Perhaps the author was trying to make him human and vulnerable but sometimes it made him seem supercilious and sanctimonious The other characters just didn't have the charisma they once had and of course this made me not care as much about them as I use to I did like the last section of the story which really did show the investigative process we so often saw in all the other books in this series I wish that this could have been the whole focus of the book It was too late to save what for me was an uninteresting read So I walk away with a less than a positive view of this book knowing full well that so many have and will love this story I do have a lot of respect for this author and of course my opinion is just that an opinion Please do look at the other reviews as most of them are glowingThank you to Edelweiss for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest reviewJan and I were uite anxious to read this fifteenth novel in this series Inspector Gamanche his family and the residents of Three Pines have always intrigued us and as we have followed these books we have developed a fondness for all the characters So it was with lots of anticipation we read this new recently published bookTo see our duo reviews you can go here


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