The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Gamache Series #5)

The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Gamache Series #5)

by Louise Penny

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Overview

The wise and beleaguered Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines The Brutal Telling, the fifth book in Louise Penny's #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Chaos is coming, old son.

With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. Everybody goes to Olivier's Bistro—including a stranger whose murdered body is found on the floor. When Chief Inspector Gamache is called to investigate, he is dismayed to discover that Olivier's story is full of holes. Why are his fingerprints all over the cabin that's uncovered deep in the wilderness, with priceless antiques and the dead man's blood? And what other secrets and layers of lies are buried in the seemingly idyllic village?

Gamache follows a trail of clues and treasures—from first editions of Charlotte's Web and Jane Eyre to a spiderweb with a word mysteriously woven in it—into the woods and across the continent, before returning to Three Pines to confront the truth and the final, brutal telling.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250161666
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Series: Chief Inspector Gamache Series , #5
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 127,022
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

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 to Canadian culture. Louise lives in a small village south of Montréal.

Read an Excerpt

People lied all the time in murder investigations. If the first victim of war was the truth, some of the first victims of a murder investigation were people’s lies. The lies they told themselves, the lies they told each other....

Gabri approached carrying a tray with four steaming plates. Within minutes they were sitting around the fireplace eating fettuccini with shrimp and scallops sautéed in garlic and olive oil. Fresh bread was produced and glasses of dry white wine poured.

As they ate, they talked about the Labor Day long weekend, about the chestnut trees and conkers. About kids returning to school and the nights drawing in.

The bistro was empty, except for them. But it seemed crowded to the Chief Inspector. With the lies they’d been told, and the lies being manufactured and waiting.

Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Questions for THE BRUTAL TELLING, by Louise Penny

1. A theme in this book, and many of Louise's books, is the difference between "truth" and "opinion." Is it always important to tell the truth, no matter how brutal it may be?

2. Was Olivier really wrong to give Madame Poirier less money for her furniture than he knew it was worth? Isn't that what we all hope we'll find at antique shops or flea markets? A treasure? Would you do differently?

3. When Superintendent Thérèse Brunel asks Clara what she fears, she says, "I'm afraid of not recognizing Paradise." Thérèse responds, "So am I." Why do you think they are both worrying about this, and can you connect such concerns to your own life?

4. How do you view the various assertions that Vincent Gilbert is a saint, especially when Gamache points out that "most saints were martyrs, and they took a lot of people down with them"? How would you feel about living with a saint?

5. For a moment Gamache himself feels the tug of greed and would love to slip one of the first editions into his pocket. What do you think of Gamache at that moment? Does it remind you of any temptations you yourself have faced?"

6. In the book Brunel and Gamache discuss where the finest example of a Haida totem pole is standing. Where is that, and what is the irony?

7. What was the final monster? The thing even the Mountain ran from, and that kept the Hermit hiding in his cabin? How do you think this applies to the various characters in the book?

8. Ruth puts Rosa into clothing. Why?

9. Was the Hermit happy, finally? Had he found peace? Could you live in the Hermit's cabin?

10. In the book Gamache quotes Thoreau's Walden: "I had three chairs in my house. One for solitude, two for friendship, three for society." How many chairs would you have in your house?

11. What is the role of storytelling throughout the novel? What about poetry and other forms of art, from painting to sculpture and totem poles?

12. If Three Pines existed, would you move there? How do you think the community will weather the events of this story?

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