Monday, December 08, 2014

The Long Way Home

The Long Way Home is the tenth in Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series.

The previous novels have seen the inspector through cases that have left him mentally and physically shattered, but now he is happily retired to the little village of Three Pines.  Gamache’s recovery has been a slow one, and although he still walks with a bit of a limp, at this point he is struggling more with the mental part of recovery than with the physical.  So when his neighbor Clara Morrow asks his help in finding her husband, Gamache is reluctant to put on his policeman hat again to search for a man whose wife has not seen him for almost exactly one year.

Luckily for Gamache, he has someone upon whose help he can always call, his new son-in-law and former police colleague, Jean-Guy Beauvoir.  Because of what the two men have recently been through together, their bond will never be broken – even though each man believes that he is the one looking after the other, and not vice versa.  And so it is, that an unlikely team of four (Gamache, Beauvoir, Clara Morrow, and Clara’s best friend Myrna Landers) forms to look for the missing Peter Morrow, a man on a dark journey all his own.

Peter’s dark journey will soon take our unlikely quartet of detectives on one of their own, a quest that will ultimately find them fighting for their lives at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in what could be the most remote village in all of Canada.  It is in this little outpost that they will learn just how wrong they have been about Peter Morrow, and about why he has not returned to his wife despite his promise to come home on the one-year anniversary of his departure. 

Louise Penny
Fans of this excellent series may be surprised to learn that reading The Long Way Home starts to feel as tough an undertaking as what the Gamache team itself is enduring.  The 373-page novel’s pace is slowed by too many baby-steps toward a resolution, blown investigatory theories, and obscure art theory to make for comfortable reading.  And then, after all of that, the book’s climax, when it finally is reached, is too predictable to compensate for its tedious build-up.  Longtime fans of the series, however, will find satisfaction in the way that Armand Gamache’s personal history is moved along, and they should not miss The Long Way Home.


  1. I'm glad I read it, but it was not nearly as good as the previous books in the series.

    1. I think this one was weighed down by too many subplots that ultimately went nowhere and only confused the reader with way too much detail to keep track of. Generally, I enjoy a good subplot or two, but I prefer them to add some substance to what's going on in the main plot; these were just false trails that did nothing at all but tick me off in the long run.