Chiaroscuro. The first Louise Penny novel I’ve read is her latest, A Trick of the Light. Set in Quebec, this is a murder mystery featuring a character she has developed over multiple novels: Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec. I was impressed by the ways in which Penny fleshed out each character with precise strokes, and with how her theme and title, what is real and what isn’t, used a painter’s portraits of darkness and light to reveal the inner character of the individual subjects. This novel is also a study in relationships and in finding ways to overcome the barriers to living an authentic life. Readers will care about these characters and what happens to them, and thanks to Penny’s fine writing, will be absorbed in their stories from beginning to end. The mystery itself respects a reader’s intelligence, and the solution will please most readers.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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