Reader reviews and comments on How the Light Gets In, plus links to write your own review.

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How the Light Gets In

A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, #9

by Louise Penny

How the Light Gets In
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Aug 2013, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2014, 416 pages

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There are currently 39 reader reviews for How the Light Gets In
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Carolyn G. (Catskill, NY) (08/07/13)

Do yourself a favor and read this book!
Louise Penny's latest Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery, set in Quebec and alternating between the the urban and countryside settings so well known to her faithful readers, is a triumph of suspense and decades long secrets. I loved how all of the pieces came together at the end and how I didn't have to remember details of her previous works to appreciate this dazzling, if slowly evolving, mystery of greed, evil, loneliness and, finally, terror. Her protagonist, the Chief Inspector, is supported by a coterie of characters living in Three Pines, the tea cosy village where Gamache is welcomed as he investigates one murder and solves a second, enormous province-wide threat that affects those he loves and those who have no idea that they are being threatened. I really enjoyed getting to know the Chief better and understanding what drives him. Penny does an excellent job of drawing you in and allowing you to watch a great, investigative mind at work. The only thing missing was the occasional wise-beyond-their-years children, but I forgive Penny this lapse because there was Rosa the Duck and who could ask for more? I highly recommend this book and can't wait to go back and reread Penny's eight other offerings. Thank you BookBrowse for bringing enjoyment to my life!
Pam S. (Wellesley, MA) (07/30/13)

Surprising how interesting a little Quebec village can be!
Although this is the eighth in the author's series of mysteries set in rural Quebec and featuring Montreal homicide detective Armande Gamache, it was the first of the series that I have read. The story was interesting, fast-paced and complicated in the best possible way. There were two major parallel story lines - one involving the murder of a reclusive elderly woman just before she was to travel to tiny Quebec village Three Pines for Christmas; the other involving a massive government conspiracy. Gamache is a thoughtful middle aged less-than-successful detective whose understanding of human nature is an important element in his solving cases and mysteries. Although set in a completely different location, the book reminded me of the Inspector Guido Brunetti mysteries set in Venice by Donna Leon. In both series, characters (the detective and his family and friends) and setting are important aspects of the stories. Psychological investigation is important in both as well and it is often an understanding of human nature that leads the investigator to discover the truth. This was my first Louise Penny mystery but will definitely not be my last.
Jennifer B. (Oviedo, FL) (07/29/13)

How the Light Gets In
Mystery stories should be enthralling. This book does that and even surpasses previous Armand Gamache books. The suspenceful turns captured my attention. Louise Penny's graceful use of language reminds me of O. Henry in style. I look forward to each of her books like a child anticipates Christmas!
Lois P. (Logan, UT) (07/29/13)

Expectations Exceeded
I'd like to join Louise Penny's many fans in a standing ovation! What a wonderful Three Pines mystery--compelling, complex and beautifully written. I didn't want to leave the company of Inspector Gamache and his friends. Lovers of interesting, character-driven stories shouldn't miss this series.
Deborah C. (Seattle, WA) (07/23/13)

Another Winner From Louise Penny!
I am a huge Louise Penny fan but was really disappointed with her last book, The Beautiful Mystery, which I thought was boring and slow. I am happy to report that she is back on track!

One of the main reasons I like Louise Penny is that she does such a good job of developing her characters--they are real and imperfect people who grow and change, not just cardboard cutouts as is often the case in other mysteries. I also love her descriptions of Three Pines--she makes it sound so idyllic that I wish it were a real place so that I could move there!

How the Light Gets In ties up some loose ends from previous books, so I would not recommend starting with it. This is not a fast-paced mystery with lots of action, but anyone who enjoys good writing and fascinating characters will love this book.
Susan M. (Ashland, OR) (07/23/13)

How the Light Gets In
Penny is a gifted writer! Having read her previous books in the Chief Inspector Gamache series I wondered how she would tie up loose ends. She did so in unexpected ways which left me marveling at how it she made it work.
She has the ability to make you feel the stinging cold of driving snow on hot July day.
This book does stand alone if you've not read the others in this series but why deprive yourself of a good read.
Sharon W. (Columbia, SC) (07/23/13)

Once Again
Louise Penny never fails to deliver. Her prose captures me completely, making me want to know Gamache, visit Quebec, and follow the trail to discovery myself. How the Light Gets In is another delightful mystery from Louise Penny. Her writing is poetic! Other mystery fans are sure to love this novel, too.
Barbara H. (Alexandria, VA) (07/19/13)

Maybe the best so far
I always eagerly anticipate Louise Penny's next Chief Inspector Gamache novel, in this case "How the Light Gets In.'' This novel might just be the best in the series so far. The writing, plot and character development are excellent. When I finished the last page I said to myself, "over already?"

Penny writes about a subject much in the news today, cyber hacking and government corruption, and does it nimbly and understandably! Also, I was quite interested in the story of the quintuplets, taking me back to the story of the Dionne sisters.

The recurring theme of Louise Penny's stories is the darkness of the human heart and the ever-present hope for the light to penetrate that darkness. This was well covered in "How the Light Gets In."

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