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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Phyllis R. (East New Market, MD) (07/16/13)

Goodness Exists
I loved this book! It is the ninth Insp. Gamache mystery, and will be most enjoyed by regular readers. However, it is an excellent novel and could be enjoyed by first time readers. The characters are vivid and the setting memorable. Much of the novel takes place in the village of Three Pines near Montreal, a place where no electronic signals can penetrate, no cell phones, no computers. It represents the idyllic past, without intrusion from the modern world. The mystery seems to involve legendary quintuplets, but this is just a part. A complex plot against Gamache comes to fruition, as does his defense against it, with surprising allies. The outcome of this story shows that, as Penny says "Goodness exists."
Jan B. (Portland, OR) (07/16/13)

How the Light gets In
I am a forever fan of Chief Inspector Gamache. His thoughtfulness, and his respect for humanity won me over from the very first book.

In this ninth mystery by Louise Penny, How the Light gets In, we find that Gamache has been disempowered by his superiors, by gutting his department of all those who were trained and worked for him, with others who have no respect for Gamache or for the department they work in. Gamache keenly feels that his superiors are up to no good, and has been trying to unravel what is really going on. Because of the Christmas season, he is handed a case that is out of his jurisdiction. What looked like a possible suicide, becomes much more, and it takes Gamache to weave all the small pieces of this case with what is happening at the highest levels of his work.
This tale returns to Three Pines, where his friends do what it takes to help him even though they have no idea of what is truly at stake.

It is gripping, edge of your seat, storytelling, so give yourself time, as you won't want to put it down.
Elizabeth K. (Glenshaw, PA) (07/16/13)

How The Light Gets In
Although I would have had a clearer picture of the plot if I had read the previous books, I immediately became engulfed into the world of Armand Gamache. The description of the village Three Pines was so vivid I could picture it all. Interwoven in the main plot was the murder of one of the elderly Ouellet quintuplets which brought to mind the lives of the Dionne quints.

I look forward to reading both the earlier and the future books of Louise Penny.
Jeanne B. (Takoma Park, MD) (07/13/13)

There is a Crack in Everything
This is a lovely book by a deeply compassionate and seasoned author. Although this was my first Inspector Gamache mystery, I had no trouble following the many plot lines from earlier books, which were deftly woven throughout the story. And her characters. They are just incandescent! My favorite: the seemingly bitter and demented old poet, Ruth, and her companion duck, Rosa. The story is tightly plotted, but Penny writes from a very emotional place. The pacing feels slow, almost contemplative at times, and she lavishes a great deal of attention on small details. This had the effect for me of dissipating any real buildup of suspense, which is why I gave the book four stars instead of five. It was still a very rewarding read.
Jeff M. (Morris Plains, NJ) (07/12/13)

How the Light Gets In
Unlike most of the other reviewers, this is the first Louise Penny novel that I have read. Not that I haven't known about her Inspector Gamache series, but her books just had not made my reading list. So, I took the opportunity with "How The Light Gets In". I will say that I enjoyed it very much. The various mystery threads move at their own pace and are pleasantly not rushed or hurried. The writing is terrific. There is real character development and you can readily feel their emotions. And you can just picture and imagine the cold winter scenes outdoors (kids playing ice hockey, etc.) coupled with the holiday warmth of the people living in Three Pines. Would recommend this even as a stand-alone novel.
Alice R. (Alexandria, VA) (07/12/13)

How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
I really enjoyed How the Light Gets In. This was the first time I had read a Chief Inspector Gamache novel. Armand Gamache is the head of the homicide division at Surete du Quebec, the police force for that Canadian province.
Being a first-time Gamache reader was no problem. Due to Louise Penny's great character development, I soon became familiar with all the characters. In How the Light Gets In there are two storylines: the first, of course, is a murder mystery; the second is about Gamache personally and the challenge(s) he is currently facing at the Surete.
A one-time world famous celebrity has been murdered. Ms. Penny expertly intertwines Gamache's investigation of this case with the problem he is having at work. His leadership is being challenged by a superior, and he has also lost his former second in command, who happens to have been his best friend and future son-in-law. His investigation will lead him to Three Pines, a small village located outside Montreal, where he has spent much time before and has many friends. Sound complicated? Well, it's not. You will soon become comfortable with Gamache, his friends and associates, and will accompany him eagerly as he not only investigates the murder, but also uncovers a sinister plot.
Mystery, action, suspense. I'm hooked. The success of a series such as this is determined by the affinity you develop with the main characters. I will be reading another Gamache novel very very soon.
Kathleen S. (St Louis, MO) (07/11/13)

Penny Continues to Astound
"How the Light Gets In" is Louise Penny's 9th book in the Three Pines mystery series featuring her intrepid detective Armand Gameche of the Surêté du Québec.

I find her writing absolutely hypnotic. One almost feels like a resident of this village as she so excellently describes the residents and locale of this mythic village. Penny catches so well the feelings, passions and eccentricities of the villagers.

This book is suitable for book clubs, mystery book clubs and those who just enjoy a good read without the descriptive murder scenes. I strongly recommend, however, that the new reader start with Penny's first Three Pines mystery, "Still Life" then read chronologically, or critical background details may be lost or not understood.
Pamela S. (Winnetka, CA) (07/11/13)

How the Light Gets In.
The book keep my interest throughout the story. I enjoyed both storylines. I kept wanting to know more about the Quintuplets. The other storyline kept me guessing how Gamache & his team were going to stop Superintendent Francoeur & his gang. I couldn't stop thinking that Gamache might be found in 3 Pines before he could stop Francoeur. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It kept my interest & thinking how events were going to turn.

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