A Review of Louise Penny's The Nature of the Beast
Methinks I am suffering from Three Pines fatigue. I have just finished a catch up read of The Nature of the Beast in Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. We are focused once again in that weird little Brigadoon hamlet that seems to harbor more than its share of Freddie Kruegers. Even though Ms. Penny notes at the end of the book that Gerald Bull was a real human being and a real armament designer, I found her fictional plot elaborations made things less rather than more convincing.
We must accept once again that the forest surrounding Three Pines is so dark and impenetrable that hermits’s cabins or a massive artillery piece (even if covered by camouflage) could remain unknown for more than twenty years. In this case the hidden gun is in a spot easily reachable by a small boy exploring the forest a veritable stone’s throw from his own backyard. You must also accept that the search for this gun has kept several lay people and several governments in a frenzy for years. Then you have to believe that all of this is somehow connected to an incarcerated serial killer cum playwright who has managed to write a producible work that also offers hidden clues to the whereabouts of the plans for the nasty gun. Luckily Inpector Gamache has been at the secret trial of this killer and just happens now to be retired to Three Pines where he has taken a liking to the small boy who is later killed after discovering the hidden monstrous weapon.
Enough! Nice try Louise, but I just can’t buy it and though the familiar characters are still sitting on benches around the green, still meeting at the Bistro, still having artistic blocks, and still eating scrumptious gourmet meals, it just doesn’t compute.
Maybe after a break I’ll return to continue my progress in reading all of the Gamache novels.