Book Review: Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
Louise Penny has penned a compelling and original thriller in Bury Your Dead. This is a superb book – one that is page-turning and thrilling, but one that also provides a unique glimpse into Quebec and its history. Louise Penny manages to combine not just one, but four interconnecting stories, each of which is as gripping as the other. Story one concerns Chief Inspector Gamache’s recent past. The reader quickly learns that someone kidnapped one of his agents – and that his team didn’t get to the agent in time to prevent his death. But just what happened on that day, and the ramifications for all of Canada, aren’t revealed until the end. Story two is about Chief Inspector Gamache taking some time off to recover from the fore-mentioned recent trauma, but he ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time and he is asked to help investigate the case of a man who has been murdered in an English library in the midst of Quebec – a place where the small English community are trying to retain their identity in a place where they are often seen as foreigners.
Story three concerns Chief Inspector Gamache questioning himself and deciding to send one of his agents to discreetly re-examine the evidence in a case many years old. A case only kept alive in his mind by the lover of the accused who writes to him every week asking ‘Why would Oliver move the body?’ Has the Chief Inspector made yet another terrible mistake?
The final story goes far back into history, into the very founding of Quebec, and is the mystery of where the founding father, Samuel de Champlain, lies buried – something that the man lying dead in the English library spent his life trying to solve, despite being branded by everyone as being delusional. Could it be that he had actually found Samuel’s final resting place?
If the story seems convoluted, then please be assured that it isn’t. The interwoven stories are completely gripping and at the end of the book everything falls, as if by magic, into place. This is a wonderful book with a commanding lead man and a great sense of history and place, while all the while being a thrilling read. I look forward to reading more of Louise Penny’s work in the future.