All The Devils Are Here by Louise Penny | TheBookBuff Review

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All The Devils Are Here – what a book title! I am so drawn by the name and the very Van Gogh like book cover art. Of course, the fact that this is a well-loved crime series is an added bonus. 

All The Devils Are Here
Author: Louise Penny
Publish date: Sept 1, 2020
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group (Imprint: Sphere)
Category: Mystery & Thrillers | Cozy Mystery Subgenre 

Book Review

5 Star Rating for a Book Review

Rating: 5/5

Verdict:

Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. 

This is my very first Chief Inspector Gamache series – and God, why had I not heard of this earlier?! Clearly, as you can note, I loved the book.

The story is well written, it has a Hercule Poirot like feel to it, and is very rich in its characterization. 

Yes, there is a mystery to be solved, an unexplained dead body and the sort. This is, however, layered beautifully on top of relationships between family members.

If you want a break from the psychological thrillers and go back to the classical form of mystery – this is THE book to select.

Plotline:

Chief Inspector Gamache and his family are in Paris. So is Stephen Horowitz, Gamache’s godfather. Ostensibly, all is well.

Yet, a sinister plot is uncovered. Lives are taken to protect the secret. Stephen Horowitz is attacked. Gamache too is stepping dangerously close to the firing line.

As the story unravels, we delve into both the divine and the devil in Paris. Following Chief Inspector Gamache, we discover a dark web of lies that threaten the very foundation of his family.

Who has been pulling the strings behind the scenes? Which secrets will take him to the Gates of Hell?

A crackling crime fiction novel! 

My Opinion:

What I loved most was that it is set in the romantic city of Paris. Reading the book, I was transported back to its exquisite streets, the beautiful Notre-Dame cathedral and jardin du Luxembourg. It had me caught up in the sights and smells emanating from little cafes on the pavements, and lovely boutique boulangeries.

Another aspect, I deeply appreciated, was how Louise Penny layered this story with human emotions. The strained father and son relationship, yet the deep love shared between the Godfather and son. The respect of the mind between colleagues. The joy of having young grandchildren. The memories and unspoken understanding shared only between lovers. Each relationship was real. I believe it comes from Louise’s own life experiences. (Read the acknowledgment section in the book to understand that part.)

Lines from the book that have stayed with me:

  • You were a moth brushing against my cheek, in the dark I killed you, not knowing you were only a moth, with no sting
  • Fluctuat nec mergitur. Beaten by the waves, but never sinks.
  • Patience. Patience. With patience comes choice, and with choice comes power
  • People believe what they want to believe. Beginning with their own lies.
  • It (Paris) was a city of facades. Of beauty, both obvious and obscure. Of heroism, both obvious and obscure. Of dreadful deeds,  both obvious and obscure.
  • We deal with as close to certainties as we can get. But life isn’t a schematic. It’s not an engineering project. Sometimes we need to take a risk.
  • The funny thing about Hell is that we assume it’s obvious… We’ll be plunged into it by some horrific event…But the truth is, Hell can be as subtle as Heaven. 
  • You can’t be brave if you’re not afraid

How To Buy The Book:

Good news! The entire series is available in bookstores and online. 

Click here to go to an external link to buy All The Devils Are Here (Book 16 in the Chief Inspector Gamache series)  [Amazon link]

More About the Author:

Louise Penny is a Canadian author and former radio host cum journalist with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She has won several literary awards including the Agatha Awards which she won five times. The Agatha Awards named after Agatha Christie, are literary awards given to writers who write similar mysteries in the cozy mystery genre. 

Louise Penny’s novels have been sold worldwide and translated into over 20 languages.

Life, however, has not always been so rosy for Louise Penny. She suffered from alcoholism during her younger days, and checked into rehab at the age of 35. It is only afterwards did things change for the better, and she found both peace and success.  

Louise is an inspiration and example of how people can turn around their lives once dedicated. 

Movie Adaptation: The first two books from the Chief Inspector Gamache series have been adapted for the silver screen. 

Chief Inspector Gamache Book Reading Order:

  1. Still Life (2005) 
  2. A Fatal Grace (Alternate title: Dead Cold) (2007)
  3. The Cruelest Month (2008) 
  4. A Rule Against Murder (Alternate Title: The Murder Stone) (2009) 
  5. The Brutal Telling (2009) 
  6. Bury Your Dead (2010) 
  7. A Trick of the Light (2011) 
  8. The Beautiful Mystery (2012) 
  9. How the Light Gets In (2013) 
  10. The Long Way Home (2014) 
  11. The Nature of the Beast (2015) 
  12. A Great Reckoning (2016) 
  13. Glass Houses (2017)
  14. Kingdom of the Blind (2018) 
  15. A Better Man (2019)
  16. All the Devils are Here (2020)

You can follow the series on: https://www.gamacheseries.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/louisepennyauthor/

Questions for the Book Club 

IMP: SPOILER ALERT, visit this section only after you’ve read the book:

  1. At the end of World War 2, many claimed to be with the Resistance. Gamache’s grandmother, Zora, too found this intriguing. What are your thoughts? Has history been just or is an illusion?
  1. The archivist says: “Germans weren’t the only ones to ransack and rewrite…It served the Allies well to bury…evidence. They needed former Nazis in their own programs. How do you think the Americans got to the moon”.  Certain key accomplishments in science, medicine and technology have a dark origin. Do you think the dark past should remain largely hidden? Is it better served under wraps? If yes, are we agreeing that the end justifies the means?
  1. The motto of Paris: Fluctuat nec mergitur. Beaten by the waves, but never sinks. What was the reason this was adopted by Parisians as their motto? Why did it hold such a special place in Stephen’s heart?
  1. Stephen Horowitz’s JSPS card was the stuff of legends in the business community. Do you think there exists such a parallel in the real world? Do you think the uber rich today are manipulating our realities?  
  1. Jean-Guy makes a choice of having a daughter with Down syndrome. We saw him struggle if he is making the right choice, wondering if he is burdening his son with a responsibility that he has not asked for. As a reader, what do you think would be his son’s reaction later in life? Should a sibling have a choice or say in something that impacts his/her future as well?
  1. Paris is a city of facades, notes Armand. Which other cities, towns or villages come to your mind when you recall the “beauty, heroism and dreadful deeds” of the past. Do you know the history behind the city, town, etc you live in?
  1. “With patience comes choice, and with choice comes power,” says Stephen Horowitz.  Money invested in social responsibility projects is often referred to as “patient capital”. Do you think corporations investing in social projects are aware of the power they wield by exercising their choice in which community, geography or project to invest in?
  1. “…life isn’t a schematic. It’s not an engineering project. Sometimes we need to take a risk.”  When did you last take a risk? Was it worth it? Do taking risks make you uncomfortable or give you a thrill?

Disclaimer: Thanks to #NetGalley for #AllTheDevilsAreHere – an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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