Glass Houses

Glass Houses

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
31
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When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead. From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized. But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied. Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montréal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache's own conscience is standing in judgment.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781250066190
Characteristics: 391 pages ;,25 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

VERDICT The award-winning Penny does not rest on her laurels with this challenging and timely book. Though touched by the evils of the outside world, Three Pines remains a singular place away from time.


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l
laphampeak
Jan 17, 2018

I'm not a fan. Nothing happened in the first 150 pages except to establish, ad nauseam, the existence of a cobrador. Determined to finish despite my lack of enthusium I plodded to the end. I wanted more engagement to the characters, not blind devotion to the author.

g
glotet
Jan 15, 2018

Disappointing, using a "scary thing" as the crux of the story. Slow moving and repetitive with how Gamache "felt." The story was not captivating in any way unlike her first books.

m
m0mmyl00
Jan 07, 2018

One of the things I enjoy so much about a Louise Penny book is the way she incorporates her research into her books. An example is Beautiful Mysteries, which is about silent monks who make Gregorian chants a central part of their faith and worship. I became aware of the depth of her immersion into the research when she noted that the monks’ silence awakened them to an awareness of minuscule expressions and the thoughts they conveyed. That is not something she learned from Wikipedia. (This is as opposed to The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about a girl from a hill tribe in China, Akha. When I looked up Akha, I found an entry that included all the beliefs and practices that were related in the book. I got no insights that would have come from someone having actual experienced living those beliefs and practices.)
Anyway, the thing that was so interesting in Glass Houses was the Cobrador. It is derived from the Spanish practice involving El Cobrador del Frac — a debt collector in a top hat who follows the debtor around silently, with the aim of shaming him/her into paying the debt. Penny created something different and more sinister by claiming it to be an ancient practice, and by making its purpose be to collect on moral and ethical debts as well as financial. I was disappointed to learn that she made that part up, and like the book a little less when I learned it was not true. I know; that’s not really fair.

s
Samatuna109
Jan 04, 2018

I really enjoy her books. While reading the 1st one, I thought it was more of a young readers book. Found myself by going back for another. Then another. Fell in love with Armand, Henri, the city of Quebec, and the Eastern townships all over again. Her books may not have you biting you nails while perched on the edge of your seat, but they are very enjoyable reads. Keep writing, my dear Ms Penny. And thank you!

l
lpreston214
Dec 21, 2017

This is a good addition to the series. Certainly recommended to series readers but probably not to "outsiders". For those who are tired of the citizens of Three Pines it's probably time to stop reading but to those of us who fantasize about living there it's wonderful. This is a drugs story as well as a murder mystery. I thought that aspect was very timely since the opioid epidemic is front and center of the news almost daily.

p
Palomino
Dec 18, 2017

A new book by Louise Penny is always a treat. This is not the best or the worst of them. It has all the usual characters and themes, but the vaguely threatening thing seemed a bit forced, and the plotline with Gamache's police business I didn't particularly enjoy. You could read this without previous books : you probably don't appreciate the village characters unless you've read a couple of previous books because their token appearances don't go into depth this time, and there's mild spoilers for previous books since those characters are (or aren't) still alive. Still recommend the book!

m
molly
Dec 16, 2017

This is Hillary Clinton's favourite author, and the reason that
the Clintons holidayed in Quebec recently.

l
ladyparasol
Dec 09, 2017

I liked the book and I've read all of the series. I read these because they are pure escape for me. However, this time I thought the book would never come to an end. For fun I checked a couple of her books 312 and 320 pages - this book clocks in at 400. Reading the book I wondered if she was now copying Scandinavian mysteries because the ones I've read are quite wordy. This book could have done with a little more editing. I also wasn't wild about the drug story in general. Yes, drugs are everywhere but when I read the Gamache series I just want to enjoy the company of everyone at the Bistro with a little murder thrown in.

PimaLib_ChristineR Dec 08, 2017

Another terrific Gamache novel. I enjoyed the split time line which wove in and out of the testimony Gamache gives in the summer about events the previous November. Without giving too much away, I have to say I don't always love the way Penny describes people on drugs, as though all drugs have the same effect and all addicts turn into monsters. Or the idea that a war on drugs can ever truly be "won." Other than these minor points this is another great story that uses repeated imagery and language to pull together the threads that are more like fuses, drawn into one explosive climax. If you already like this series this installment will not disappoint.

k
karenatterrace
Nov 30, 2017

Louise Penny just keeps getting better and better. Her writing has become much tighter and certainly more suspenseful. Like previous comments, I usually shy away from books using flashbacks, but, for the most part, Penny does this well. The dialogue still needs a little cleaning up and Ruth, well, you can't help but love her.

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