The Nature of the Beast is a New York Times bestselling Chief Inspector Gamache novel from Louise Penny.
Hardly a day goes by when nine year old Laurent Lepage doesn't cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. Including Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache, who now live in the little Quebec village.
But when the boy disappears, the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true.
And so begins a frantic search for the boy and the truth. What they uncover deep in the forest sets off a sequence of events that leads to murder, leads to an old crime, leads to an old betrayal. Leads right to the door of an old poet.
And now it is now, writes Ruth Zardo. And the dark thing is here.
A monster once visited Three Pines. And put down deep roots. And now, Ruth knows, it is back.
Armand Gamache, the former head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, must face the possibility that, in not believing the boy, he himself played a terrible part in what happens next.
"The winds of change are freshening in Three Pines. Armand Gamache, former chief inspector of the Sûreté du Québec, now retired to the idyllic village north of Montreal, is starting to feel twitchy, pondering the next stage in his life. But even as the future signals change, the past is calling forth a nightmare. When the shocking death of a nine-year-old boy with a penchant for telling tall tales sends Gamache to the woods, looking for clues, he discovers that the boy's last tale was tall but true: a giant missile launcher is found hidden in the woods, pointing toward the U.S. Is it the work of Gerald Bull, a real-life rogue physicist who actually built such a gun? Penny builds this fascinating and still little-known slice of Canadian history into a compelling mystery that leads to an exciting but tantalizingly open-ended finale. A few too many coincidences may be required here to link Three Pines to Gerald Bull's bizarre, shocking career, but the overarching metaphor the presence of a very large serpent in paradise will resonate powerfully for devotees of this compelling series. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A 400,000-copy market distribution, combined with all manner of online promotion and Penny's astounding popularity, will ensure that the curious story of Gerald Bull and his very big gun will soon be common knowledge across the world.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2015 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"At the start of this production, Penny offers a sweet farewell to the late Ralph Cosham, the original and sole reader of the series until his death last year. Simultaneously, she introduces his replacement, British actor Bathurst, who seems every bit as proficient as his predecessor at capturing the moods and mores of former Sûreté Chief Inspector Gamache and the other citizens of the usually cozy, secluded little Canadian village of Three Pines. For this adventure, arguably the series's best, both hero and hamlet are in a state of unease after a nine-year-old boy, known for his annoying exaggerations, is found dead, and his claim that he found a gun in the woods "as big as a building" proves to be accurate. Along with a plot as mysterious and compelling as any she has concocted, Penny continues to fill in the blanks of her characters' lives, this time focusing on the village's prime eccentric, the aging poet Ruth Zardo, who lives with a pet duck. The new reader offers the author a notable assist, segueing out of Gamache's initially weary mood by quickening his speech after learning of the boy's death, and finally building to a full-throated involvement in piecing together the history of the huge weapon. But the biggest challenge Bathurst handily meets is in reflecting the emotional changes in Ruth, as long-buried elements of her past are brought to the surface by the unearthing of the weapon of mass destruction. A Minotaur hardcover. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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