September 1, 2020
Genre/Categories/Setting: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Detective, Family Drama, Paris
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Thanks, #netgalley @macmillanaudio for a complimentary audio ALC of #allthedevilsarehere …. All opinions in this review are completely my own.
All the Devils Are Here, #16 in the Inspector Gamache Series, is set in Paris. The death of Armand Gamache’s godfather is made to look like an accident, but Gamache and his family suspect it is a deliberate murder. Soon the entire family is involved in searching for the truth, unraveling a web of lies and deceit, and facing danger from many directions. Can Gamache trust his beloved godfather? His son? His instincts? His past?
Are you a fan of Inspector Armand Gamache and Three Pines?
Plot: We can depend on Louise Penny for a fast-paced, complicated, thoughtful, and intriguing plot. If you appreciate well-told stories of powerful and corrupt corporations, you might be especially captivated by this story! In addition to the mystery and detective work, there are subplots involving the birth of Jean-Guy and Annie’s baby and unresolved father/son tension. One reason I love the Inspector Gamache series and have read them all is that the books are a perfect balance of plot-driven and character-driven. Penny writes intense, “heart-stopping” action but doesn’t neglect the complicated character of Armand Gamache. This delicate balance of a dedicated family man and loyal friend and fast-paced action represents my ideal reading experience. Without giving spoilers, the ending is one of the more satisfying in the entire series! I could write a whole post about it!
Setting: Some of us might be disappointed that All the Devils Are Here is not set in our beloved Three Pines. However, isn’t the glamorous City of Lights an acceptable alternative?! And, after all, how many murders can actually happen in that small Three Pines community?! Louise Penny’s vivid and detailed descriptions of Paris, the delicious pastries, and points of interest make me feel like I am right there walking the streets with the family. Penny’s writing is atmospheric and creates a strong sense of place.
Family: We might not be with the quirky and interesting characters of Three Pines for All the Devils Are Here, but we are with the entire Gamache family. In the previous fifteen books, we haven’t learned that much about Daniel, Gamache’s son. Penny has waited for book sixteen to fill us in on the strained father/son relationship. I love stories with complicated family drama themes! Even though the mystery is compelling, I think the family dynamics drive the story and are intriguing and heartfelt. We see loyalty, sibling rivalry, jealousy, misunderstandings, protectiveness, sacrifice, forgiveness, trust, and reconciliation. Now that’s a great story in my opinion!
Themes: Louise Penny doesn’t skimp on thoughtful themes! All the Devils Are Here includes father/son misunderstandings, sibling relationships, grief, family loyalty, childhood trauma, workplace intrigue, trust, friendship, sacrifice, healing, belonging, coming home, and the treasure of family (including a new baby!).
Title: The title references a line from the work of William Shakespeare: “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.”
Recommended: I enthusiastically recommend the entire Inspector Gamache (Three Pines) series for readers who are fans of mysteries, for those who appreciate a mature and wise detective who also has the highest morals and is a dedicated family man, and for readers who love thoughtful and smart writing. Others have said, and I agree that Louise Penny hits her stride with book #4 (book #3 is my least favorite). However, the earlier ones are important in character development and introducing an overarching storyline. I have a few favorites in the series (#7, #9, and #13) and All the Devils Are Here is among them because of the father/son storyline and heartfelt ending.
Read the Series in order! Although you might be tempted to jump into the series with book #16 (and it is possible to read this as a stand-alone), you would be missing a great deal of character development that happens from story to story. Read in order starting with Still Life for the best reading experience!
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Meet the Author, Louise Penny
LOUISE PENNY is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (five times) and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.
Are you a fan of the Inspector Gamache Series?
Is All the Devils Are Here on your TBR or have you read it?
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