Friday, February 16, 2018
Review: Still Life by Louise Penny
Source: Personal Book
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montréal and yet a world away. Jane Neal, a long-time resident of Three Pines, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more but Gamache smells something foul this holiday season…and is soon certain that Jane died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.
With this award-winning first novel, Louise Penny introduces an engaging hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces--and this series--with power, ingenuity, and charm.
I had high expectations going into this read, and I was left disappointed. The story started off strong with the death of Jane Neal, living in a small town every one is shocked and wanting to figure out what happened. Three Pines was a wonder setting, I love reading about small towns. Since it does take place not far from where I live, I was all the more interested and connected with the story. It started to fall apart towards the middle, when the pace slowed down.
Inspector Gamache really helped hold the story together for me, and he is the reason why I would try this next book in this series. The death of Jane puts the whole town under the spotlight because they live in such a small community. There's lots of misleading clues that leaves the reader guessing and trying to pieces together what happened. Initially, the hunting community was thought to have killed Jane accidentally which I thought was plausible. However, the hunters kept getting back handed comments because they were hunters. That's was frustrating to me, because hunting is a huge part of my family. It in no way makes you a bad or heartless person, it's a tradition and a source of food. It's not a reflection of you as a person. Then, I read comments about the French and English and how a "french" person would never do this or that. I've lived in Quebec my whole life, and that annoyed me to no end. The story continued to fall apart for me. I don't feel like the differences between English and French have to cement that the story takes place in Quebec. It felt forced.
Overall, the mystery was good. I stayed engaged and wanted to figure out what happened. Inspector Gamache was a great characters, and I loved Tree Pines. I would hope the second book is more faster paced. The parts that annoyed me, probably wouldn't annoy others but they really distracted me and took away from the story. I will try the second book, and hopefully it will work out for me. I've heard such positive things about this series, I really went in with alot of expectations.