Bestselling author Louise Penny returns to the crime novel scene with “Glass Houses” — the 13th book in her award-winning Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. “Glass Houses” also defies all conventions of the crime fiction, and this time the book opens at a murder trial in a Montreal courtroom.
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The novel follows the protagonist Gamache, who is suspected of lying in his testimony by first-time homicide judge Maureen Corriveau. Gamache was perfectly sure of the killer but was apprehensive that if something goes wrong in the courtroom, the murderer would run free. The story then takes us through a flashback to the past where a mysterious hooded figure, who calls himself a “cobrador” or debt collector, is spotted at Three Pines. At first things seem harmless, but the situation turns out to be something much more sinister, and therein comes our hero Gamache to save the day with his charming wit and robust personality.
Despite the reader’s knowledge that a murder has occurred, the author tantalizingly withholds the names of the victim and the accused, until halfway across the book. She fills the courtroom theatrics with flashbacks to the preceding events of the trial. Penny also introduces a refreshing host of quirky characters. A gripping novel, “Glass Houses” keeps you hanging in suspense throughout.