Book review: ‘A Great Reckoning’ by Louise Penny

By LARRY BALLWAHN | Wilton

Armand Gamache is now the superintendent of the Quebec Police Academy. He has been given the task of cleaning the corruption from it as he did the Quebec Provincial Police. Recent cadets have been trained to dominate the public rather than serve it. The prime mover in this effort has been Serge Leduc, the person responsible for the operation of the Academy prior to Gamache. In addition to questionable training methods, he was almost certainly taking kickbacks for most contracts with the academy. Ganache knew this but he needed proof. Consequently, he kept Leduc in a professor’s role even though he had replaced most of the worst offenders. One of his replacements was a former friend and colleague, Michael Brebeurf. Brebeurf had been forced out of the Provincial Police because of his illegal actions. Gamache was giving him a chance to teach and to serve as an object lesson.

A month into the year, Gamache’s approach seemed to be working, although many, especially the seniors, struggled with the changes. Also, Serge Leduc continued to host some students in his room, feeding them all kinds of false information about Superintendent Gamache.

Someone, however, had apparently had enough of Leduc. He was found shot in the head with his own revolver, a six shooter. The Provincial Police hadn’t used a revolver of that type since automatic pistols were available. Why would Leduc even have one? And why the silencer that was on it?

Gamache was no longer a homicide investigator. His former role now belonged to Chief Inspector Lacoste. She and her staff were called in to solve the crime. A thorough examination of the murder scene was undertaken. Among an assortment of partial fingerprints found on the revolver were Gamache’s and those of a freshman he had approved for the program, Amelia Choquert.

Gamache couldn’t understand how his prints were there, as he was not even aware the gun existed. In addition, he wasn’t aware that Amelia had fallen under Leduc’s influence.

Because the Provincial Police would be essentially investigating themselves, an outside observer and participant was brought in. Deputy Commissioner Gelinas of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police filled that role. Gelinas knew that Ganache had as much reason as anyone to be rid of Leduc. With the partial fingerprint and a motive, he thought he knew the murderer and he proceeded on that basis. Since the others would only suspect Gamache as a last resort, it was clearly his responsibility to pursue.

As one would expect, Three Pines becomes involved, even though the murder was at the Academy. The four cadets that were most involved with Leduc were spirited away to Three Pines at least in part for their safety. If Leduc was targeted, maybe those close to him? To keep the cadets busy, and build their investigative skills, they were to investigate a unique map that seemed to lead to an unnamed Three Pines. A copy of it had been found on Leduc’s nightstand.

With Gamache in a different role, and having a different responsibility, Louise Penny is tasked with a different challenge to put the clues together. There is also a different criterion for what is success for Gamache.

If you read this book, be sure to read the acknowledgements at the back.

Comments are closed.

  • Royall Education Notes: Concert dates set; district likely to run referendum in April

    November 26th, 2021
    by

    Happy Thanksgiving! I hope this finds you with a full belly, surrounded by friends and family. We have had a solid start to the school year at Royall, and we continue to move forward despite the pandemic still lingering around. 


    Scenic Bluffs offers free Affordable Care Act enrollment services

    November 25th, 2021
    by

    The open-enrollment period for Marketplace insurance, also known as Affordable Care Act, is now open until Jan. 15, 2022. 


    Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7

    November 25th, 2021
    by

    Only a few days remain for Medicare enrollees to make choices about their health coverage for next year. Tuesday, Dec. 7, is the last day of Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, when decisions can be made about health and prescription coverage for 2022.


    Mile Bluff: Covid surge continues to impact access to healthcare

    November 25th, 2021
    by

    Critically high — these are the words used to classify Covid-19 disease activity in Juneau County between Nov. 3–16 (www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/local.htm). 


    Ontario Old-Fashioned Christmas is canceled

    November 25th, 2021
    by

    Citing concerns over the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, the Ontario Community Club has canceled its Old-Fashioned Christmas event, which had been set for Saturday, Dec. 11.


  • N-O-W sets special board meeting for Monday

    November 19th, 2021
    by

    The Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton Board of Education will have a special board meeting Monday.


    Sponsorships, memorial donations sought for Norwalk’s flower baskets

    November 18th, 2021
    by

    One of the highlights of driving through Norwalk in the summer are the flower baskets hanging from the light poles and the planters lining the street. 


    Juneau County moves to crisis model for Covid-19 contact tracing

    November 12th, 2021
    by

     As daily Covid-19 case counts continue to rise in Juneau County, the Juneau County Health Department no longer has the capacity to follow up with everyone who is positive with Covid-19 and their close contacts.


    Book review: ‘Villette’ by Charlotte Bronte

    November 11th, 2021
    by

    Lucy Snowe is the main character and the narrator of “Villette.” Villette is a community in the fictional country of Labassecour (French is the native language and appears occasionally in the book).


    Schools report lower Covid-19 figures

    November 11th, 2021
    by

    Both the Royall and the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton school districts reported low Covid-19 numbers this week. 


    Brookwood theatre to present ‘Greek Mythology Olympiaganza’

    November 4th, 2021
    by

    Brookwood will present the comic production “Greek Mythology Olympiaganza” on Friday, Nov. 5, and Saturday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 7, at 2 P.M. in the Classic Gym.


  • Archives