Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Nature of the Beast

The Nature of the Beast

A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Volume 11)

Louise Penny

Minotaur Books

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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.

Agatha Awards - Nominee, Amazon.com Best Books of the Year, Audie Award Finalist, Anthony Awards - Nominee

EXCERPT

CHAPTER 1



Running, running, stumbling, running.

Arm up against the wiry branches whipping his face. He didn't see the root. He fell, hands splayed into the moss and mud. His assault rifle dropped and bounced and rolled from sight....

Reviews

Praise for The Nature of the Beast

An Indie Next Pick for September

A LibraryReads Pick for August

Chosen by ABC-TV’s “The View” as a Best Fall Book of 2015

“[M]agical....[T]he perfect reminder of the dark side of human nature, but that side does not always win out. Penny is an expert at pulling away the surface of her characters to expose their deeper-and often ugly-layers, always doing so with a direct but compassionate hand.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Three Pines again proves no refuge in Penny's stellar [The Nature of the Beast]...fans will delight in [her] continued complex fleshing out of characters they have come to love.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] compelling mystery that leads to an exciting but tantalizingly open-ended finale.”
Booklist

“Atmospheric and deeply humane…”
Wall Street Journal

“Penny sustains her high-wire act, creating characters of remarkable depth in an exhilarating whodunit.”
PEOPLE

“A complex mystery...”
Boston Globe

“A world of dark truth lies under the surface. One of the wonders of ‘The Nature of the Beast’ is how subtly and relentlessly the author mines that darkness, and how surely her detective steps through it, without once losing his cool.”
Chicago Tribune

“It's always a delight to spend time with the village denizens, whose levels of compassion, sarcasm and loyalty never waver.
Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A writer with wit and style who stands out from the crime fiction crowd.”
Arrive Magazine

The author of 10 best-selling books featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache infuses her mysteries with the beauty, culture and mouthwatering cuisine of Quebec.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“A fascinating and complex plot… The plot and its implications are indeed serious, but Ms. Penny tells her story with a light-handed deftness that allows events to move swiftly.”
Pittsburgh Post Gazette

“Louise Penny is back at full strength... Three Pines in her skillful hands becomes a literary pageant and the secret of its charm is its simplicity.”
Washington Times

“A fine plot… this beast has teeth.”
—Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail

“Brilliant Canadian author Louise Penny also confronts evil, and never more chillingly than in ‘The Nature of the Beast’… Penny, who raises the bar with each entry in this superb series, has always mixed murder and corruption with issues of morality. And in “The Nature of the Beast,” she adds geopolitics, an extension that makes her latest effort a perfect blend of whodunit and thriller. And she does so with her accustomed talent for a gripping plot, rich characterizations, arresting prose and thought-provoking questions of mercy, malice and the contradictions of the human race.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Penny has created eleven different mystery novels and one novella, many of them bestsellers, that weave together the excitement of classic whodunits with the pleasure of small town life.”
TIME.com

“Evil, from both outside and inside the village, is always a presence, and the struggle to resist it gives the novels gravity and a sense of suspense… Penny crafts her mystery carefully... She knows how to shape a novel for both readers new to the series and regulars… Penny has shaped a world in which the characters are constantly evolving, reacting to violence but also to love and connection. Elements of that world might be predictable, even comfortable, but enough remains outside its control to make it worth entering again and again, for both its stability and its surprises.”
Columbus Dispatch

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Louise Penny

LOUISE PENNY is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of ten previous 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.

Louise Penny

photo: JEAN-FRANÇOIS BÉRUBÉ

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