Glass Houses

Glass Houses

A Novel

eBook - 2017
Average Rating:
38
1
Rate this:
When a mysterious figure appears on the village green on a cold November day in Three Pines, Armand Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, knows something is seriously wrong. Yet he does nothing. Legally, what can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized. From the moment its shadow falls over Three Pines, Gamache suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. When it suddenly vanishes and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied. In the early days of the investigation into the murder, and months later, as the trial for the accused begins in a Montreal courtroom on a steamy day in July, the Chief Superintendent continues to struggle with actions he's set in motion, from which there is no going back. "This case began in a higher court," he tells the judge, "and it's going to end there."
Publisher: New York, NY : St. Martin's Press, 2017
ISBN: 9781466873681
146687368X
Characteristics: 1 online resource

Opinion

From Library Staff

A new threat arises in Three Pines as a mysterious masked figure stands watch on the village green. ‘It’ refuses to communicate in any way, which is just the start of another thrilling adventure in this long-running series. Gamache is still trying to restore the Sûreté du Québec back to what it w... Read More »

A new threat arises in Three Pines as a mysterious masked figure stands watch on the village green. ‘It’ refuses to communicate in any way, which is just the start of another thrilling adventure in this long-running series. Gamache is still trying to restore the Sûreté du Québec back to what it w... Read More »


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

l
LauraSteinert
May 03, 2018

Save this story for long winter night when you can curl up next to the fire with a glass of wine. You'll want to spend some time after each chapter contemplating and digesting.

This is not a summer reading book. As with all Literature (as opposed to books) this takes some work. I found myself (as always with Louise Penny novels) needing to reread paragraphs or whole pages because they are so well written and so moving. Penny takes on the drug epidemic and drug cartels in this novel, and I wish her solution would work. Halfway through the book, I found myself making excuses to put off reading the next page because I know how long it is going to be before I can visit Three Pines in her next novel. I cling to the characters; I long to understand them; I love watching them grow and discover themselves. Much about redemption, love, friendship, misunderstandings, forgiveness, and patience--perhaps even more than previous novels.

If you are new to Louise Penny, you really must start with Still Life and work your way into the hearts and minds of these incredible characters.

g
gordonsetters
Apr 15, 2018

(the author revealed at the end of this disappointing book that while she was writing it, her husband suffering from dementia, was failing, and eventually died. definitely a time to be compassionate. still, I stand by my review below)

very disappointed. love her books but this one had a lot of white spaces, blank pages, and repetitions. more a novella or even a short story. I noticed lots of phrases, sentences and ideas from her former books. half way thru the book, I found I could scan many paragraphs which were fillers. I love her books but this didn't feel like the quality i'm used to from her. Had a hard time finishing but the last chapter was interesting.

I loved this story, The cobrador was a metaphor for the conscience of all the characters. The clever use of the tiny border town as a corridor for crime is a current issue with our American neighbours. I did like the braiding of the past and present, the 'hot scenes' were the present and the events taking place in the cold were reflections of what had gone on in the past. This book is up to Penny's usual excellent standards in crime fiction.

r
renooner
Mar 22, 2018

You can't beat a Louise Penny novel on a cold, winter's night in Minnesota. She's in my top tier of writers along with CJ Box, Carl Hiaasen, Daniel Silva, David House right, and the late, great Vince Flynn who poured me a few Dewars in St Paul years ago. R.I.P Vince....

d
DL7173
Mar 20, 2018

At 647 pages (large print) this one was too long-winded for my taste.

g
GrandCru
Mar 10, 2018

Not one of her best. Confusing at times with all the back and forth stuff. I like her books that go into more 'food' descriptions and involve the village locals. This one consisted mainly of a group of non-villagers.

p
praxeologist
Feb 24, 2018

I became acquainted with the genius of Louise Penny when I read in 2012 her debut novel, Still Life, published in 2005. Back then, I wrote for myself this response to her writing: Remarkable in that the spirit outranks the letter. Author stands at the portal to organic writing.

The ensuing years have brought forth eleven more novels penned by Penny, and now, with the creation of Glass Houses, her thirteenth novel, she stands in the vestibule of organic writing, which evolves without intellectual prodding. There's plenty of this prodding in the production of this murder mystery, but the organic nature lifts from the pages near the middle of the book. There rapture awaits the reader who is keen in engaging the spirit of the story. The following four sentences from page 184 of the hardcover offer a taste of this rapture:
"[Chief Superintendent] Armand Gamache walked through the late afternoon darkness. The lights from the cottages were made soft by the mist that still hung over the village. Three Pines felt slightly out of focus. Not quite of this world."

Three Pines is on the map if you've been there; otherwise, it does not exist.

Louise Penny builds her mystery with the help of glass houses, a baseball bat, the novel Lord of the Flies, the phrase "burn our ships," Mahatma Gandhi's higher court of the conscience, lesbianism, an old poet demented with insight, and the Spanish cobrador, who collects debts. Penny, in pushing to the beyond, infuses "cobrador" with a higher meaning: "conscience."

How the cobrador as conscience plays out in the story is done well. Penny's cobrador wears a black costume and mask. Three Pines, located near Montreal and the border with the United States, is the center of the story, and it is here that the cobrador appears and stands mute on the village green. This sinister presence causes a stir in the village. A lot of questions are raised, with the most basic of them—what is it doing here?—leading into the intrigue.

Chief Superintendent Gamache was the first to confront the cobrador. The entity did not move, it did not speak. If the narrator would have given Gamache the opportunity to assess the height of the cobrador and detect the scent, if any, of the person hidden by black, the intrigue would have been put at risk. Sherlock Holmes with the help of his narrator would have taken this opportunity and damn the intrigue, but Holmes could have no place in this mystery because he favors the letter in solving a crime whereas Gamache favors the spirit.

Louise Penny creates in Glass Houses an enjoyable read by creating symbols, even of the murder victim and Three Pines itself, and by keeping the reader close to Armand Gamache, whose conscience is on trial.

The murder mystery intersects later with a search for the leader of a drug cartel. Is that culprit the murderer?

By the end of the story, the reader may be thinking that Louise Penny, the conscience for Glass Houses, is her own hero, Chief Superintendent Armand Gamache, the conscience for a world hidden from the world.

l
laphampeak
Jan 17, 2018

I'm not a fan. Nothing happened in the first 150 pages except to establish, ad nauseam, the existence of a cobrador. Determined to finish despite my lack of enthusium I plodded to the end. I wanted more engagement to the characters, not blind devotion to the author.

g
glotet
Jan 15, 2018

Disappointing, using a "scary thing" as the crux of the story. Slow moving and repetitive with how Gamache "felt." The story was not captivating in any way unlike her first books.

m
m0mmyl00
Jan 07, 2018

One of the things I enjoy so much about a Louise Penny book is the way she incorporates her research into her books. An example is Beautiful Mysteries, which is about silent monks who make Gregorian chants a central part of their faith and worship. I became aware of the depth of her immersion into the research when she noted that the monks’ silence awakened them to an awareness of minuscule expressions and the thoughts they conveyed. That is not something she learned from Wikipedia. (This is as opposed to The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about a girl from a hill tribe in China, Akha. When I looked up Akha, I found an entry that included all the beliefs and practices that were related in the book. I got no insights that would have come from someone having actual experienced living those beliefs and practices.)
Anyway, the thing that was so interesting in Glass Houses was the Cobrador. It is derived from the Spanish practice involving El Cobrador del Frac — a debt collector in a top hat who follows the debtor around silently, with the aim of shaming him/her into paying the debt. Penny created something different and more sinister by claiming it to be an ancient practice, and by making its purpose be to collect on moral and ethical debts as well as financial. I was disappointed to learn that she made that part up, and like the book a little less when I learned it was not true. I know; that’s not really fair.

View All Comments

Summary

Add a Summary

t
tuzhijizha
May 12, 2018

两条故事线,一条是三棵松树小镇的谋杀案,以及另一条线是毒品走私案。两条线互相交错,开始看似毫无交集,但是随着情节深入,两条线交叉了起来,谋杀案又是为了毒品走私案打掩护,最终是一个好结局。

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at BPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top