Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

Yesterday, I blogged about how it makes a lot of sense to read books in a series sequentially. Today, when I finished Louise Penny's Bury Your Dead, I also realised why it's not a good idea to leave a series alone for too long.
Normally, it doesn't matter about how long I take between each book, since they aren't connected (except for the characters). But in this case, a good portion of Bury Your Dead was taken up with disproving the previous case. In order words, the previous novel's conclusion was void, which for some reason made me feel cheated out of a book.

But honestly, this latest installment of Louise Penny's mysteries is the most confusing one. Mostly because there are three separate plots. There is the murder that Gamache is investigating, the old case that Beauvoir is told to re-open secretly, and what happened between the span of two novels. For me, it felt like the novel didn't make a clear distinction between the flashbacks and the present, and made it much more complicated. One moment, they're on the case and suddenly, we're back in time. I'd have appreciated a line break to indicate something had happened.

And, I felt that three plots were too much. The book should have stuck with two. Although Three Pines (or it's surroundings) have been the site of the book for most if not all of the past books, I didn't see a need to revisit the old murder case. I did enjoy the case set in Quebec City, so I didn't particularly miss Three Pines. If the book had been kept to just two plots (what happened and what is happening now), it would have been so much easier to read.

After all these "complaints", I'm not saying the book shouldn't be read. Quite the opposite, the book is quite enjoyable. The book explores the differences/tension between the French and English communities in Quebec, and the mythology of history (sorry for the phrase, I don't know how else to describe it). The whole three plot thing is a little confusing (and to me, unnecessary), but after a while, I managed to get the hang of it.

Considering that I didn't even know that a new Louise Penny book was out, this was a really enjoyable surprise read(:

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