The Brutal Telling is another well written installment in the Armand Gamache mystery series. Penny excels with character development and atmosphere. When reading this series you feel like you are walking through the village of Three Pines.
After reading I was full prepared to give this 3-stars. Even with the positives, it wasn’t a particularly enjoyable read. There were several cases where I felt the residents of Three Pines that we’ve come to know so well acted out of character in such a fashion that it made me uncomfortable as a reader. But, then, I thought about it and you know what? Part of good writing is sometimes making the reader uncomfortable and showing us the darker side of human nature. As in life, someone you know and love can do something pretty horrible.
Penny also found a way to talk about friendship and holding onto your morals without preaching to the reader. When someone says something derogatory and insulting about a friend of yours how do you handle? What if that person has the ability to impact your career? The struggle to do the right thing isn’t always black and white. This small sub-plot was so well done.