When reading a long running series, it’s unrealistic to expect that you will love each installment. Considering that I’ve given 5-star ratings to 7 of the prior 10 Gamache novels, I was starting to believe that Penny had found some sort of magic formula. If so, it ran low on fuel for me with The Nature of the Beast. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still a ‘good’ book. I just don’t feel it is up to the level of the series thus far.
I’m not going to summarize the plot as, quite honestly, the plot was part of my problem. It’s too convoluted…which is a disappointment as usually Penny creates great storylines for her characters. Additionally, I am not a fan of tying two seemingly unrelated plot lines together for the sake of the story. Hence the convolution.
I also didn’t feel the emotional connection to the characters that I’ve come to love. Clara? Meh. Myrna? All but non-existent. Even Gamache. Nothing…
Book 12 will be released next month and I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on it. I’m sure I will fall back in love with Three Pines and all its’ wonderful inhabitants.