Armand Gamache is no longer Chief Inspector of the Homicide Department. He no longer lives a life that was ordered but never routine. He has physically recovered from the injuries he received on duty and is now he living to the cadence of Three Pines, a small village in rural Quebec. He walks regularly with his wife, Reine-Marie, exercises his eccentric German Shepherd, Henri, spas with the belligerent poet, Ruth, and has come to relish the regular get-togethers with a close knit group of locals for barbecues, or a glass of wine.
Then a close friend seeks him out: embarrassed that she is perhaps in danger of opening old wounds. Clara and her husband Peter are both artists. Since University he had been the successful one, hailed by the critics, while she was the supportive wife, a “dabbler” creating oddball work, humiliated by purists quirky installations, discounted by her professors. But over the years, while Peter stagnates in his technical excellence, Clara develops a unique, constantly evolving voice that captivates critics and art lovers. The strain on the couple’s relationship had grown untenable and she had insisted on a trial separation; a year apart after which they would meet up and see if they could revive their relationship. But he has failed to appear, even