My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As with most books, I had some preconcieved ideas before I started reading Still Life. It was not at all what I expected. It is full of wild, eccentric and interesting characters. Jane Neal is an “artist” in a small town whose art consists of stick figures. She doesn’t allow anyone beyond one room in her home ever, even her closest of friends. Why? At the beginning of the book, Jane is found dead in the woods and it is thought to be a hunting accident. But is it?
Louise Penny creates some wonderfully complex characters that will keep you guessing throught the book. The characters are so wild and interesting that the reader isn’t sure what will be revealed next, changing your views many times about who’s responsible for the death of Jane Neal. Just as the book seems to be revealing who’s responsible, more details are revealed that change the thoughts of who could be responsible.
I sometimes find it difficult to talk a lot about mysteries, such as Still Life, and thrillers because most of what I would talk about would give the story away. Therefore, I will talk about some of the side story and side characters that I enjoyed so that I don’t spoil this mystery for future readers.
I appreciated that Chief Inspector Gamanche was willing to stand up for what he felt was right by not arresting someone he believed wasn’t guilty, even if this had some consequences with his job. I love characters who are written with a strong commitment to what they believe in and will stay committed to their beliefs even for someone else.
In Still Life, we meet the side characters of Olivier and Gabri who are unfairly mistreated by some of the townspeople. I loved that Louise Penny wrote them with such a commitment to forgiveness and treating others with kindness no matter how they are treated. People tend to either follow the cycles of family/life as it’s shown to them or through their experiences they choose to become the complete opposite of what they see and experience. By the end of this book, Olivier and Gabri show that they have become the complete opposite. They show kindness in such a beautiful way that I didn’t see coming. It was a well planted, well written and heartwarming background part of the story.
Still Life by Louise Penny is so creatively written with so many eccentric characters that make up a great mystery. The story will keep you guessing until the very end. As you read the book, you may think you solved the case along the way, but did you really? I thought I had this case figured out many times…boy was I wrong!
Louise Penny surprised me with this story. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting, but in a good way. I will definitely be continuing to read this mystery series. I wonder what wild mystery Louise Penny will create next…