Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!
Seriously though. I cannot read anymore about the corruption at the Suerte. It's boring. Unfortunately after a fantastic read "The Nature of the Beast" I felt Penny back-slid a lot and we have "A Great Reckoning." Gamache is now not retired and is the now head of the Sûreté Academy. Gamache realizes that due to the actions of the now dead Francouer, he has to root out the problem cadets who have turned into brutal officers. When a professor is found dead, it appears that maybe Gamache has not wiped out all of the corrupt officials like he thought.
How do I say this? Gamache was annoying as hell in this one. Focused on being right and not listening to anyone he forces himself into an active homicide investigation and as far as I am concerned, undermines Inspector Lacoste. I really wish they had it out about that, because I would have been pissed myself. I was over him at the half-way point and by the end really over him when you find out that he had no idea how brutal the dead professor was and that Gamache's actions (deciding to keep the professor on to see how he would react) directly led to some cadets being mentally screwed with.
Gamache also calls in from the outside to keep an eye on the investigation (Paul Gelinas) who starts to think that maybe Gamache has something to do with the dead professor. It's a total red herring and not well done of Penny. I at no point believed that Gamache was responsible for the death and or had a random affair 20 years ago. The fact that characters who have known him forever (Reine, Jean-Guy, Lacoste) were dumb enough to even question this made me tired.
The other characters except for I would say Myrna were straight up caricatures at this point. There is no reason why Gamache should have hid four cadets in Three Pines. And I was angry that one of the cadets was showing himself to be a racist and stays at Mryna's home. It seems in the end though all is forgiven (blech).
Besides the death of the professor at the Academy, we have Gamache and the cadets he picks out to solve the mystery of a map that is found hidden in the bistro wall. The only reason why I gave this book 3 stars was really because the mystery of the map was the best part of this book. Just reading about that was more enjoyable than reading about the murder at the Academy and watching Gamache verbally fencing with Paul Gelinas.
The writing went back to the worst of the worst for me in this one. Things are left unsaid (for plot reasons) Gamache doesn't tell anyone what is really going on (for plot reasons) and then we get to an ending that was a big shrug to me. I don't know why in the world people in Gamache's orbit let him get away with never sharing things. It's just crap. We get a reveal about how Gamache is connected to one of the cadets and I rolled my eyes a thousand times.