The Nature of the Beast (Book 11)

Book Summary

Hardly a day goes by when nine-year-old Laurent Lepage doesn’t cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. Including Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache, who now live in the little Quebec village.

But when the boy disappears, the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true.

And so begins a frantic search for the boy and the truth. What they uncover deep in the forest sets off a sequence of events that leads to murder, leads to an old crime, leads to an old betrayal. Leads right to the door of an old poet.

And now it is now, writes Ruth Zardo. And the dark thing is here.

A monster once visited Three Pines. And put down deep roots. And now, Ruth knows, it is back.

Armand Gamache, the former head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, must face the possibility that, in not believing the boy, he himself played a terrible part in what happens next.

Cultural Reference Discussion

Join us in a discussion around a creative work of cultural significance from this book.

Apple and Avocado Salsa with Honey-Lime Dressing

Their dinner guests had already arrived and were sipping drinks and eating apple and avocado salsa by the time Armand returned . . . .

“I saw the Lepage boy come flying out of the woods again,” said Ruth. “What was it this time? Zombies?”

“Actually, I believe he disturbed a nest of poets,” said Armand, taking the bottle of red wine around and refilling glasses, before helping himself to some of the salsa with honey-lime dressing. “Terrified him.”

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The Real Place Archive

In 2015, we (virtually) visited some of the real places that inspired Louise Penny in writing the Inspector Gamache series. Every two weeks we posted a new essay, photos, and opened a discussion about a real place that is the inspiration behind a fictional place in each of the books. The archive of the place and discussion for THE NATURE OF THE BEAST can be found in The Real Place Archive page.