Audiobook Review: A Great Reckoning

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After the passing of Ralph Cosham, Louise Penny’s dedicated narrator for her Gamache series (#1-10), I swore I wouldn’t be able to listen to this series in audio ever again. How could anyone possibly embody Armand Gamache the way Cosham did? Cosham was Gamache.  He had this rich, buttery and grandfatherly tone of voice, and the way he gave wonderfully warm voices to the other characters in Three Pines (my most beloved would be Ruth and her duck – Cosham gave that duck a special and distinctive personality just as much as Gamache!) was so special, it would be so dearly and terribly missed. This great loss still has the power to move me to tears.

So, I went out and purchased the hardcover of The Nature of the Beast, the first to be read using some new narrator, at that time still unnamed. I then also purchased A Great Reckoning and Glass Houses as soon as they hit the store’s shelves. I read The Nature of the Beast, and while it didn’t come close to being a favourite, I also found that I missed having this series read to me. I have only ever listened to this series up until this point. There was something comforting about returning to Three Pines, and the audio seemed best bring it to life, for me anyway.

So, with some hesitation, I borrowed A Great Reckoning in audio (using the Axis 360 app). Robert Bathurst narrated The Nature of the Beast, and he is back narrating A Great Reckoning. No, he’s no Cosham for sure, and I’m not too keen on the voice he’s given Gamache – that warm grandfatherly tone just doesn’t seem to be there – and at first I thought he was saying Arnold Gamache – but I find myself comforted once again while listening. Truly, there is just something I can’t resist about listening to this series.

You may remember Robert Bathurst? He played Edith’s love, Sir Anthony Strallan, on Downton Abbey. Remember? – he’s the one that jilted poor Edith at the altar. :-(

A Great Reckoning was excellent! It had a great deal of wit and charm, I laughed out loud many times at the easy banter, it includes a layered and sophisticated murder mystery in which Three Pines and its inhabitants is meshed into it as well. I relaxed, eased up on the critique of Bathhurst’s narration, and found myself delighted in having it narrated to me, which only became easier as the story went along since it easily pulled me right in.

I was so enthralled with it that I ended up finishing the 2nd half of it with my hardcover copy. The weather cooperated and made for a perfectly wonderful Sunday afternoon by the fire while working through this perplexing and riveting case.

I tried to see if I could immediately follow up with Glass Houses in audio, but the lineup is long and wide and it doesn’t look like it will be available in the near future at all! Luckily, I have the hardcover for it as well, but something still appeals to me to continue in audio. Perhaps this is something I use an upcoming Kobo audiobook credit for? I did sign up for the trial period, so it might be beneficial to continue with the subscription if only to download Glass Houses. :-)