This is one of the more stripped down narratives Louise Penny has delivered. Stripped down for Penny, that is. The essential story is a simple one that drives her narrative, but being a complex writer and thinker, she’s made the simple complex. There are two threads. One concerns the disappearance of a woman who happens to be the goddaughter of a Surete officer. Gamache, who has returned to work with a demotion (he’s head of homicide, not the entire Surete) accompanies the officer to the village where the woman lived.