When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, the former head of the Québec Provincial Police discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, he accepts and soon learns that he is one of three executors — and none of them had ever met the elderly woman.
The will is so odd and includes bequests that are so wildly unlikely that they suspect the woman must have been delusional. But what if she was perfectly sane?
When a body is found, the terms of the bizarre will suddenly seem less peculiar and far more menacing. But it isn’t the only menace Gamache is facing.
The investigation into what happened six months ago — the events that led to his suspension — has dragged on, into the dead of winter. And while most of the opioids he allowed to slip through his hands in order to bring down the cartels have been retrieved, there is one devastating exception.
Enough narcotic to kill thousands has disappeared into inner city Montreal. With the deadly drug about to hit the streets, Gamache races for answers. As he uses increasingly audacious, even desperate, measures to retrieve the drug, Gamache begins to see his own blind spots. And the terrible things hiding there.