Excerpt

Chapter 1 from GLASS HOUSES

“State your name, please.”

“Armand Gamache.”

“And you are the head of the Sûreté du Québec?”

“The Chief Superintendent, oui.”

Gamache sat upright on the wooden chair. It was hot. Sweltering, really, on this July morning. He could taste perspiration from his upper lip and it was only just ten o’clock. It was only just starting.

The witness box was not his favorite place in the world. And far from his favorite thing to do. To testify against another human being. There were only a few times in his career when he’d gotten satisfaction, even pleasure, from that and this wasn’t one of them.

Sitting uncomfortably on the hard chair, under oath, Armand Ga­ mache admitted to himself that while he believed in the law, had spent his career working within the justice system, what he really had to answer to was his conscience.

And that was proving to be a pretty harsh judge.

“I believe you were also the arresting officer.”

“I was.”

“Is that unusual, for the Chief Superintendent to actually be making arrests?”

“I’ve only been in the position a little while, as you know. Every­ thing is unusual to me. But this particular case was hard to miss.”

The Chief Crown Prosecutor smiled. His back to the rest of the court and the jury, no one else saw. Except perhaps the judge, who missed little.

And what Judge Corriveau saw was a not particularly pleasant smile. More a sneer, really. Which surprised her, given the Chief Crown and the Chief Superintendent were apparently on the same side.

Though that didn’t mean, she knew, that they had to like or respect each other. She had some colleagues she didn’t respect, though she doubted she’d ever looked at them with exactly that expression.

While she was assessing them, Gamache had been assessing her. Trying to get a read.

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