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All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

Author:Louise Penny [Penny, Louise]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Suspense, Thriller
ISBN: 9780751579253
Publisher: Hachette UK
Published: 2020-09-02T00:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER 24

When the men returned to the living room with dessert and coffee, Reine-Marie nodded toward the box. “Find anything interesting?”

“Look at this,” said Armand. “And tell us what you think.”

He handed them the GHS annual report, open to the page listing the board of directors. “My God. The former President of France?” said Monique. “An ex–American Secretary of State?”

“Look, a Nobel laureate,” said Reine-Marie. “I read her book. Formidable.”

They scanned the list of diplomats, world leaders, philosophers, and artists.

“Anything strike you?” asked Armand.

“Besides the caliber of members?” said Monique. “GHS must be incredibly powerful to attract such people.”

“Yes,” said Armand. He was watching Reine-Marie as she stared at the list. Then, after taking a large forkful of creamy cake, she turned to the President’s Report. There was a photo of the CEO, Eugénie Roquebrune. And below it a précis of their corporate philosophy.

“Seems interesting to me,” she said slowly, “who’s not on the board.”

“What do you mean?” Monique reexamined the names.

“This’s an engineering firm, right?” said Reine-Marie. “So why aren’t there any engineers? There’re no scientists of any kind. Nobel laureates, but not in economics or physics. They’re in literature. And why aren’t there any accountants? Anyone who could read a financial statement and see if there’s anything wrong? They’re all politicians and diplomats. Minor royalty and celebrities. There’s this one fellow, head of a media empire, but that doesn’t mean he can read a spreadsheet even if he wanted to.”

And that, thought Armand, was the crux. How much did these people actually want to know?

“Not exactly the checks and balances you’d hope for in a board of directors,” said Monique.

The photo of Madame Roquebrune smiled out at them. She seemed pleasant enough, but did not give the impression of immense power or even authority.

But then, that might’ve been the idea. Gamache suspected nothing, no word, no image, not even the font, was chosen without intense scrutiny.

Reine-Marie also studied the photograph. She saw a woman in her early fifties. Elegant, warm. Kindly even. Not at all intimidating or formidable. In fact, as she looked closer, Reine-Marie saw there was a very small eyelash on Madame Roquebrune’s cheek.

It was almost unnoticeable, except as a tiny human flaw.

It was actually quite endearing. She wanted to brush it away.

And that, Reine-Marie knew, was the trap. Even as she felt herself drawn into it.

Could this, she found herself wondering, really be one of the most powerful people in France? In Europe?

But then, her own husband was often mistaken for a college professor. Not a man who hunted killers.

The GHS president was not kindly and benign, and its board was not oversight. It was a façade, a stamp of legitimacy. The men and women on the board gave the corporation access, and cover, should anything go wrong.

“Claude, do you know this Eugénie Roquebrune?” Armand asked.

“No,” he said. “Though that’s some impressive board. I wonder if Monsieur Horowitz really did have anything on GHS. Hard to believe people like that could be taken in.”

“People believe what they want to believe,” said Reine-Marie.



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