In Don Bredes’s Cold Comfort, Hector Bellevance left Vermont for Harvard, graduated into a job with the Boston Police Department, made detective, married, divorced, accidentally shot his partner during a raid gone bad, and then returned to Vermont because, as Robert Frost famously said, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
Now, in The Fifth Season, he’s back in the town of Tipton, growing vegetables for the farmer’s market, dating Wilma Strong, the hotshot reporter for the local paper, and serving as town constable, when Marcel Boisvert—a contrary town father who, as road commissioner, maintains Tipton’s rural thoroughfares—apparently goes berserk. Hector finds the county sheriff shot dead in Marcel’s dooryard and the Tipton town clerk shot dead in her office. Marcel has disappeared.
Hector and Wilma and half of the Vermont State Police are looking for Marcel—and looking over their shoulders at the same time. The small town’s history, the complex interrelationships of people whose fathers and grandfathers were friends, and the outlaw independence of such a place all play into a tale of love, betrayal, and one very strange season.
From the Trade Paperback edition.