Propelled by fine writing and full-blooded characters, Cold Comfort is an intricate tale of murder and passion set in a deceptively peaceful, rural American locale.
Hector Bellevance has returned to his hometown in northern Vermont after a bruising tenure as a Boston cop destroyed his marriage. Once there, he reluctantly accepts the mostly honorary title of town constable, a job that has him enforcing dog ordinances and other local nuisance laws, until a violent double-murder sets a destructive series of events in motion.
A wealthy and attractive couple from Canada, recent newcomers to the town, are found shot execution-style in their fashionable home. Hector's half-brother Spud — a down-to-earth dairy farmer and neighbor of the two — finds the bodies shortly before the police discover that Spud and the wife were having an affair. With his brother tagged as suspect number one, Hector is forced to begin his own investigation into who wanted these people dead and why.
The search finds him keeping company with Wilma Strong-Parkhurst, a smart, sexy, outspoken reporter for the local paper, who knows more than she's telling. Together they uncover the unexpectedly dark underbelly of the town and its environs, which involves locally produced porn films, high-stakes real estate development, and drugs.
Critically acclaimed author Don Bredes spins a captivating story of lust, greed, and old-fashioned, time-honored American ingenuity.
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Penzler Pick, May 2001: Set in the small village of Tipton, bordering Quebec, Cold Comfort is a brooding tale of murder in a small town. Once a bustling community, Tipton, like many American towns, started dying when the interstate was built, funneling away the through-town traffic. It is to this town, his boyhood home, that Hector Bellevance returns from Boston, where he was a cop.
Heck, as he is known, is now the town constable and most of his duties are light, but on this particular day he is called out to a gruesome murder scene by his half brother, Spud, who found the bodies. Otto and Gaea Morgenthau were pleasant people who moved to the town several years ago but kept to themselves. The crime scene makes it clear that the couple had been dead for a while and suggests that they knew their attacker. When the state troopers arrive on the scene, the sergeant is particularly interested to know why Spud was at the house and why Heck has sent him home to finish his chores.
Until that moment, Heck has had no reason to believe that Spud was involved, but when he learns that Spud had discovered the bodies a day or two before telling him and that Spud has been seen peeking into the Morgenthau's windows, he knows he will have a tough time proving his brother was not involved in the murder. The best way to do that, of course, is to find out who did butcher the couple, which will mean uncovering some of the town's best kept secrets.
This is suspense at its well-written best. --Otto PenzlerAbout the Author:
DON BREDES is the author of two previous novels, Hard Feelings and Muldoon. He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter.
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Book Description Harmony Books, New York, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Nice, unsold, unread first edition of this mystery set in Vermont and featuring Hector Bellevance, author's third book. Ships in a box, fast service from a real bricks and mortar independent bookstore open since 1998. No remainder marks. Bookseller Inventory # 001343
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