The Fifth Season
A Novel of Suspense
By Don Bredes
(Three Rivers Press, Paperback, 9780609606889, 320pp.)
Publication Date: April 26, 2005
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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.
Don Bredes was born in New York City and attended Syracuse University, the University of California at Irvine, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He is the author of three previous novels, and his writing has appeared in the Paris Review, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times Magazine, among others. He lives with his wife and daughter in Wheelock, Vermont.
“Don Bredes is a writer whose work I’ve admired for many years, but I was especially taken with The Fifth Season, the work of a singular talent at the height of his powers. . . . This is a brisk and well-shaped story of crime and detection; yet it’s more than that. It’s also a work of considerable literary ambition and solid achievement, one that deserves a wide audience.” —Jay Parini, author of The Apprentice Lover
“From its appealingly reluctant sleuth-hero, Hector Bellevance, to its precise and lovely language, to its terrifying climax in a quiet Vermont town, The Fifth Season is the most surprising, original, and entertaining literary thriller I've read since James Lee Burke's Purple Cane Road.” —Howard Frank Mosher, author of A Stranger in the Kingdom