In a small New England town, still waters run deep...and murderous.
Having already traded the stress of being a Boston detective for the laid-back life of a constable in bucolic Tipton, Vt., Hector Bellevance has recently cut back to being only a part-time constable. Along with his pregnant wife Wilma and their daughter Myra, he makes up the difference by growing the family’s vegetables. Prompted by a question from Myra, the couple impulsively decides to have the big wedding they never bothered with. But their dream is shelved when Hector and Wilma are struck by a speeding car. The driver is arrogant Canadian bad boy Sebastian Tuttle, who runs a local plant with his older brother Jeremy. Hector’s foot is injured; Wilma lands in the hospital in a coma. Amid accusations of assault and of spraying noxious chemicals on neighboring property pending against the Tuttles, Hector finds himself in a long line of aggrieved parties that turns into a list of suspects when Seb is found brutally murdered, his face unrecognizable. So deep is the animosity toward Seb that no one even pretends to be unhappy about his death. Turning sleuth once more (The Fifth Season, 2005, etc.), Hector gathers an anthology’s worth of small-town stories in tandem with his list of suspects before narrowing the latter.
Another sure-footed and involving tour of Bredes’s Vermont, with a detour to family pathos and a tidy whodunit finale.