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Every small town has its secrets. But with Hector Bellevance around, this town’s never stay hidden for long.
The Errand Boy: A Novel By Don Bredes
In his explosive fifth novel, The Errand Boy: A Novel (Three Rivers Press Paperback Original; on sale September 22; $14.00), Don Bredes once again engages readers with the perfect combination of an intriguing plot and provocative characters, all contained in his beautifully written depiction of life in rural Vermont today. With every turn of this captivating thriller we are reminded why we have admired Hector Bellevance in Don Bredes's two previous novels, Cold Comfort and The Fifth Season. The last time we saw ex-detective Hector Bellevance in The Fifth Season, he was growing vegetables for the farmers' market, dating a determined reporter named Wilma, and working part time as the town constable in Tipton, Vermont. Now, twelve years later, Hector and Wilma are married, Wilma is pregnant, and, with their 11-year-old daughter Myra, they are happily attuned to the sunny rhythms of small-town life.
But Hector's fair-weather days darken suddenly after a reckless driver runs him and his wife down in a crosswalk, leaving Wilma in a coma. Two days later, when the unrepentant driver, son of a Canadian egg farm magnate, turns up beaten to death in a local campground, Hector finds himself a natural suspect in the homicide. The suspicions of the state police are the least of his worries, and yet when the egg magnate offers to pay Wilma’s medical bills if Hector will try to find his son’s killer, Hector takes the case--more in compassion than a desire to clear his own name. Soon the murder proves more vexing and the motives more twisted than even a town constable could have foreseen. Hector discovers an unsavory secret behind every door, and before long he's caught in a web of sex offenders, backwoods meth addicts, undercover federal agents, Hells Angels, and an international drug cartel. Each answer Hector pries out of his reluctant neighbors leads to another stubborn question. Just when he's ready to abandon his sputtering investigation--as the police have angrily demanded--Myra disappears from the hospital while visiting her mother, and Hector knows he cannot rest until he has found her. Everything he loves and lives for is at stake.
About the author: Don Bredes was born in New York City and attended Syracuse University, the University of California Irvine, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He is the author of five novels, including the two previous Hector Bellevance literary suspense novels, Cold Comfort and The Fifth Season. His writing has appeared in the Paris Review and the New York Times magazine. He lives in northern Vermont with his wife and daughter.
The Errand Boy By Don Bredes: A Three Rivers Press Paperback Original
September 22, 2009
“Bredes’s method is a little like his sturdy small-town constable’s–by page two he’s got you by the lapels, pushed you up against the wall, and made you fear what comes next. He doesn’t relax his grip until the last page is turned.” —Tom McNeal, author of Goodnight, Nebraska
“The Errand Boy is the most suspenseful and engaging literary thriller I’ve read since Elmore Leonard’s Bandits. What’s truly at stake this time around for Don Bredes’s wonderfully human investigator, Hector Bellevance, is the integrity of his hometown and the safety of his family. The Errand Boy is a beautifully-written work of fiction, combining the unspeakable terror of a father’s worst nightmare with a memorable evocation of what must be one of the 'last best places' in these United States.” —Howard Frank Mosher, author of On Kingdom Mountain