Mad Season

Overview

Even without the mud, Ruth Willmarth has got her hands full. Her husband recently defected to New York City with another woman and left Ruth to manage the farm and the family. Then spring in this Vermont farming town takes a slippery and sinister turn when Ruth's elderly neighbor Lucien Larocque answers a knock at his door in the middle of the night. He opens it to a brutal attack. Larocque and his part-Indian wife, Belle, are beaten, and the smelly "barn" money that he kept hidden in his pockets and rafter holes...
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Mad Season

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Overview

Even without the mud, Ruth Willmarth has got her hands full. Her husband recently defected to New York City with another woman and left Ruth to manage the farm and the family. Then spring in this Vermont farming town takes a slippery and sinister turn when Ruth's elderly neighbor Lucien Larocque answers a knock at his door in the middle of the night. He opens it to a brutal attack. Larocque and his part-Indian wife, Belle, are beaten, and the smelly "barn" money that he kept hidden in his pockets and rafter holes rather than trust to a bank is stolen. Early the next morning, Ruth finds her neighbor lying in the mud by the side of the road and his wife, Belle, barely conscious on the kitchen floor. In spite of Ruth's best efforts, Belle dies from her wounds. Soon a string of barn burnings serves to put the grieving town further on edge. There is no telling when the mud will settle, but Ruth is determined to see that it does. With would-be lover Colm Hanna, a pun-loving Irish Realtor who doubles as the town mortician, Ruth slogs through the mud, the barn burnings, even the disappearance of her own son, as she tracks the murderer's muddy trail and puts an end to this mad season.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Open season is more like it, since the casualties are only beginning when a bunch of masked thugs knock on old Lucien Larocque's door only to beat him to unconsciousness and his part- Indian wife Belle to death. It isn't just the high-profile felonies that continue to make headlines (or would if Branbury, Vermont, had its own daily), as Lucien's neighbor Ruth Willmarth and her swain Colm Hanna, mortuary scion and realtor, see when they look more closely into Belle's death and the theft of Lucien's pitiful cash hoard—though there'll be another murder, a kidnapping, and a rash of barn burnings before the final tableau. It's the sense that every crime is expressing low-level, deep- rooted conflicts that rage all over the hardscrabble landscape. Ruth rages against Pete, the husband who abandoned her for his shot at the silver screen; Pete's crazy sister Bertha rages against Ruth; the incoming city boys in school hate the farm boys; and the farm boys, in Wright's final savage version of the Great Chain of Being, hate each other and themselves.

It's no wonder, then, that when the time comes for the obligatory melodramatics and histrionics, first-novelist Wright handles then with a matter-of-fact delicacy and subtlety that make you think of them in the context of her characters' lives, not the context of all the other mysteries you've read. Regional fans should keep an eye out for this one.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780595169580
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/2000
  • Series: Ruth Willmartin Series , #1
  • Pages: 196
  • Sales rank: 557,016
  • Product dimensions: 0.45 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

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