Borrowed Trouble is set in Greenfield, a small town in Western Massachusetts, and the Lake Sunapee region of New Hampshire. In a fit of violence Grady Feaster destroys an antique Mercedes convertible. The politically connected owner of the Mercedes, a contractor named R.M.N. Bousquet, gets Grady fired from his job as a Greenfield police officer and forces him into agreeing to rough up Mel Arquette, a record producer who has refused to pay cost overruns incurred in the building of his lakeside home on Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire. Grady, morally inept, switches loyalties and goes to work for Arquette as a body guard, in return for recording studio time and help from Arquette's studio man, Ocean Joe Ormazda, in putting out a CD of Grady's original songs. Grady's plans and situation are complicated by his sister Gina and his best friend Joey Petrillo, who is involved with Gina. Bousquet threatens Grady with mutilation and death at the hands of Leonardo, Bousquet's St. Johnian nephew, and Mouse, a sociopathic killer. Grady's situation is not helped by the appearance of Rob and Bob Asp, hapless fundamentalist Mormons off on their mission to convert the gentiles; Rob and Bob's father, Wendell, who sets out from his Colorado fundamentalist compound to avenge Bob's accidental death during an encounter with Gina; and Bountiful Meadow, an aging hippy teaching education courses at Keene State College and living in her hand hewn log home secluded in the backwoods of the New Hampshire hills. A tale alternating between dark criminality and dark humor, Borrowed Trouble traces Grady's moral progress as he copes with the obstacles presented by family, friends, and adversaries.
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