William Kent Krueger usually writes mysteries, the Cork O’Connor series, which is a treasure in itself. Although Ordinary Grace has more than one murder mystery at it’s core, it is more than a mystery story. The narrator is middle-aged man looking back at the summer he was thirteen. It was a season marked by deaths – accident, natural, suicide, murder – that tore apart a small town and the narrator’s family.
The level of suspense as the tragedies unfold kept me up reading into the small hours. I wanted to know who done it, but even more, I was rooting for Frank, the young protagonist, and hoping that he and his family could find resolution.
Ordinary Grace is also a meditation on life and death, good and evil, but it is never preachy and never ever boring. It was a NYT Bestseller last year and may well be a literary classic, but it is also a page-turning read. Highly recommended. I’m putting it on my permanent shelf, which is a very small space.