When this superb novel begins, the narrator, 53-year old Frank Drum, is looking back to a paradoxically wonderful and terrible summer when he was 13 years old in New Bremen, Minnesota. Frank, the son of a small-town pastor, remembers, “There had been two deaths already that summer, and although I didn’t have a clue, there were three more yet to come.”
First, a mysterious death claims a young boy—much like Frank—and then a drifter dies under curious circumstances. The next death, as Frank admits, “would be the most painful to bear.”
And so, much like a character in an Aeschylus tragedy, Frank discovers that he must learn through suffering, and with that learning would come life-changing “wisdom through the awful grace of God.” Part murder mystery, part coming-of-age novel, part spiritual journey, and 100 percent compelling as a literary novel, Krueger’s latest offering is a startling but wonderful departure from his Cork O’Connor mystery series. Written in clear, crisp, lyrical prose, Frank Drum’s story is a highly recommended example of storytelling at its very best. Don’t miss this one!