f literature exalts concoction, Crace is a mad scientist. Joseph and Celine are murdered, their bodies left on a beach. This we know from the start. What Crace does next is genial. He works backwards, but not only into the lives of the dead couple but also adopting the perspective of the creatures that occupy their bodies. “Blood does not keep its livery for long,” writes Crace, a builder of delicious sentences. One might think such a book ghoulish, but it’s not. On the contrary, it’s a leap into the densely populated acres of death and memory and faith. “The earth is not a visionary and can’t be blamed for what’s ahead.” Here, Crace is the visionary.