****Ordinary Heroes

Scott Turow, Ordinary HeroesBy Scott Turow, this World War II tale (2005) started off slowly for me, but by the time the main protagonist (the narrator’s now-dead father) is in the European war zone, I was hooked. The narrator discovers that his father, a Captain in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s office, was court-martialed near the end of the war and could have faced a firing squad for his actions in pursuit of an OSS rogue spy.

The framing story that introduces the narrator’s quest to excavate his father’s past wasn’t quite compelling enough and the big reveal not that much of a surprise, but the book’s middle was terrific. Characters were well developed, and various hellish aspects and moral conundrums of war convincingly frustrated the captain’s search for the spy at every turn. Coming to terms with the damage of war was a life-long project for the father, carried on silently throughout the narrator’s life. New York Times reviewer Joseph Kanon liked it, too.