The Grace Painter
by Mark Romang
published by author
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: Self-Published, 100 Books in a Year
Mark Romang’s The Grace Painter is unlike anything the title could imply. What sounds like a gentle, character-driven story of redemption is actually a high-speed thriller about redemption.
After discovering that his partner shot and killed his family, Matthew London leaves the NYPD and moves to Louisiana where he lives as Jon Rafter, a quiet fisherman and painter. After living this peaceful existence for eight years, his life is turned upside when during a hurricane, he finds injured FBI agent Annie Crawford on the side of the road. It seems she is on a mission to recover a kidnapped child from a family of known drug dealers who has kidnapped another child decades ago. As the storm rages, the fight to rescue the child and take down a major drug cartel escalates as Jon gets dragged back into the sort of life he thought he has left well behind him.
Romang starts out with intense action that never lets up for long the whole way through the novel. Even though the plot is mostly action-driven, Romang makes sure to also develop the characters along the way. And while there is a Christian undertone to the whole story, the message is easily accessible to people of any faith.
Mark Romang does a wonderful job with the suspense in The Grace Painter. I just wish the title gave more sense of the thrilling plot contained within.