“First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.” So begins Richard Ford’s first novel since The Lay of the Land (2006)—the third in his acclaimed Frank Bascombe series that includes The Sportswriter and Independence Day. Canada is told, in spare but vivid prose, by Dell Parsons, a retired English professor looking back at 1960, when he was a shy, studious 15-year-old growing up in Great Falls, Mont., with his obstreperous twin sister, Berner, and his parents, Bev and Geneva. It’s a story about how one’s life can change in an instant, as Dell’s does when his parents rob a bank and he is forced to move to a desolate town in Saskatchewan, and about the violence that lurks beneath the surface of society. It’s Ford at his best, which is to say it’s a great American novel.