American novelist James Wade’s third novel, “Beasts of the Earth,” dovetails two time-separated tales of light among darkness. In Texas, a quiet, polite school groundsman butts up against an appalling act of violence. In the backwaters of Louisiana, a boy grapples with a malevolent father released from jail. The author’s magisterial prose, fulsome and freighted with gravity (reminding me, bless me, of Cormac McCarthy), propel a story populated with wonderfully realized characters. Texas and Louisiana blossom on the page. A morality fable, an ode to brutal landscapes, a hymn to humanity’s weakness … Beasts of the Earth inspires grand thoughts and is a wonderful read.