“Too Close to Home” by Andrew Grant is a first person narrative by Paul McGrath. Grant skillfully pulls readers into the story with surprises, suspense, mystery, and hint of criminality. Paul McGrath professes to be just the janitor at the courthouse; he cleans up the messes people make, all kinds of messes, and some messes that go far beyond just sweeping up dust.
The book is filled with complex characters, some good, some innocent, some questionable, and some ordinary; readers are not always sure who is which. The events and the people all contribute to the biggest mystery in the book — the narrator.
Readers may not know whether to like Paul McGrath, or to fear him, but they certainly know they do not want to be on his bad list. Details about him emerge little by little, but many are complicated and contradictory. He skates along the edge of the law, intimidating the innocent, but then rescuing the downtrodden. He talks about his training, business, and past assignments, but readers do not know for whom he worked and are afraid to even speculate why he is no longer “employed.” His main focus is “squaring things” with those whom he feels wrongly caused his father’s death. In the process he uncovers unscrupulous market traders, corrupt judges, and a complex organization of just generally nasty people.
“Too Close to Home” ends with chronological flashbacks that detail the pivotal events in the pasts of specific characters. Telling the other side of the story adds to the intrigue and mystery of the narrator and sets up the startling climax to McGrath’s search for justice for his father. I received a review copy of “Too Close to Home” from Andrew Grant, Random House Publishing Group, and Ballantine Books. I found Paul McGrath a suspicious yet charismatic character. His past is intriguing and his current adventure is both complex and gripping.