An Army vet keeps a low profile as he seeks to understand his father’s death in the latest by Grant (False Witness, 2018, etc.).
Paul McGrath is returning to civilian life after having served in Army Intelligence. He’s been estranged for years from his pacifist father, who always wanted him to be his business partner. Now McGrath heads home to New York, wanting to see his father again, but when he gets there, he finds out that his father is dead, having died under suspicious circumstances while McGrath was still on active duty. .The father had died suddenly after a screaming match with his new business partner, Pardew, “a twenty-four carat asshole.” Pardew’s manslaughter trial fell through due to some critical papers that went missing, and then he disappeared. The NYPD still wants those papers, but they won’t get help from judges or lawyers. A detective says “someone outside of the NYPD” needs to talk to “people who really know what’s going on,” such as janitors, clerks, and security guards. So McGrath takes the hint and gets work as a janitor at the courthouse, meaning he can nose around everywhere after hours. Given his intelligence background and military training, he is perfect for the task. In his new job he meets a man whose wife had been attacked with a wrench and crippled. Their landlord, George Carrick, wants to force everyone out of his rent-controlled building so he can create a park that won’t block the view of some “sneaky Russian bastards.” Unfortunately for Carrick, McGrath is “conditioned to kick the ass of anyone who preys on the less fortunate.” Looking for the woman’s attacker at a housing project, he meets four thugs who are armed with bats and a crowbar and beats them all up. Then McGrath forces them to sweep the building and courtyard before the police arrive. As with his anonymous donations to the janitors’ day care center, he is invisible.
Another solid and entertaining thriller.