When Bronagh Stewart’s ex-husband begins to stalk her once more, Phillip “Bane” Shaw, must do everything he can to protect her in this taut, gripping thriller.
Closer to Home starts off as a slow burn, building up the characters and their history together until we care enough about them that when the meat of the drama starts about a third of the way in, we’re invested enough to see it through to its savage climax.
The core of the novel is the relationship between “Bane” Shaw, a man with a hidden but violent past, and Bronagh, whose own past holds the seeds of the story. Their relationship is passionate, occasionally tempestuous, but always strongly written. Descriptions of the couple and the passion that often overtakes the two of them are richly detailed. This attention to detail extends to their mutual love of music which is close to encyclopedic.
There is a small group of supporting characters, all fairly distinctive and each given their moment to shine. The least explored is the villain of the piece but this is over-shadowed by his creeping presence and the impact his actions have on the others.
If I had any problem with the book; the early chapters felt like they were heavy on the backstory. There are a few uncomfortable moments in the novel, although no more so than many other books I’ve read. This is an adult book, in several senses of the word. Highly recommended and looking forward to the sequel.