Consciously or not, we spend a lifetime creating the foundation for everything we do in the present. For better or worse, we rely on our family relationships, friends, education, career, and even our health for our security and sense of who we are. What happens if we suddenly lose all of it? If the people we were so sure we could depend on turn out to be our biggest enemies? Do we crumble or go on? That is the crisis of the title character in the award-winning mystery/thriller Who Okayed This?! The Riveting Life of Grant Davis by author Philip E. Barrington. A grant is a regular person living an uneventful life in New York when he is inexplicably attacked one night, injected with a toxin, and left to either die or somehow find an antidote. In a split second, he is thrust into an international mystery and must question who, if anyone, can be trusted.
“Grant’s story intrigued me because, on a planet with billions of people, he has found his place,” Philip E. Barrington says. “He thinks he understands how life works, but in the blink of an eye, he comes face to face with a completely different world, one filled with corruption, deception, and greed. He doesn’t know how to adjust to this and struggles to reconcile this new reality with what he once knew even as he searches for answers.”
In Who Okayed This?!, Grant travels from country to country, looking for clues and putting them together. His values of honesty, transparency, and trust seem worthless as he realizes the depths of corruption within the system. Politics, rogue agents, and gray divisions intermingle and have their own agenda for the pawn within their game of chess. He understands that the boundaries of the law have no fine line and that innocent people get hurt.
“Grant sees how easy it is for those in power to hide evidence and cover for those who have committed crimes,” Philip E. Barrington reveals. “He must race from one location to the next to stay ahead of officials and stay alive.”
The more Grant learns about, the darker side of human nature, the more he questions his place in a world that feels indifferent to his plight. Is humanity cruel at heart? Or are there still people who can be trusted?
“Like all of us, Grant must make up his own mind on that question,” says Philip E. Barrington. “What he comes to understand, however, is that the world is not one way or the other. Instead, there is nuance, and it is up to him to be courageous enough to see it and embrace it.”
Philip E. Barrington grew up in New York City, where he worked in the world of luxury goods at the Plaza in Manhattan. His own life was upended by a horrific accident when he was crushed between two cars. He remembers the bewilderment and disorientation that he felt when he woke up in a hospital bed.
“One moment, I had been just fine, and the next, I was wearing a Philadelphia collar around my neck, and I had two metal wrist splints on both wrists and a cast from my right knee down to my toes,” Philip E. Barrington recalls. “I had concussion syndrome as well as multiple herniations in my neck and back, and the only way I could get around was by scooter.”
He says he learned very quickly who his true friends were, as many deserted him in his time of need. He was able to use that experience to make his emotions and reactions of Grant more realistic when he learns his friends are behind the attack.
“I was also very fortunate to cross paths with a woman who used a wheelchair due to a serious illness,” Philip E. Barrington reveals. “I was inspired by her full recovery, which she attributed to changing her diet and mindset. She was also a best-selling author, and this motivated me to begin writing my book.”
The ideas for Who Okayed This?! The Riveting Life of Grant Davis flew onto the page, and within a few years, he had created his first “faction” novel (a book that is based on some true events).
“In some ways, I had my own Grant Davis experience because of my accident,” Philip E. Barrington reflects. “Thankfully, I have made a full recovery, and I have a great time working on my second book as well as learning more about photography, cell physiology, and geo/biophysics.”
Does Philip E. Barrington think that readers will enjoy the mystery at the heart of Who Okayed This?! and be able to relate to the emotions and thoughts of its main character.
“We can lose everything we have worked so hard to create in the snap of our fingers,” he says. “Grant’s courageous journey shows us that when this happens, we can find the strength to go on and keep believing in the best of humanity.”
Philip E. Barrington is the author of Who Okayed This?! The Riveting Life of Grant Davis, which is the Stellar book award recipient winner of 2022. Who Okayed This?! can be purchased on Amazon or on Barnes & Noble.