John Rector is the is one of the up and coming names in mystery thriller area. He is the bestselling author of the novels The Grove, Already Gone and The Cold Kiss (optioned for a feature film now in development). We wanted to review one of his works for some time and the fact that the Omaha based author’s Already Gone is now on the top of the best selling list by Amazon, gave us the excuse.
The suspense starts from the beginning in Already Gone: Jake Reese, a University professor, is attacked by two thugs who cut one of his fingers, and then apologise. A few days later, his finger turns up in the post. While the police is doing an investigation, Jake’s wife disappears and then turns up dead in mysterious circumstances. Jake decides to meet up with a childhood friend, Gabby, and use her support to find out what is going on. However, Jake does this against what his wife told him before her death: He was told not to contact Gabby or any other person from his past life.
This is a book that has almost all the elements you’re looking for in a thriller: Dangerous thugs, sucker-punching plot twists, fast paced actions, and lots of surprises. It also has a touch of noir stories from 1940s and 1950s. Rector mixes marital issues, past friendships and relationships with fundamental elements of criminal suspense to create a clean and well written action story.
At 316 pages (paperback), the book can be read in one sitting: As the reader is presented with a lot of twists throughout the story, we expected a big surprise at the end and we didn’t get it (a bit of disappointment). While this is somehow understandable, we expected this partly because the characters and their actions were partly unrealistic and this created the expectation of a big-bang ending. Overall, this is a good read and we give it 3 out of 5 stars. (The Amazon link to the book: Already Gone)