Already Gone by John Rector
Jake Reese is an ordinary guy with an ordinary job, trying to block out the memory of his violent past by planning for the future with his new wife, Diane. But the past has a habit of refusing to stay buried…
When two men attack Jake in a car park and cut off his ring finger, he tries to dismiss it as an unlucky case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But when events take a more sinister turn and Diane goes missing, Jake knows he can no longer hide from the truth.
As he embarks on a mission to find Diane, Jake finds himself dragged back into the life he thought he had walked away from forever and the days ahead begin to unfold in terrifying ways…
Occasionally I enjoy reading a novel that is totally different from my usual tastes. Sometimes I need to take a break from horror, science fiction, and fantasy, so that when I do return to them I do so with fresh eyes. A good thriller is the perfect way to do this. Any book that I choose though, still has to meet the same criteria I look for in other good genre fiction. Most importantly, I’m looking for a story that is engaging and entertaining.
Starting with a seemingly random act of violence Already Gone is a new crime thriller from author John Rector. The novel zips along at a brisk pace. Once his wife disappears Jake has no choice but to go on the run and there is a nice sense of the narrative keeping pace with his flight from the authorities. The chapters are short and punchy, I found it easy to rattle through the entire text in a couple of sittings. Already Gone is written in the first person so there is a real insight into the emotions that are driving Jake. He is on the back foot for almost the entire story, unsure how to react to the situations he finds himself in, and the reader is there every step of the way
Jake’s murky past life is never fully revealed but this additional air of mystery adds a nice extra depth to the main story. Is there an element of Jake’s youth that is haunting his life now? There is one small window into his shady history that does make an appearance however. Gabby, an old “business associate” of Jake’s father, is the man that Jake turns to as he gets increasingly desperate to uncover the truth amidst all the lies. Like a second father, Gabby has always looked out for Jake before but can he be trusted in now? For me, Gabby is the standout character of the novel. He has all the wise guy attitude and also his own secrets. He plays his cards close to his chest and his own motivations are never totally clear. Ever scene he appears in he draws your focus, you just don’t know which way he is going to jump.
At its heart, this story is about what is means when you choose to trust another person. Will they always tell you the truth? Are there some secrets that are too dark to share? Can you ever really know someone entirely? I was hooked from page one.
If you are looking for a well written, well paced crime thriller that forces the reader to actually think about what is going on then I suggest this could be the book you are looking for.
John Rector has established with Already Gone that Cold Kiss wasn’t a one hit wonder. Already Gone was released on 8th December and is available now.