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Already Gone [Kindle Edition]

John Rector
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (729 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2012 International Thriller Award Nominee

Jake Reese is a writing teacher at an American university. He lives in a small brick Tudor close to campus with his art buyer wife, Diane. His life is quiet-Ordinary even. And he likes it that way. But it wasn't always quiet. Jake's distant past was a life on the streets, inflicting damage and suffering on more people than he can count. And now someone from his past, it seems, has come looking for him.

A raw, gripping thriller about the price paid for past sins, John Rector's third novel is a live wire that crackles with the intensity of a man who has nothing left to lose. When two men attack Jake in a parking lot 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 his wife, he realizes his dark past is refusing to stay buried, and that his future is about to unfold in ways he could never have imagined.

With taut and brooding prose, Rector paints a formidable portrait of a reformed man's slow descent into a life he thought he had walked away from forever. As the intensity becomes almost unbearable, the pace quickens and the suspense applies an unrelenting, vice-like grip, as ALREADY GONE hurtles toward its ultimate, explosive climax.

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Editorial Reviews Review

Praise For Already Gone:

"Swift and savage and smart, Rector's thriller delivers high tension with low-key ease, underscoring the way bad karma can disrupt a good life. Literary in the best, most unpretentious sense, ALREADY GONE is superior pulp in the grand James M. Cain tradition." Max Allan Collins, author of Road to Perdition

"ALREADY GONE is a terse, moody thriller by a novelist who I consider to be one of the very best new writers to enter the scene in a very long time... John Rector is a game changer." -Spinetingler Magazine

"At a time when most suspense is more filler than thriller, John Rector's third novel drags the genre kicking and screaming back to its roots. Already Gone is a thriller in its purest and most cinematic incarnation - not a word or emotion wasted, it's a taut, nerve-jangling ride that barrels towards an electrifying conclusion, which will leave you shaken, stirred, and above all else eagerly awaiting the next Rector novel." -Ray Banks author of Saturday's Child and Gun

"John Rector really knows how to pour on the intensity and leave his readers with a smile on their faces. Rector has written a fast-moving thriller that will take you on a trip through the life of a man who, in his youth, inflicted pain and suffering... Now his past has come back to haunt him and he’s paying a big price."--DJ Weaver, Suspense Magazine

Rector writes hardboiled noir with a rare poetic élan, tight, almost violently compressed action, and reticent melancholy.”- CULLEN GALLAGHER, The Los Angles Review of Books

Praise for Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author John Rector:

”John Rector piques our curiosity at every page turn and leaves us hanging at each chapter ending.” -New York Journal of Books

”Its time to get on board, before Rector stops being "the next big thing" and becomes the phenomenon he deserves to be.” -Los Angeles Review of Books

”John Rector is a game changer” - Spinetingler Magazine

”A bestselling author who doesn’t make us embarrassed to have his books on our shelves.”- The Nerd of Noir

”Rector brings some really impressive writing and strong characters into a genre that is often teeming with contrived, cringe-worthy dialogue and flat, unoriginal characters.”- Baltimore Reads

”(Rector’s) consistent excellence in storytelling is already proving his calling card.”- Books and Writer’s

”John Rector writes a lean, mean mystery.”- Lincoln Journal Star

”If Rector came out with a book tomorrow, it would be at the top of my “to-be-read” list by nightfall! He has refined his craft, opening new possibilities for the future. Wherever he goes, I’ll follow.”- Grift Magazine

Duane Swierczynski reviews John Rector’s new thriller Already Gone

Books are like houses. Some houses, you can tell right away they’re about to collapse at any moment and you need to scramble out quick. Other houses may seem okay at first, but then you realize that maybe the ceiling’s too low, or there’s not enough natural light in the living room, or the floors creak too much. Finally there are some houses that are expertly crafted, both in terms of structural integrity and design. But the problem is, you’ve been inside dozens of houses just like it. Zzzzz.

And then you have houses like the ones John Rector builds... Read the rest of this review at

From Library Journal

In Rector's third novel (after THE GROVE and THE COLD KISS), newly hired young English professor Jake Reese and his wife, an art buyer, have been married only a month, and there is a great deal they don't know about each other's past to a dangerous extent. When two thugs attack Jake and cut off his ring finger, he is horrified and bewildered, finally seeking help from a foster uncle with apparent mob connections. Further death threats confuse him, and then his wife dies in a car accident.......More developments come to light, involving diamonds, hijacking, betrayals, and murder. VERDICT The suspense and plot twists are gripping. While the first-person, present-tense narration and oddly unsatisfying ending give the work a pulp-fiction air, it also has that genre's appealing raw action, cliff-hanging chapter endings, and graphic, cinematic drama. In spite of its flaws, this one is hard to put down-Roland Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale

Product Details

  • File Size: 407 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (October 25, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050KJGLO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,294 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
248 of 261 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When a book starts out with the main character getting a finger lopped off by a couple of hoods, and proceeds to get weird from there, well, you can consider yourself warned. This isn't your standard thriller, isn't your standard mystery; it isn't a standard anything. It's like a printed version of a carnival fun-house, where everything is off-kilter, shocks and surprises become the norm, and nothing is quite what it appears. And it's unforgivingly addictive. Don't even think about picking it up if you have anything else to do for the day.

I won't even try to summarize the plot, because I can't give any detail without giving away some of the surprises. Suffice to say, you'll be seeing the world through "9-finger" Jake's eyes, trying to figure out why his whole world is coming apart. Although he's not an entirely sympathetic fellow, it's awfully hard not to empathize with his plight. None of the characters are fully fleshed out, but I believe that's deliberate, to keep the reader off-balance and guessing.

If I was to nit-pick, the one flaw this book has is Jake's behaviour. Given his background as a hard-bitten child of the streets, he can be awfully naïve at times, and tends to get man-handled a lot. I can understand showing some restraint in order to keep his marriage together, but he really does seem overly dainty.

Most books tend to have a character or style that reminds me of another character or author. Not this one: it's one of those rare books that's truly innovative and unique. It's absolutely brilliant, easily in the top three of about 100 books I've read in the past year. I'd highly recommend this to just about anybody!
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113 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another terrific thriller from John Rector November 16, 2011
I just put this book down and practically ran to the computer to write this review. If you like a good thriller, buy this book. Mystery? Buy this book. Page-turner? Ditto.

I discovered John Rector's work by accident. I saw and liked the cover art for "The Grove," thought the description was intriguing, and took a chance on it. It turned out to be one of my favorite books of the year: taut, suspenseful, and a terrific exploration of a wounded mind. I then went right to Rector's "The Cold Kiss," and found the same qualities there that I had loved before: riveting suspense, believable characters, and more than a few gasp-out-loud moments. Needless to say, I was eager to see what Mr. Rector would come up with next, and I wasn't disappointed. "Already Gone" is a terrific thriller, following a college professor with a questionable past as his life unravels around him at a breakneck pace. One of the things I liked most about the novel was its opening: the reader barely has cracked it open when an act of shocking violence occurs. We don't know why it occurs or anything about the hero. But then, rather than jumping into a ton of background and exposition, Rector gives us tiny bits and pieces about the story's hero, leaving his past - and all the "Why's" of the story - a mystery for quite some time. As a reader who doesn't like things obviously spelled out, I found this choice brilliant. Once the plot gets going, you'll meet some unforgettable characters and be taken through some incredible and creative twists - all of which I found in keeping with the story, style, and genre. Once I hit the halfway point, I couldn't put it down and read well into the night.

One thing: I noticed on this page that one reader talked about how sadistic the novel's violence is.
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108 of 119 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Flawlessly noir - 3+ November 9, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
You have to admire this novel's very strong, clean and straightforward writing style. It evokes the noir feeling of a 1940s "B" crime flick in tone and its characters. There is a credible sense of threat and foreboding well maintained throughout the novel. The story is full of hard-drinking men, classic gangsters and women who are dames (unblinking opportunists). The storyline is also pretty good. A young man who started a successful academic career but has a rough past suddenly finds his life going south. He is viciously attacked outside a bar; his new wife disappears and he is continuously harassed by a cop and a shadowy group of toughs in suits. Increasingly desperate to find out what happened to his wife, the protagonist is sucked up into situation that rapidly becomes beyond his control. The story ends in a very unexpected and maybe not completely credible way (my opinion.)

For all its real strengths, "Already Gone" is less successful when it crosses the line into excess. The book's protagonist is too frequently completely clueless about what's happening around him. The author has also made him a perpetual punching bag for the bad guys. Other characters radically morph as the tale is told. While the latter process is sometimes a strength, I thought it ultimately went overboard. This is a book done with some skill but which comes up somewhat short on reflection.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needs work December 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Already Gone is a relatively quick read. The character development is sloppy, as is much of the plot. The best summation I could give of the novel itself is that it's comparable to any of the James Patterson series within the last 3 years. James Patterson started out strong with a number of books that follow a similar layout to Already Gone. However, over the last 3 years these books have taken on the voice of an AP English high school student -- the same holds true to Already Gone.

What's frustrating, in my opinion, with Already Gone is that what starts out as a believable/realistic storyline warps into Gangs of New York meets the agents from The Matrix. If the creativity and time spent on developing the torture scenes was spread throughout the rest of the book, there is not a doubt in my mind that John Rector would be one of my favorite new authors.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Love story developed as they track down bad guys after ...
An okay read. Typical detective novel. Gorgeous broken female client. Love story developed as they track down bad guys after her. Read more
Published 4 hours ago by English Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Kept me on the edge of my seat I never saw what was coming next! A must read enjoyed every chapter
Published 1 day ago by Bronwyn Fulton
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good read.
The plot is intricate and keeps the pages turning. The question is the plausibility which stretches the imagination. At times, you would like to smack the hero, Jake.
Published 2 days ago by Larry J. Allred
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
This book kept your attention with twists that were unexpected. I couldn't put in down and read the major part in one sitting. The ending was surprising too.
Published 3 days ago by Dale R. Price
4.0 out of 5 stars fast read
Kept my interest from the start. Nice twist but wasn't hard to figure out. Will try another on of his books.
Published 5 days ago by Kristie Redman
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for Me
The story started out OK, except for chopping off the finger, but how many times does the main character need to be beat up. I got tired of people of being killed. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Brenda Catlett
3.0 out of 5 stars semi suspenseful
Decent book. There were a lot of questions that were not answered, but overall it was a good read. Thanks
Published 7 days ago by Joline
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor
Not worth the money way to short not very well written- I must check the page numbers from now on
Published 8 days ago by Kieran Leonard
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but lacking
the story is good but it leaves a few holes. nothing important but it makes you wonder why there was empathise on some characters when they didn't lead to anything.
Published 8 days ago by The Wife
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
story kept moving with a gripping plot and characters. Author didn,t waste a lot of time describing leaves and roses. I'll read more by this guy.
Published 8 days ago by John Dodd
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More About the Author

JOHN RECTOR is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of THE GROVE, THE COLD KISS, ALREADY GONE and OUT OF THE BLACK. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and won several awards including the International Thriller Award for his novella LOST THINGS, many of his other stories can be found in his collection THE WALLS AROUND US.

He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.

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