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The Grove Paperback – November 2, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise For The Grove:

"Tough, dark, and beautifully told. Great storytelling." - David Peoples, screenwriter of Unforgiven, Twelve Monkeys, and Blade Runner

"Spare and evocative as a cornfield in autumn, The Grove marks the arrival of a haunting, powerful new voice in contemporary fiction. John Rector writes with deceptive grace, spinning out irresistible prose with a dark pulse between every line. This is psychological suspense at its most seductive. I loved it." - Sean Doolittle, award-winning author of Dirt, Burn, Rain Dogs, The Cleanup, and Safer

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

From the Back Cover

“Rector writes with deceptive grace, spinning out irresistible prose with a dark pulse between every line. This is psychological suspense at its most seductive. I loved it.” —Sean Doolittle, author of Safer

Dexter McCray is a farmer with a dark past that continues to haunt him. As a struggling alcoholic, he’s used to being looked at with pity and suspicion in his community. After waking from a blackout to discover the body of a teenage girl in the nearby cottonwood grove, he can't be entirely sure he's innocent. With no memory of the previous night, he sees no choice but to investigate the crime himself. Fortunately he’s not alone. He has some help . . . in the shape of the dead girl herself.
      Is Dexter motivated by guilt or insanity, reason or folly? And how will the young victim provide the help he desperately needs? With plot twists on every page, Rector breathes life into a story that pits reality against hallucination, truth against improbability. The Grove is a sinister tale of one man haunted by the reality of his failed life.

“Tough, dark, and beautifully told.” —David Peoples, screenwriter of Unforgiven, Twelve Monkeys, and Blade Runner

[insert author photo] John Rector is a prize-winning short story writer and author of the novels The Cold Kiss (optioned for a feature film now in development) and Already Gone.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: 47North (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935597132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935597131
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,651,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

I read it very fast because it really kept my interest.
Amazon Customer
The plot kept me interested, but the ending seemed rushed a made me feel a little let down- it just seemed like it got wrapped up too quickly and too conveniently.
Ibby
So trying not to spoil the ending, I have to say that I really would have liked to see more of a satisfying finale.
R. Fitzgerald

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

150 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Earthling on May 25, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
The author's tight writing style makes this psychological thriller very high impact. The Grove is the story of troubled Dex McCray, who finds the body of a young girl on his farm. Dex doesn't report it because he realizes he may have done the murder. He hasn't been taking his medicine and has blackouts. The realistic dialog and straightforward narration creates interesting characters and vivid relationships as Dex tries to solve the crime while spiraling deeper into mental illness. I found the story so captivating that I could not put it down. This is a very satisfying and intense read. If you are looking for a page turner it doesn't get much better than this.
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76 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly L. Collison on May 25, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is one of those great

-late night-can't put it down til it's done-3am finish-oversleep with nightmares-late to work-think about it all the next day-books....

It caught my interest on the first page, and then I was HOOKED by the end of the first chapter.
Haunting images that stayed with me for days after.....

The textured layers and splinters of relationships, friendships,conflicts,loyalties, even the blossoming relationship with a dead girl drew me further and further in to McCrays world.....

Just when I thought we couldn't go any deeper into McCray's 'breakdown' (if he is even having a breakdown that is)..... the author shows us another staircase headed down, down, down... the pace quickens, the tension builds...

and when it was all over,I am left surprised, shocked, and craving more from this author.
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115 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Newman VINE VOICE on September 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was highly touted by Amazon and there were mostly 5 star ratings so I took a chance on it. The book is about the thoughts of a person who is not always "all there." Dexter is a farmer who had been in jail for killing someone several years earlier. He is supposed to take medication to control the times he experiences "blackouts" where he later can't remember what he did.

After one of those blackouts, Dexter goes looking for his missing tractor and finds a dead teenage girl (Jessica) near it. He does not know what happened to her and is not quite sure if he did the deed during his blackout period. Fearing alerting the authorities he decides to investigate what happened to her on his own.

All through the book the spirit of the dead girl seems to "appear" to him, telling him what to do. Anyone who has seen A Beautiful Mind can see where this might be leading. Dexter has to deal with his friend Greg, who is the Sheriff and his estranged wife, while trying to track down information on the girl.

He periodically visits her body and tries futile attempts to prevent scavengers from attacking the body. The book plods along from there and the reader never really cares about Dexter nor the mystery of what actually happened to Jessica. Sometimes her spirit is totally vindictive, telling Dexter to do bad things. This also turns the reader off to her.

The main saving grace of the book is that it is fairly short with a lot of blank pages between chapters and it could be easily read in a couple of sittings.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By barry VINE VOICE on September 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is very impressive as long as you know the world you are entering when starting it. It is not a story full of plot or a multitude of characters. Instead it happens over a mere couple of days and is told totally through the mind of our main character Dexter McCray. Author John Rector does a very impressive job here by pulling the reader in from page one and then providing a very satisfying read. The story begins with Dexter waking from an alcoholic blackout and his best friend the sheriff stopping by. Seems Dexter took a wild ride in his tractor and his friend wants to help him get it out of a ditch. But Dexter wants to figure out what happened in his latest blackout. Hre investigates and finds a dead girl and automatically thinks he did it. But he wants to investigate further his steps from the night before. He does get some added assistance and advice along the way - from the dead girl herself no less. As Dexter ventures forth we learn a lot about his past but enough is left unexplained to keep things mysterious. We know he has a drinking problem and blacks out often. We know he has a wife who just left the night before for she had finally had too much. We learn the sheriff, Dexter's best friend, puts much time in making sure his troubled friend is ok. Most importantly we find out that Dexter is prescribed a medication that will still his thoughts, silence his crazy imagination and center him. But alas the pills also dull Dexter and this he does not like. He is not taking the pills as the story begins and struggles with them throughout the book. We never find out his true diagnosis or why he is seeing ghosts. Is it mental illness? Does he have a gift?Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Conrad on May 29, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
John Rector's writing style is refreshingly tight and defies genre placement. In his debut novel, the author mixes equal parts of psychological thriller, whodunit, and chiller to create a real page turner of a story.

He brings you into the life of Dexter McCray as he wakes up from a blackout, finds his wife gone, the sheriff making coffee, his tractor driven into a ditch, and a dead girl in his field that the sheriff doesn't know about.

From Dex's point of view, things don't look so good. He's gone off his medication, and he has a history, so he decides to do a little investigating on his own. Dex finds it increasingly difficult to keep it together long enough to figure things out as he plumbs his own depths. The dead girl, Jessica, seems to want to help. But she is also rapidly deteriorating, and in more ways than one.

How this all comes together seems readily apparent, but not all is as it seems.
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