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on September 19, 2017
This was a really good book. I couldn't find a stopping place once I started it so would read full early morning. I also enjoyed the style of first person narrative. There's nothing quite like reading a book that is so well described it's like watching a movie. A description that's neither too much detail or too little. (spoiler alert) : I wanted Jake to be a little more loyal. Not so easily give up info or betray someone whom had meant so much to him in his early life. But I know when people get in tight spots-great harm and pain-self preservation is a given. So really he was just being human.
I have it 4 stars instead of 5 because, as others have said, the ending is pretty abrupt and simplistic. And I would have liked to have known what Gabby was trying to say at the end - since it WAS written with that in the book. But there were no clues to allow ponderance.
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on November 22, 2015
I have to be honest here and admit that I didn't finish this book, I didn't even get very far into it because it just failed to catch my interest. I can count the number of books I've started and not finished on two hands, it's not something I usually do, but this is actually the second book I've done it with in the past year.

The other book, like this one, was written in the first person. I've been around awhile and been a voracious reader for going on five decades now and I've always considered first person fiction to be lazy and amateurish. Twenty years ago it wasn't all that common but it seems these days it is, something that, in my opinion anyway, is a bad sign. The first person novels that are being produced these days remind me of many hour long dramas on TV, not a lot of substance usually, poor character development and un-inspired plots. They're just basic stories told very quickly and usually very badly. The main character, who is speaking to the reader, is a two dimensional character who rushes through one plot twist after another usually tied together with devices that make no real sense but pass by so quickly that the author hopes you won't notice. And they are surrounded by supporting characters who act in ways that no real person ever would but that fit neatly into the superficial plot lines the author has constructed.

First person is really a quick and lazy way to tell a story and it's most often used by authors who don't have the chops to build a strong plot populated by complex characters and viable plot lines. There are of course a few notable exceptions to this, C.J. Sansom's Mathew Shardlake mysteries come to mind, but more often than not they're basic black and white works of fiction aimed at those readers today who have very short attention spans and little appreciation of good literature.
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Top Contributor: Guitaron August 10, 2015
It has been awhile since I read this book so i cannot remember the details. However, I do recall that I decided to give the book a try after reading a review and liked it well enough to buy and read all of his other books. A key factor in Rector's stories are that his characters are deeply flawed. If you are looking for a prince charming or hero to take home to mom, you will not find them here. The stories are fast paced and held my attention. there are times when you want to scream at the poor choices of the characters and occasionally you the believeablitity of a story is stretched. However, overall, with the exception of "the Grove" which I found creepy and could not wait for it to resolve, I have found all of his books to be fast paced and entertaining.
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on December 23, 2013
In this book, the author proves he has a strong ability to craft plot and a true gift for pacing. This is the only title I've read by him. Unfortunately, there seems to have been a rush to press in the last three chapters. His editor dropped the ball and didn't call him on it.

Suddenly the protagonist becomes wishy-washy. It defeats the subtle "Hero's Journey" theme of the book. After first identifying the protagonist as a person who is trying to get away from an allegedly dark past (which is never actually described), he suddenly becomes a killer who takes things too casually, including the death of someone dear to him. It's an extremely unlikely transition. Worst of all, the end is poorly conceived and unsatisfying. The whole book falls apart in the confusing, unrealistic and tedious last three chapters. There were so many potential plot endings, and the one that turned out was the least favorable of all in my opinion.

A little more thought and another week of effort on the author's part and this could have been a phenomenal book.
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on May 13, 2017
Good characters, nicely paced, I did think the main character got beat to smithereens a little too frequently, good unpredictable story line, stretched creditability a little but anything is possible I suppose. Ending a tad weak with a few unanswered plot questions, but an otherwise enjoyable read. I liked it.
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on November 8, 2014
When I saw the preview for this book, my thought was whether or not I wanted to read it since the first scene was about Jake Reese getting his finger cut off. Not a great way to start a book but when I checked the preview, I was happy that the author didn’t make it graphic. Instead, I was intrigued since the mystery was about why two people would want to do something so brutal to someone like that in the first place.
From there, you could say that Already Gone by John Rector is a fast-paced psychological thriller that was on a high octane level from start all the way to the finish line. In this case, Jake Reese is living a nightmare that he may not get out of and I was wondering why this was happening to him.
If that wasn’t enough, seeing his wife disappear only brought out even more tension in the book. If anything, all this kept me glued to the book and I just kept turning the pages not knowing what was going to happen next. Like other psychological thrillers, Jake Reese seems to be on his own in finding out what happened to his wife as the mystery continues to unravel.
Rector kept me guessing throughout the novel as more characters were introduced. One of them was Gabby, a man from Jake’s past who may have the answers to why he was living in this nightmare. Being that Gabby was in the criminal underworld, Jake was reluctant to get in touch with him even after his wife demanded that he stay away from him.
Add some international intrigue to this novel and you have all the makings of a psychological thriller that made me read this book and finish it in one day, which was a first for me. As far as the ending goes, I think that people will not only be surprised at how the book ended but will feel satisfied since the ending will not be open ended.
If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers that have memorable characters like other great authors like Harlan Coben, Gregg Hurwitz, William Lashner, or Linwood Barclay, then I’m sure that you will enjoy Already Gone. It’s one of the best books that I have read this year and my only wish is that I can give it more than five stars.
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on February 14, 2014
Already Gone is creative and unique, but also flawed and confusing at times. Mr. Reese, the protagonist, is woefully naive for a someone with his supposed shady background and criminally influenced upbringing. I also found it odd for someone with his implied history of poor decision-making that there were so many crisis situations throughout the book where Reese simply goes along or does what he is told because he feels he has "no choice". This results in numerous beatings that should have left him requiring months of recovery in a hospital intensive care unit. I also found the "no questions asked" marriage relationship between he and his wife (which leaves him totally in the dark regarding her very recent past) a little hard to swallow given our obsession with the internet, social media, and the inquisitive/need to know mentality that pervades today's society.

BUT, regardless of these flaws and the general lack of character development in the book, I have to say I enjoyed the book a lot. There were plot twists I did not expect and and I found the technique of revealing the story line a little bit at a time quite intriguing that resulted in holding my interest chapter after chapter. When I got to the end of a chapter and what should have been a logical stopping point, I usually lost out to my desire to read the next chapter to see what more of the plot might be revealed. I have to give the author credit for a creative storyline and writing style that ultimately drew me in to the point that I needed to keep reading because I wanted to find out how this sordid mystery would resolve itself.

As a result I gave the book 4 stars and will likely read more John Rector novels in the future.
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on May 31, 2015
The story was taut and well written. I like the authors style. He doesn't waste words. The dialogue was crisp, succinct and kept the plot from languishing. However, this also affected the character development. There wasn't enough depth to the characters to care about them. As a result they often times felt stilted and one dimension. There wasn't anything to relate to. Exploring the characters more fully would have given the story more color and texture thus a more satisfying read.
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on October 10, 2016
Though I'm not usually a fan of the "noir" style, I was interested enough to actually finish the novel and enjoyed it. The novel strayed away from the usual cliches and had many twists and turns, so many in fact that it became a bit confusing to follow at times. A likable protagonist who you feel for as his once promising future begins to unravel.
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on February 19, 2017
This might be a "guy" book, not sure. Violent and the characters and relationships are not something I became invested in. It's not great when you can remember the side characters names better than the main couple.
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