A couple of weeks ago, I had a good rummage at the back of my bookshelves - some of them are doublestacked because I ran out of space so I've no idea what's on them - and I came up with a few titles that had been hiding away for a few years despite looking really good. John Rector's Already Gone was one of them. I read and reviewed his chilling debut novel Cold Kiss way back in 2010 so when I opened Already Gone, I was delighted to see a quote from Madhouse Family Reviews on the flyleaf. Always a nice surprise !
Already Gone starts off with a much more traditional crime fiction scenario. Bad-boy-turned-good Jake has turned his back on his murky past and is looking forward to a peaceful life with his new wife Diane. Following a few after-work drinks with his colleagues, he is jumped in the bar's car park and has a finger chopped off. It seems to be a sickening but random act of violence, until his severed finger turns up in the mail. Then his wife goes missing ..
Unsure if someone is out to get him and with no idea of their possible motive, Jake sees no choice but to appeal to the shady father figure from his criminal past for help and guidance. Despite his best intentions, he soon finds himself catapulted back into the seedy world of violence and double-crossing that he had managed to escape. Cue a fast-paced game of cat-and-mouse with more twists and turns than a bowl of spaghetti.
The romantic overtones of the ending surprised me, but this seems to be John Rector's hallmark. He commented on my review of Cold Kiss with the remark : "I have somewhat of a romantic streak for a guy who writes violent suspense novels". Surprising as it may seem, this second novel certainly confirms that !
I've just been to check on amazon whether John Rector has written any other novels since Already Gone and he's certainly been busy ! He's since released The Grove, Out Of The Black and Lost Things and has a soon-to-be-released novel Ruthless out in a couple of months.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £6.99