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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--even ordinary. And he likes it that way. But it wasn’t always quiet. In 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, vicelike grip, as Already Gone hurtles toward its ultimate explosive climax.
blinding me, turning the world black. This time, I let them come. When I open my eyes, the big guy is standing over me wiping his hands with a small white towel. I’m on my back staring up at one of the streetlights in the parking lot. Hundreds of tiny bugs circle in the pale yellow glow. It makes me think of winter and snowfall. The two men are searching the ground by my feet, ignoring me. A moment later, the one with the bolt cutters bends down and pushes my legs aside. When he stands,
chain that disappears into the shadows above him. The left side of his face is broken. His eye is swollen shut. I stare at him for a moment before I realize his other eye is open, and he’s watching me. Seeing him changes something inside me. I feel steady again, ready to work. I look over at Kevin, standing in the doorway. He nods, then steps back and closes the door. – 20 – I walk around to the front of the table. The big guy’s hand is strapped, palm down, to a thick block of
gunshot and seeing Nolan fall. “You didn’t see who it was?” “I saw a shadow, that’s it.” Gabby looks at my nose, one side to the other, then he moves away from the door and lets me inside. I walk into the hall. There are several people sitting in the living room. None of them look familiar. A few are talking, but they all stop when they see me. I figure I must look pretty bad. I ask Gabby, “What’s going on?” He closes the door, says, “I want to hear everything Nolan said, especially about
and now here I am.” We both stare out at the road, and neither of us speaks for a long time. Then I say, “Briggs wants your help.” “My help?” “The guy who set up the hijacking,” I say. “They want to find him. He said if you tell them where he is, they’ll leave us alone.” Diane stops at a red light and turns to me. Her expression doesn’t change. “Briggs told you this himself?” I take the photo out of my pocket and show her the number on the back. “He told me to call him tonight and tell him
shooting stops, I get up to look, but Diane grabs my arm and holds me back. “It’s okay,” I say. “Wait here.” I come around the corner and see several bodies lying on the ground. Briggs is sitting with his back to the wall. There’s a hole in his neck, and the blood pumps out in waves, rolling down the front of his shirt. I hear Gabby say, “It’s clear.” I start toward the metal door, but Diane stops me, says, “Don’t, Jake.” I ignore her and cross the room to where Gabby is standing over the