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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: Out of the Black by John Rector

Out of the Black by John Rector, AF, 2013, Uncorrected proof ebook, 259p, Rating=3
Source: provided by publicist thru Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

From bestselling, International Thriller Award-nominated author Rector (Already Gone), a thriller about a man driven to darkness in order to save the light of his life.
After Matt Caine loses his wife in a car accident, all he has left is his daughter, Anna. But just as the little girl—who survived the accident—finally starts thriving, Matt’s former in-laws threaten to take her away via a bitter custody battle. Desperate to keep Anna and in debt to some dangerous local thugs, Matt has no good options. But he does have Jay, one very bad friend. Just out of jail and plagued by drug addiction, Jay tempts Matt with a foolproof kidnapping scheme. But what sounds like the perfect solution to all his problems eventually leads Matt through a nightmarish maze of betrayals and reversals, pushing him to his breaking point—and beyond.

It was easy to root for Matt, a single father with a seemingly good head on his shoulders.  An ex-Marine who recently lost his wife had gotten himself into a bind.  With no steady job and bills to pay, he borrowed money from an old friend, Murphy, who happened to be a loan shark.  Murphy was slow to insist on his money back but his associates were not so forgiving so goons were sent to bully it out of Matt.  Another old buddy of Matt's also came into the picture, Jay, a drug addict.  Jay pleaded with Matt to go into this kidnapping scheme that would potentially rake in millions.  A simple, no hassle, a few-hour job.  Matt was quick to say no but Jay convinced him to think about it.  Then came Matt's in-laws who threatened to take away his daughter because they knew about the nightmares (due to post-traumatic stress disorder mixed with grief in losing his wife) and felt he was in no condition to properly take care of Anna.  Wow, Matt just can't get a break!  Oh wait, let's say yes to that kidnapping after all!  So Matt along with Jay and Roach (Jay's girlfriend) proceed with the ransom plan.  Of course it goes without a hitch.  NOT! The old eccentric coot they were trying to dupe wasn't so powerless.  Yikes, they messed with the wrong man!  So comes the fun and twists.  Loved it!  Just thought the whole getting out of the messy situation would have been more kickass from Matt's part so that was a big disappointment.

The premise was great and overall an exciting read.  I just felt Matt needed to be a little more passionate like Liam Neeson in Taken or Denzel Washington in Man on Fire.

Altogether, this wasn't a waste of time. 

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