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Out of the Black

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Overview

To keep the light of his life, he’ll have to do some dark things.

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 ...

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Overview

To keep the light of his life, he’ll have to do some dark things.

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.

Now, with his entire life hanging in the balance, Matt makes a pledge of brutal payback

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This generic stand-alone from Rector (Already Gone) offers plenty of action if little character development. Ex-Marine Matt Caine, an Afghanistan vet, has a lot to cope with since his wife’s death in an auto accident, including daughter Anna’s injuries and medical expenses, and a potential custody battle over Anna with his in-laws. Necessary decisions, followed by bad decisions (including borrowing money from dangerous Brian Murphy), lead a desperate Caine to go along with friend and ex-con Jay’s plan to kidnap the wife of wealthy Roman Pinnell. Caine has no idea how deadly Pinnell can be, but when things go wrong with the kidnapping scheme, both he and Anna may find out. When a vengeful Pinnell begins striking back, Caine turns to Murphy and his associates for help, a move that leaves him and Anna trapped between warring factions. Readers not expecting any surprises will best appreciate this straightforward thriller. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Matt Caine is an unemployed widower who makes some bad decisions in this dark caper novel from Rector (Already Gone; The Grove), a rising star in the thriller genre. A sketchy friend convinces Matt there’s easy money (to pay off the loan sharks he borrowed from for his daughter’s medical bills) in kidnapping a rich man’s wife. Unfortunately, the rich man is a dangerous mobster, and things rapidly spin out of control. Soon Matt finds himself depending on friends from a past he thought he’d left behind and considering acts of violence more suited to the marine he once was than the single father he is now. Oh, and his late wife’s parents think they’ll do a better job of raising his daughter than he will so they are contemplating suing for custody.

Verdict Written in a spare, laconic style reminiscent of Elmore Leonard or Robert B. Parker, this fast-moving, bleak thriller driven by the economic realities of modern America will appeal to fans of suspense fiction from the grittier side of the mean streets.—Dan Forrest, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781480516632
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 8/28/2013
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John Rector is a prize-winning short story writer and the author of the novel The Cold Kiss, optioned for a feature film now in development. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 27, 2013

    If you'd like to delve into a modern Shakespearean tragedy where

    If you'd like to delve into a modern Shakespearean tragedy where the dead bodies pile up faster than firewood and the inside of an incinerator never sounded so good, then you'll want to give OUT OF THE BLACK a go. Although it's all blackness all day long with nary a star in sight. Most of my reviews, this one included, are a bit more of the untraditional variety. But with writing, you go with what you know.

    Matt Caine isn't a superhero, but if he and I ever met in real life, I'd ask him for his lotto numbers, or his picks on the ponies, and then play the exact opposite, probably netting myself a nice chunk of cash in the process. If unluckiness were a job, he'd have the market nailed down cold. And if writing bad dudes were a religion, John Rector could take command of the pulpit with ease. Like James Lee Burke before him, he knows bad, and then he makes it worse and worse, taking his readers on a journey through the depths of hell without even bothering to use a map or GPS. If I had friends like Matt's--Jay and Roach and Brian Murphy--and in-laws that show as much caring and compassion as a pet viper, I wouldn't need enemies. And I'd already be dead, pushing up daisies from six feet below, in some wooden box in some unmarked grave. But Matt's a survivor, even if he isn't always the smartest one in the police lineup.

    As for the pace of the story, it reminded me of a swift jaunt on the interstate. If that jaunt involved a 2013 SRT Viper, cruising along at a cool 100 MPH, with six cop cars behind me, windows down, long hair whipping in the wind, as I gave the fuzz the one-fingered salute with my eyes pointed dead ahead, dodging through traffic like some meth-induced frog.

    There are a few holes--not of the Swiss cheese variety--but still plot holes nonetheless. But if you focus on the ride, and don't look down at the speedometer, you'll find yourself having a grand time, as you sing along to AC/DC or Rage Against the Machine. And you may just outrun the cops long enough to reach the end of this tale.

    I received this book for free through NetGalley.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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