Tag Archives: thugs

Already Gone, by John Rector


Jake Reese, a University professor, is attacked by two thugs who cut one of his fingers, and then apologise. A few days later, his finger turns up in the post. You don’t need to be psychic to know that not everything is right. The police is dragging their feet, and then his wife disappears before turning dead in mysterious circumstances. Jake decides to turn to a childhood acquaintance, Gabby, to find out what is happening. Jake knew he shouldn’t do that – and his wife had told him so before disappearing – but it’s too late. And it is something he may regret forever.

We’ve all read so-called page-turners, but “Already Gone” is one. Literally. It is a short novel, full of action and suspense, cliffhangers and twists. You will be eager to finish it as soon as you’ve started it. And it is sometimes a bit bloody, although not in a very graphic sense. I enjoyed the novel. Having said that, I was a tad disappointed by the ending – not that it wasn’t right, it had all the ingredients to keep you on your toes, but I was expecting more I suppose. Maybe it is because the book is so full of twists that I wanted it to end with a big bang… Some of the characters’ actions are also unrealistic at times, in a horror movie kind of way, but it works well. A very good read.

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Animal Kingdom


Another long flight, this time from Hong Kong to London (nearly thirteen hours), and the opportunity to read and read, and watch more movies. I saw Animal Kingdom, the debut feature from writer/director David Michod. I enjoyed the film and highly recommend it. “Welcome to the Melbourne underworld,” says the film’s website (http://www.animalkingdomthefilm.com.au/). Joshua Cody sees his mother OD and finds himself alone in the world. He calls upon his grandmother Janine (long estranged from her daughter), who welcomes him in her home…. Joshua’s nightmare has only just begun. His grandmother is the matriarch of a clan of thugs, who will drag the poor boy into their dark world. Joshua’s uncles are mad, scary, ruthless, and very dangerous. Joshua will play along until he finds himself unable to cope (I don’t want to spoil the movie here, but something terrible happens). He ends up in the middle of a battle between clans and the police, which turns bloody and more dangerous every day. I found the end of the movie (the last five minutes) terribly strong.

The underworld is not really my favourite topic, but its treatment is perfect. We live the lives of the Cody family, the dramas, the angst, the need to act – and then someone commits the irreparable, and we can only witness how the nightmare develops into something that no one can stop. The acting is superb. I loved Jacki Weaver in Grandma Cody, Ben Mendelsohn in Andrew Cody, and James Frecheville in Joshua. And of course, Guy Pearce (as in Memento, an amazing film, for those who have not seen it) as Nathan Leckie, a senior homicide detective. Make sure the sun is shining outside when you leave the cinema! Joke apart, Animal Kingdom is dark, powerful, and unsettling. It was the winner of the Sundance Film Festival 2010. Four stars.

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