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NOTE: Movie tie-in edition comes out in March 2018. as does the film. Used copies of previous editions are available.

A short novel created to be a tie-in to a movie starring Joaquin  Phoenix and certainly one that will shout out – See This Film!!! Joe is a former Marine and also previously an FBI agent. A very abusive childhood has left him mentally damaged beyond any real chance of repair. He lives with his grandmother in the borough of Queens, New York city and is as much a loner as any human can be. He earns a livelihood through the act of rescuing young girls from kidnapping and being forced into prostitution.

The novel opens as he successfully completes one assignment and receives another job rescuing the daughter of a New York State senator. The senator himself talks to him and advises that the girl is being held in a brothel in Manhattan by the mob. The assignment leads Joe into a situation that involves criminal mobs, and high level conspiracy.

Ames successfully paints a picture of a world very different than the one most of us inhabit. It is brutal, unforgiving and violent to a degree unknown to the average person. The novel in addition to being a tie-in to the film is definitely one that is leading to another book continuing Joe’s activities in this violent underground world.  A very well done lead in to further novels by Jonathan Ames and certainly one that will promote the movie.

1/18 Paul Lane

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE by Jonathan Ames. Vintage (March 20, 2018).  ISBN 978-0525562894. 112p.

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