Ghostman by Roger Hobbs (book review)
Knopf (February 12, 2013)
4 out of 5 stars
PRO: Good crime story with a main character who plays the ends against the middle.
CON: Flash back history is sometimes difficult to follow.
Knopf will be releasing Ghostman on 13 FEB 2013. The story promises to deliver a fictional crime tale centered on Jack. He is a ghost. He is not just a thief, he is an organizer of major thefts. He is the man called to help organize heists and then disappear. His face is never the same. He has no friends. But there are a small number of people who know how to track him down. Very few.
The novel opens with a robbery gone wrong in Atlantic City. Fatally. Someone from Jack’s past contacts him and asks him to tie up some loose ends, recovering a pile of cash which also helps Jack offset a contract on his own life. He finds himself stuck between a powerful criminal in Seattle, who Jack owes an old debt, and another criminal boss whose deadly reputation and reach far surpass everyone involved. Both want Jack’s allegiance. But then so does the FBI. Not just any agent, but a woman who has the potential to bring Jack to justice.
The characters are strong. The main character is no super hero and his back-story demonstrates his close calls with the law. Although being confused at times between the flashbacks to the back-story and the present, Roger Hobbes writes in such a way that he didn’t have to “tell” me how and why Jack makes his decisions. Jack’s initiation into the world of being a ghostman was rocky. His mentor continues to haunt his actions, perhaps with her own nefarious intentions.
The story unfolds consistently, chapter to chapter. I found it believable. It is not a difficult tale to immerse oneself, but it does need some attention to detail. The imagery (sights, smells and sound included) are well done. The author avoids dwelling on descriptions or distractions that do not focus entirely on developing the story.
I would recommend this to readers of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci.
Get it on Amazon.