Book Review: Ghostman by Roger Hobbs

Doesn’t just make you sick when you read a really awesome book, then find out it was written by someone ten years your junior. Ghostman is that book, and Roger Hobbs is that person. He has managed to write a tense and pacey crime novel, introduce an intriguing and sympathetic anti-hero and weave a flawless plot in what I hope is only the start of a series of novels about the Ghostman. Damn.

9780857521613-largeJack Delton – although this is not his real name – is a guy with a specific set of skills, he can become anyone he wants to be, he can make people believe he is whoever he needs to be and in his chosen profession, he can carry out a heist and simply disappear. He’s able to pick and chose his jobs, but nothing has sparked his interest for six months, so when Marcus Hayes calls in his marker for a screwed up Malaysian heist, Jack has no choice but to take it. Cue a dash by private jet from Seattle to Atlantic City and Jack has to clean up a messy armed robbery and find the loot before the local crime lord, The Wolf, does.

Wow. I just raced through this book and was so impressed with the way the story was unraveled, sharing moments from the Malaysian heist as it went along, so we know at each stage what went wrong there that makes Jack take the precautions he does and why he owes Marcus so big. Jack’s character was surprisingly well-developed for someone whose name and history we barely know and all the details of how he remains anonymous, are written as meticulously as he is.

If you’re starting to think that maybe this is one for the guys, there is a female FBI agent who is smart enough to be never far behind Jack, so maybe if/when this becomes a series, she’ll turn up again…

I’d highly recommend the book, it’s full of suspense and, unfortunately, so easy to race through to the end far too quickly, but hey, you can always read it again, right? Most of all though, it’s smart. It doesn’t patronise the reader, or make anything too obvious and the final payoff is systematically revealed. I’m already looking forward to book 2, while at the same time being totally jealous of Roger Hobbs’ writing talent. Damn.

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