Synopses & Reviews
Stunningly dark, hugely intelligent and thoroughly addictive, Ghostman
announces the arrival of an exciting and highly distinctive novelist.
When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone who’s occasionally called Jack. While it’s doubtful that anyone knows his actual name or anything at all about his true identity, or even if he’s still alive, he’s in his mid-thirties and lives completely off the grid, a criminal’s criminal who does entirely as he pleases and is almost impossible to get in touch with. But within hours a private jet is flying this exceptionally experienced fixer and cleaner-upper from Seattle to New Jersey and right into a spectacular mess: one heister dead in the parking lot, another winged but on the run, the shooter a complete mystery, the $1.2 million in freshly printed bills god knows where and the FBI already waiting for Jack at the airport, to be joined shortly by other extremely interested and elusive parties. He has only forty-eight hours until the twice-stolen cash literally explodes, taking with it the wider, byzantine ambitions behind the theft. To contend with all this will require every gram of his skill, ingenuity and self-protective instincts, especially when offense and defense soon become meaningless terms. And as he maneuvers these exceedingly slippery slopes, he relives the botched bank robbery in Kuala Lumpur five years earlier that has now landed him this unwanted new assignment.
From its riveting opening pages, Ghostman effortlessly pulls the reader into Jack’s refined and peculiar world — and the sophisticated shadowboxing grows ever more intense as he moves, hour by hour, toward a constantly reimprovised solution. With a quicksilver plot, gripping prose and masterly expertise, Roger Hobbs has given us a novel that will immediately place him in the company of our most esteemed crime writers.
"Hobbs's strong debut bypasses a potentially over-familiar premise, a lone-wolf crook trying to outwit the underworld's higher powers through sheer verve. Five years after a failed heist in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the protagonist, identified only by the alias 'Jack Delton,' is leading an anonymous existence, but not enough of one to prevent his former boss, the Moriarty-like Marcus Hayes, from summoning him at a moment's notice. Marcus's latest heist, of an armored car delivering .2 million to an Atlantic City casino, has gone badly, bloodily wrong, with one henchman dead and the other in hiding with the loot. Jack must find the survivor in the next 48 hours before an ink bomb hidden in the cash goes off, while also dealing with FBI agent Rebecca Blacker and local kingpin Harrihar 'the Wolf' Turner. Though occasionally overloaded with information about criminal procedure, Hobbs's supremely confident storytelling should leave readers eagerly anticipating his antihero's future felonies. 150,000 first printing; 5-city author tour. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Fast, hard and knowing: this is an amazing debut full of intrigue, tradecraft and suspense. Read it immediately!" Lee Child
"A slam-bang, pedal-to-the-metal crime story that fires on all cylinders and then some! Ghostman is a gritty, lean, mean adrenaline machine. Mostly, though, it was just plain fun to read. I absolutely loved this book and cannot recommend it highly enough." Christopher Reich
"This watertight debut [is] at once slick and gritty....Straight out of the gate, Hobbs has mastered the essentials of a contemporary thriller: a noirlike tone, no-nonsense prose and a hero with just enough personality to ensure he doesn't come off as an amoral death machine [as well as] heart-stopping scenes that illustrate how small mistakes can turn catastrophic." Kirkus, starred review
The sensation of the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair: a stunningly dark first novel that is sure to become a major publishing event.
When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from "Jack." Only thirty or so people are sure this man exists, some believe he's dead, and none know anything at all about his true identity. Those are closely guarded trade secrets, to say the least, for an exceptionally trained, experienced, and talented criminal. But as he struggles to clean up the mess left in the wake of the bungled Atlantic City heist, he finds himself increasingly more visible as he's pursued simultaneously by the FBI and other interested, if mysteriously elusive, parties — a situation that requires every gram of his skill, ingenuity, and self-protective instincts, especially when offense and defense become meaningless terms.
From its opening pages, Ghostman effortlessly pulls the reader into Jack's refined and peculiar world — and the sophisticated shadowboxing only grows more powerfully intense as the novel moves toward its inexorable conclusion.
About the Author
Roger Hobbs lives in Portland, Oregon, having graduated from Reed College in 2011 after majoring in English and studying ancient languages, film noir, and literary theory (and also writing this novel).