Book Review: Ghostman by Roger Hobbs

Ghost ManGhostman
Roger Hobbs
Alfred A. Knopf, February 2013
ISBN 978-0-307-95996-6

I do my best to keep reviews fresh without comparing one story to another. However, if I may be allowed this one indulgence I’d like to give you a one sentence overview which will hopefully persuade you to read Hobbs’ new book, Ghostman. Ready? Think Jack Reacher as a bad guy. I know, I know, I was hooked, too. This novel is a slick, action-packed, deductive thriller and if Hobbs doesn’t come out with another in the series, I will be disappointed.

A casino heist in Atlantic City goes bad. The organizer, Marcus Hayes, calls in a favor from a former associate named Jack. Jack owes him for screwing up an operation five years ago. Marcus tells Jack that there is a time limit to his assignment. He has to find the money before it, literally, explodes. He also is up against both the FBI and a vicious mobster.

I know that’s a simplistic plot on the surface but, of course, there are more angles and layers in this. I really like books where the bad guy, or a bad guy is the main character. Especially if he’s an intelligent bad guy. Bad guys know the score. They have the angles. Good guys are good guys and wear the white hats. Bad guys can take any chances, do anything and it doesn’t matter because they’re bad. This plot is fresh, at least to me. From the first few chapters, I knew this was going to be something worthwhile.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, November 2013.
Author of Night Shadows, Beta and Alpha.