‘Ghostman’ is Roger Hobbs’ first novel but I immediately felt as though I’d been reading books from this excellent author for years.
A Ghostman is a criminal who is a master of disguise and impersonation. Jack is one of the best around (his name is not really Jack, and probably not even he remembers what it is). He lives completely ‘off the grid’ with only a very small number of people able to contact him. So, when he is contacted by Marcus he has no choice but to get involved. Many years ago, Jack was involved in a bank robbery in Kuala Lumpur that was organised by Marcus and due to mistakes made by Jack, the robbery went terribly wrong. Now another of Marcus’s jobs has gone wrong and Jack can repay his debt by helping clean up the mess.
The current job was the robbery of a money delivery to a casino in Atlantic City. Four bodies were left behind after the robbery and the remaining robber has disappeared with $1.2 million. The money is a federal payload, so will self destruct and send out location information after 48 hours, so Jack has a time limit in which to put things right.
But, on arrival in Atlantic City, Jack finds that the FBI are already onto him. Also, Atlantic City is ‘owned’ by the ‘wolf’, so pretty soon Jack has two groups trying to track his every move.
The story moves between the past in Kuala Lumpur and the present in Atlantic City as Jack tracks the cash while avoiding the baddies and the FBI and frequently completely altering who he is. This leads to an exciting chase with lots of violence and a fairly high body count.
Modern technology is an integral part of the story, both using it and getting around it. The book was obviously well researched and we get quite a lot of detail of how things work.
This was a very enjoyable book and I hope Roger Hobbs can keep up the pace and intensity with his next book – ‘Vanishing Games’ due for release in 2014.
Book Published 2013