Indie Next ListFebruary 2013
Jack, both brilliant and cunning, has made it to the top of the gangster ranks. Extremely wealthy, equipped with the most modern technological tools and constantly changing addresses and even his physical appearance, Jack is like a living ghost. Only a happy few know how to contact him. An old partner in crime to whom he is indebted calls on Jack to clean up the mess from a seemingly well-organized heist gone bad. Not trusting his former partner, hunted by an extremely dangerous mobster, and chased by the FBI, Jack needs all of his tricks to keep his ghost-like existence intact. Smart and captivating from beginning to end, a stellar debut! -- Jean-Paul Adriaansen, Water Street Books, Exeter, NH
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.
About the Author
Roger Hobbs lives in Portland, Oregon. He graduated from Reed College.
Praise for Ghostman…
A Booklist Best Mystery of the Year
Winner of the Crime Writers' Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award
“A pulse-pumping heist thriller.” —Rolling Stone
“Smoking-fast. . . . The debut of a gifted crime writer.” —The New York Times
“Fast, hard and knowing: this is an amazing debut full of intrigue, tradecraft and suspense. Read it immediately!” —Lee Child
“A tense and tightly coiled debut thriller.” —Entertainment Weekly
“A stunningly accomplished debut. . . . [Hobbs] has the talent to fuel bestsellers and summer blockbusters for years to come.” —The Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Richly imagined and darkly fascinating.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“A super-slick thriller.”—New York Daily News
“Stylishly gritty and fast-paced.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“A first-time novelist who’s . . . already writing with the poise of an old pro. . . . Hobbs is an assured stylist who favors clean, precise prose, [and] handles violence with a lyric touch.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Ghostman is terrific: lightning-quick, absolutely compelling, and smart as all get-out.”—The Seattle Times
“Crackling with action.” —Bloomberg News
“Wonderfully hard-boiled.” —Parade
“A gripping adrenaline rush, a dirty bomb of a crime thriller with a deceptive plot that confounds and stimulates characters and readers alike.” —Portland Monthly
“What [Lee] Child’s debut novel, Killing Floor, did for thrillers, Hobbs does for crime novels.” —Arizona Republic
“Hobbs is up there with the best. I don't think I've read a better botched heist than the one that begins Ghostman. It's a masterpiece of hyper-kinetic blocking and deep, vivid detail.”—John O’Connell, The Guardian (London)
“A propulsive thriller that combines incredible detail and unstoppable narrative drive. . . . Hobbs possesses a [Lee] Child-like ability for first unleashing and then shrewdly directing a tornado of a plot, but he also evokes Elmore Leonard in the subtle interplay of his characters. A triumph on every level.” —Booklist (starred review)
“This watertight debut [is] at once slick and gritty. . . Straight out of the gate, Hobbs has mastered the essentials of a contemporary thriller: a noir-like 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 Reviews (starred review)