I make things disappear. It’s what I do. This time I’m tidying up the loose ends after a casino heist gone bad. The loose ends being a million cash.
But I only have 48 hours, and there’s a guy out there who wants my head in a bag.
He’ll have to find me first.
They don’t call me the Ghostman for nothing…
Ghostman by Roger Hobbs is a remarkable debut title. Published by Doubleday/Transworld it is astonishing, breath-taking, electrifying and everything in between! A prime example of a book that sucks you in from the very first page and doesn’t let go until you turn the final page with an incredibly satisfying whoosh. It entertains, it astounds and the book – in its entirety – hinges on the voice of one man – The Ghostman – and what a voice he has! He commands attention and orchestrates an incredible thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
No one knows who he is or where to find him. Living one anonymous day at a time he reads and translates Latin literature – just to pass the time, just because he can. Ghostman is one seriously intelligent hombre who knows just what it takes to remain hidden utilising the skills he’s garnered from years of experience. That is until he receives an email he knows he shouldn’t answer. But then, where’s the fun in that – for us at least!
This simple act of replying to a man he hasn’t spoken to in five years sets off a cataclysmic chain of events that leads to car chases, murder and good old fashioned double cross and triple cross. I have to admit when I first read the blurb accompanying the book I wasn’t quite sure how it would work, especially as Ghostman relates the story from beginning to end utilising a first person narrative. I expected it to be insular and claustrophobic but after reading the first few chapters I knew I’d never tire of his character or the story itself.
Characterisation is incredible. As I’ve already mentioned above Ghostman carries the book and together with a number of flashbacks to a job in Malaysia – 5 years in the past – we get a real sense of who the protagonist is and what makes him tick. He’s driven, likeable, genuine and believable, a man capable of getting in to unexpected scrapes but somehow having the intelligence and wherewithal to claw his way out of a perilous jam.
Given the leading role Ghostman plays the author’s other characters are mere bit players, a supporting cast if you like, but they all play their part well and certainly add to the plot and help move it along at a steady pace. I would have liked to learn more about a few of the characters with Hobbs taking the opportunity to develop backstories and add more depth to the book. This is a personal preference and although not at all necessary it’s something I would have liked. It certainly doesn’t detract from the storyline or fluidity of the book.
I never took anything for granted and didn’t quite know what would happen in the end. I have to say I did have a couple of alternative endings in mind as I neared its conclusion but didn’t try to work it out with any wasted energy. I just wanted to be entertained and went along for the ride. Satisfying and believable, the ending was a clever conclusion to one of the best debut titles I’ve had the pleasure of reading for some time.
- Hardcover: 321 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday (14 Feb 2013)
- ISBN-10: 0857521616
- ISBN-13: 978-0857521613
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