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-30s 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 48 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, Ghostman effortlessly pulls the listener 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.
©2013 Roger Hobbs (P)2013 Random House Audio
"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)
Retired book buyer/book manager for wholesale distributor in the 5 largest northeast states. Prolific reader who was inundated with ARCs.
Entertaining well told crime story with interesting details of a heist for those who enjoy crime trivia and good background research. Two stories in different times told in a back and forth sequence which is well developed, adds to the tension and is not confusing. especially as they relate to each other. Excellent debut by this author. Am eager for the next publication.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
This book is very authentic, not like other books were the thief is so smart and so on... Nope, this book pulls you into Jack's many characters and characteristics. He is not after the usual goal (Being Rich, or Revenge) He just likes it when its fun and challenging. This character is not bad at all, with some work Jack could be an amazing character.
You have many characters here, and you have 2 different stories, one in the past, which comes every now and then, but the main one is the present time, which you think you know what is going on until you figure out the plot and the real deal.
I liked the narration,Jake Weber did a great job with the many different accents.
Overall, for a first book for this author, he did a fantastic job, and looking forward for more of his books.
Titles that should be made or remade into film by Amazon or Netflix... Department Q. Harry Hole. Noble House. Tai-pan. Gai-jin and Shogun.
I would, its a good story, but with poor character development. The Ghost is a college graduate, an ancient language geek who is smart enough to translate Ancient Greek, but somehow has no friends or family. A real loner. And there is his far fetched, almost supernatural ability to stare at a photo and begin looking like a stranger.
Weber does have a great voice, but reads way to slow. I listened at 1.5x speed just to get through it.
I enjoyed the details of each thief s role in a job. Least interesting was the lack of relationships between any of the characters. I enjoyed the idea of the relationship of our Ghost and the FBI, but it never happened. It would have been nice to see how the agent did her job, but we only saw the results.
Way to slow. Play it at 1.5x speed using the Audible app.
Actually, as I said before, I'd have him write about the police work with the same flair he applied to the crimes.
Cool details about heists
Unfortunately the plot is muddled and the character does not hold together
the character should be more consistent and the plot less complex
the narration was painfully slow but the narrator has a terrific voice
not a chance
it is a mystery to me Why this book has received so much press
What a great story by Roger Hobbs! What an amazing performance by narrator Jake Weber. I found myself completely mesmerized, nearly entranced by Weber's voice and cadence as the story wound its way through twists and turns, building out this life of a Ghostman for the listener. I knew the author was new but I hoped the narrator had other works available on Audible. Not yet. I’m looking forward to new works by both. Will the Ghostman become a series? Hard to tell and, based on the story line, I'm not sure we will know it if it happens. I really can’t wait for more by both!
Simply put: The story, characters, venue and performance of this book were predictable, threadbare and ultimately boring. The dialogue was so laden with crime novel cliches that I had to occasionally take a break to avoid the temptation to erase the entire book before continuing. Predictable tough guys with no depth of character litter this work throughout. Lecturing tomes about "how to", " only two ways to do", etc., ripped off from Lee Child and his Jack Reacher series, here fell flat and came across as condescending.
Geeky descriptions of fearsome weapons and unnecessarily graphic descriptions of grisly acts of violence could not compensate for shallow characters, shaky story line and cringe-inducing dialogue.
Jake Weber's performance was more distraction than entertainment. His efforts to portray hardened criminals as well as world-weary but soft-harted characters from society's fringe lacked subtlety and resulted in caricatures of criminals instead of believable persons. To be fair, the dialogue he was forced to work with inexorably led to this result.
Mr. Hobb's literary agent turned in the best performance here by somehow convincing Audible to showcase this first book as a must-read, breakout thriller.
I liked the detail about the subject matter of theft (at a high-end) skilled level
.Parts were a bit too grizzly!
The tough guy the "hero" is.Kinda like a "Jack Reach" type of guy.
Hero is smart and knows how to fight.
I initially listened to this book a couple of years ago. Second time thru is still good.
You will probably like Lee Child's books if you like this one.
I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
The lack of character development. The idea of someone living this strange life was interesting for awhile, but the main character was way too much of a cypher for this reader. There was nowhere near enough info or inner dialogue to explain why he is the way he is, so he came off as just another creepy criminal. The only humanity I attributed to him came from Weber's reading, which kept me going for some time. Ultimately realized I didn't care enough to finish and returned it.
No, but I expect more from the genre.
Likeability, warmth. I love the sound of his voice and his interpretation of the books he reads for Audible. Really, I only chose this book to begin with because Jake Weber was reading it, having just heard his mesmerizing work on "Night Film." Hope to hear more from him with better material.
Good first book and it has garnered a lot of attention. I just don't what I think about it. The hero is no hero at all. He makes some moves that would be considered heroic and then he goes and does something purely for his own self interest. Just not sure how I feel about it.
For a first novel, Ghostman is entertaining with an interesting caper. The plot moves along at a good pace, and the action scenes are well-written. Plenty of attention to detail, and Jake Weber does a good job overall with the narration. However, my enthusiasm for the main character (the "Ghostman") waned over time. I felt that this book was a little too over-hyped prior to its release.
Mr. Hobbs has created a protagonist that is difficult to form an emotional connection with, in my opinion. The main character comes across somewhat "flat", and I found myself not caring as to what happens to him by the end of the book. That said, I would try another book by this author as I do feel that he has talent and ability. If you like characters such as Jack Reacher, Joe Pike, John Puller, etc. then you will probably find this book reasonably entertaining, albeit a notch or two below the level you might be hoping for.
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