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Ghostman | [Roger Hobbs]

Ghostman

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, February 2013 - I’m reading Ghostman now, and from the minute I picked it up, I was hooked. The opening chapter drops you into an Atlantic City casino-heist-gone-spectacularly-wrong, and we follow the efforts of “Jack” to clean up the mess in under 36 hours. There’s already enough mystery (Who is “Jack” really? Who else knew about the heist? What’s up with his mysterious employer and even more shadowy mentor? Have the FBI already figured this whole thing out?) to keep me locked in until the end. This debut novel has already gotten a lot of buzz in the publishing world, and I can’t wait to listen to it. —Chris, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (338 )
5 star
 (114)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (298 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (296 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Hassan Springfield Gardens, NY, United States 02-14-13
    Hassan Springfield Gardens, NY, United States 02-14-13 Member Since 2009

    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= :'(

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Authentic And Full of Action!!"

    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.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alton Leesburg, FL 03-11-13
    Alton Leesburg, FL 03-11-13 Member Since 2008

    Retired book buyer/book manager for wholesale distributor in the 5 largest northeast states. Prolific reader who was inundated with ARCs.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Real noir"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clayton WEST PALM BEACH, FL, United States 02-15-13
    Clayton WEST PALM BEACH, FL, United States 02-15-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "way too hyped"
    What did you like best about Ghostman? What did you like least?

    Cool details about heists
    Unfortunately the plot is muddled and the character does not hold together


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    the character should be more consistent and the plot less complex


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    the narration was painfully slow but the narrator has a terrific voice


    Could you see Ghostman being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    not a chance


    Any additional comments?

    it is a mystery to me Why this book has received so much press

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzy Highland, IL, United States 03-01-13
    Suzy Highland, IL, United States 03-01-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extraordinary Debut for Author and Narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Bangkok, Thailand 02-17-13
    Paul Bangkok, Thailand 02-17-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Must Miss Breakout Thriller"

    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.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Galadriel 03-01-14
    Galadriel 03-01-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Only Jake Weber kept me listening"
    What disappointed you about Ghostman?

    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.


    Has Ghostman turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, but I expect more from the genre.


    What does Jake Weber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John tallevast, FL, United States 04-24-13
    John tallevast, FL, United States 04-24-13 Member Since 2011

    List of favorite books: Woodcutter - Reginald Hill, Consent to Kill, First Deadly Sin - Lawrence Sanders, Sniper Elite - Scott McEwen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed - To say the least"

    Jake webber has a good voice overall - When he's speaking normal. The character's he portayed in the story seemed dramatic; with voice's I couldn't relate to, or get in to. I thought the story had a good shot in the beginning - But I was quickly losing interest as it progressed. I was hoping for some revalation at the end that made it worth the time invested in it - Like the "Inside man" movie with Clive Owen... If I used that as my guage - You'd have to dig a hole to find the minus star rating. If you like plain action, with no substance - Then this might be for you.

    Sorry..................................

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry P. Press New York 03-21-13
    Barry P. Press New York 03-21-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enthusiasm for the Main Character Wanes over Time"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gdkeyes pittsburgh, PA, United States 03-18-13
    gdkeyes pittsburgh, PA, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "almost got it"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I think Mr Hobbs was trying to recreate a new "Jack Reacher" by giving tips and explainations to aspects of his character's crimes. Mr. Hobbs almost made it with his character "The Ghostman" I found the book entertaining and interesting even though it's no Lee Childs. I feel as this author grows along with his character, the plot and writing will get much more tighter and smooth. I will definitely check out anything new with Roger Hobbs - he's up and coming.


    Would you recommend Ghostman to your friends? Why or why not?

    y


    What aspect of Jake Weber’s performance would you have changed?

    i read the reviews before listening and i must agree that the narrator - Jack Weber was a tad slow and somewhat monotonous. However, it wasn't to the point of distraction and probably wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't have read previous reviews. I guess book reviews can backfire.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    y


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. S. Buchanan Gaithersburg, MD USA 03-18-13
    P. S. Buchanan Gaithersburg, MD USA 03-18-13 Member Since 2012

    PSB from MD

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "The Bad triumph over the Really Bad"
    Where does Ghostman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I was engrossed from beginning to end, although it would have been nice to have a good guy or two sprinkled into the plot.


    Would you recommend Ghostman to your friends? Why or why not?

    Sure - if they like dark books about criminals.


    What does Jake Weber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Jake does a superior job of really making you feel like you are in the book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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