Ghostman, Roger Hobbs
Jack is a ghostman. He is a career criminal who specializes in making people disappear. Not killing them, no, but helping criminals find new lives and identities to avoid getting caught. His speciality is bank robbers. Of course Jack himself disappears on a frequent and regular basis. Imagine his suprise to get a call from someone who knows his old alias- its Marcus.
Five years ago, Jack was on a team that Marcus hand-picked for an elaborate bank heist. It was Jack’s mistake that screwed up the plan, costing them not only a multi-million dollar payout, but cost some of the team their lives. Now, Marcus is back to collect his debt. He gets Jack involved in another scheme involving a casino robbery, a federal payload, and a drug lord known as The Wolf.
Ghostman alternates between the bank heist 5 years ago and the casino robbery in the present- equally interesting crimes involving numerous felons, hit men, wheelmen, jugmarkers, con men and even one FBI agent. A good thriller involves a very tight balance between action and characterization: too much plotting and introspection, and you no longer have a thriller; but make it all car chases and gun fights, and readers don’t care about your character. Roger Hobbs manages to get it right on the first try, writing a book that I gobbled in one sitting (staying up far too late of course) but which stuck in my mind for days after.
Ghostman has lots of violence, of course. Its not overly graphic (for the genre) but its very casual. People die all the time and no one really cares. I found that a little chilling- which of course fit the sociopathic character of Jack perfectly. I don’t do spoilers, but let me just say there is a scene of Russian Roulette that literally had me twitching with each pull of the trigger.
Ghostman had double-crosses to spare, and kept me guessing to the very last page- when, of course, Jack once again disappears.
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