One more word on Roger Hobbs’s Ghostman: I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Ann’s copy of the book after reading her review, so the powers-that-be sent me my own copy. Now, hunkered down with a lousy summer cold, I read it between bouts of coughing and sneezing. Except for those periods of time when sleep took over, thanks to some very good cough meds, I finished it in a little more than a day.
I’m not a fan of thrillers and I definitely can live without gore, but this novel has all of that and is still not to be missed. I often read to learn something as well as to be entertained along the way. Without a doubt, Ghostman taught me just about everything I could possibly know of the underworld of serious bank robbers, and darned if I wasn’t hugely entertained. From the jugmaker to the wheelman, the bagman to the buttonmen, the ghostmen, those participants who make things disappear, including themselves, to the facilitator who can obtain whatever for whomever on a moment’s notice, reading about a big heist will never be the same after having read Roger Hobbs’s Ghostman.
Read Ann Ronald’s review for a savvy take on this novel. For myself, being somewhat new to thrillers, I feel it is important to raise a red flag for those readers of faint hearts and strong anti-violence tendencies. The back cover of my advance review copy tells me that Roger Hobbs is a recent graduate of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. I’m familiar with Reed College and its academic demands, so what I want to know is where in the hell did Hobbs find the time to learn all this stuff? I’m not just talking about guns and ammunition, but about the human body and which parts of it are most vulnerable to which weapons. Thanks to the NYT Featured Image photo, it is even more amazing that this innocent looking author could have written this thriller.
The two heists covered in Hobbs’s plot are years and continents apart, but that doesn’t stop the adrenalin rush that begins on page one. The ghostman, aka Jack Delton, is a despicable character. What the heck, almost all the characters are despicable (I’m omitting the good-looking FBI agent). But they are also fascinating and uncomfortably seductive. Halfway through the book, I put it down and asked myself why I was even reading it? The answer didn’t take long. I picked it right back up. I was having fun. I wasn’t reading about a clean-up job for a heist gone bad. I was experiencing it with every car explosion, every knife or bullet that caught a bad guy, every cell phone crushed or tossed out a car-chased window. I was there for the stench of guts and gore and every plot twisting moment. I loved it! How Roger Hobbs made it happen is way beyond me.
The promo on the back cover of the book includes information about the film rights for Ghostman, which went to the highest bidder. Well folks, you can save yourself the price of a movie ticket and bucket of popcorn. Trust me, I can’t believe it could get any better than the book. – Sunny Solomon