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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thrilling page turner
Despite a positive note from Lee Child (normally a kiss of death as it appears he will endorse just about anything) this is a fast moving thriller. It has to be said that the main character is very much in the Reacher mould (highly observant,capable, keeps to himself) and the concept reminded me of Brett Battles' "Cleaner" series. The difference here is that the...
Published 20 months ago by Nick Brett

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars I don’t think this is a very good book at all but I’m giving it two stars ...
I don’t think this is a very good book at all but I’m giving it two stars rather than one because it’s obvious that the author has talent. For someone of 22 (when he wrote it) it does show some promise but he must work much harder. Here he forgot to write a good, engaging story with a decent plot and about characters that are even vaguely...
Published 1 month ago by Derek W. Ridgers


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thrilling page turner, 19 Feb 2013
By 
Nick Brett (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ghostman (Paperback)
Despite a positive note from Lee Child (normally a kiss of death as it appears he will endorse just about anything) this is a fast moving thriller. It has to be said that the main character is very much in the Reacher mould (highly observant,capable, keeps to himself) and the concept reminded me of Brett Battles' "Cleaner" series. The difference here is that the Ghostman is not on the side of the good guys which puts an interesting dynamic in there, he is an ex-bankrobber turned "ghost" an invisible guy that makes certain problems go away. Here our "hero" (?) is caught between two criminal crime lords where everybody is in someone's pocket and it is very hard to stay invisible and ahead of the game, when the only game in town...is you.

It is fairly short but a page turner and it is rather good. Looking forward to the next one in the series already.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 13 July 2013
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This review is from: Ghostman (Kindle Edition)
Absolutely stunning debut novel. Good solid plot with a brilliant hero, we know him as Jack but that isn't his real name. In my mind he was my favourite hero, Jack Bauer (who could rescue me any time!) so I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jack is the Ghostman, who can commit crimes and disappear without trace and has many identities. He is contacted by Marcus after a bank heist had gone wrong some five years previously and, due to a mistake made by Jack, Marcus calls in a favour. Marcus has implemented a casino robbery but the two men sent to do the job, Moreno and Ribbons, are ambushed as they make their getaway with the money. Moreno is killed and Robbins is shot but then disappears without trace. Jack is given the job of finding Robbins quickly, as an incendiary device is planted with the money and is due to detonate after 42 hours, rendering it useless.

Good, fast paced story and I couldn't put it down until I had finished it. It twists and turns and you never know what the outcome will be.

I understand Roger Hobbs is in his early twenties. If this is the case, Lee Child had better keep watching over his shoulder.

Brilliant stuff. Highly recommended.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, 14 Feb 2013
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ghostman (Hardcover)
This review is from: Ghostman (Hardcover)
Review

Ghostman is a book I approached with some caution, I'm not the biggest lover of crime fiction, it takes a seriously good book / synopsis to catch my attention. That said im always open to a change (if you can make me love a genre... I will keep coming back for more).

So when i heard Transworld waxing lyrical about this great new Crime Thriller, I jumped on the internet and did some searching. The concept more than intrigued me. This wasnt another bourne type thriller (i find spy books a big yawn normally). This was a criminal who hides in plain sight, anti hero good guy lead voice.

So I was hooked on the concept.. did the book live up to the hype? This is a new author an unknown. Which is something I enjoy, there is nothing better than finding a new rising star and the potential for more great books, Roger Hobbs did not disappoint.

There were many comparisons in the style of the book, there is a touch of the Jack Reacher about our Ghostman, there is a touch of the dexter about the voice/ style of the book and I can see why the film rights have been purchased by Warner. This has big budget move written all over it. Not because of any lack of reality in the book, although it does push the boundaries of what can be possible. It will be very interesting to see who they get to play Ghostman and can this person act to the ability of the character in the book?

The story its self has it all, A heist, gun fights, car chases and more twists and turns than you can keep up with. It really kept me guessing as to what side he was on, who would live who would die, and who might end up in Jail. There are multi threads all being played off against different angles in this story. That for me was the winner, I have read so many books now that often the big surprise is just obvious. Not so in Ghostman, its not high octane, but its a book that will grip you from first page to the last.

Very much recommended

(Parm)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared that if you love this type of literature you will not be able to leave it, 18 Mar 2014
By 
Denis Vukosav - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ghostman (Paperback)
‘Ghostman’ written by Roger Hobbs is an interesting debut work, a mystery thriller that will be loved by all those who enjoyed the movie Ocean's Twelve and Lee Child’s books which in some ways it resembles.

The story starts with a failed casino robbery in Atlantic City that will make Marcus, a man who was a brain behind all the operation, to call for help man about which very little is known. He is called “Jack” but no one is really sure what his name actually is, where he is coming from, how old he is or anything else about his background. The only known thing is that “Jack” is a master criminal who lives on the other side of the law being specialist in disappearing, appearing only when he is it intrigued by something.
Several years before "Jack" was part of a crew that unsuccessfully attempted a robbery organized by Marcus, when loot was lost and all criminals except Jack were not able to escape, while Ghostman disappeared. Both Marcus and “Jack” blame themselves for the failed operation but five years later Marcus will want payback when his casino robbery in Atlantic City will result in one of the robbers killed and the other escaping with the money.

Marcus will contact the Ghostman instructing him to recover the money and if he succeeds he will consider the two of them even. Of course it is not only the Ghostman who is looking for money, the FBI and some other villains are interested as well, while additional thrilling fact that adds to the excitement is that money will explode in only a few hours due to the attached explosives.
And while Ghostman is trying to escape from those who both seek money and himself fighting with time which inevitably flows, the reader will gradually learn what happened five years ago that put Ghostman in the position that he must repay debt…

What makes Roger Hobbs’s novel superior than the competition is that he has conceived a story full of details that not only emphasize the imagination of the author, but certainly points to the detailed research that he spent during its writing. However, it is not just a matter of the story full of details, but the way they are integrated into the story, such as the situation with the Federal Reserve money to which is attached the explosives which prevents long search, instantly becoming major plot element.

In terms of the many things it's hard to believe it was a debut work – besides above mentioned extensive police procedure and robbery research, the author handles several stories, in addition introducing different time perspective interweaving in which much more experienced writers could easily stuck. The story is easy and quick to read offering many twists and turns so be prepared that if you love this type of literature you will not be able to leave it until the end.

Therefore it will be interesting to observe in which direction will go further career of the author, with this first book he raised high the bar what confirm numerous accolades, awards and honors received by Hobbs. It is well known that the second book after a successful first is always the hardest to write.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Return Of Richard Stark, 9 Sep 2014
By 
B. Turnbull (Newcastle, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghostman (Paperback)
I went into this with few expectations, given the age of the author, but "Ghostman" turned out to be a serpentine crime novel of the highest order. Hobbs clearly knows what he's doing, and at times, this debut rattles along at a breath-taking pace. It's like each chapter was produced after sniffing a line of cocaine. There are echoes of Richard Stark throughout this, and a little Michael Connelly (think "Void Moon"), and on the whole, I was impressed with his grasp of details (though sometimes, there are a few too many), and his inventive use of the double-narrative, which keeps you turning the pages.

In all, this is a violent crime caper worthy of your attention, and certainly one of the better books I've read by new authors this year. I take my US crime fiction seriously, and so does Hobbs, so he passes the test for me. Only issues I had with it are while it might be compulsive, it treads familiar ground in terms of characterisation and plot, but the twists are well-placed and you can't help but race to the conclusion. As casino/bank heist novels go, it's a good one. Give it a try.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A powerful first novel., 9 Sep 2014
This review is from: Ghostman (Paperback)
It was only after I had finished reading this book that I discovered that it was a first novel, written by a 25 year old. Quite apart from my surprise at this information, I had already decided that it was a fine achievement. I was gripped throughout by the mounting suspense and the powerful evocation of incidental detail.

The novel belongs more or less to the hard-boiled school of predominantly American crime writing. In the past I have found that the weakness of this approach is that after a while a numbing effect sets in. Here, Hobbs seems to me to escape that charge via subtle shifts in pace and tone, as well as twists in the plot. It is true, as other reviewers are not slow to point out, that the central character lacks the frailties and vulnerabilities that would make him entirely credible. This is undeniable. However, is this any less true of more established heroes of the genre? Overall I found this compulsive reading and look forward to what Mr Hobbs has to offer us in the future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jack's the lad, 2 Aug 2014
By 
This review is from: Ghostman (Paperback)
OK, here’s the gist of it, the shorthand version. A carefully planned, audacious casino robbery in Atlantic City doesn’t work out as well as the criminal mastermind behind it had hoped. In fact, it’s a bloody disaster.

A serious tidy-up is required so he calls in ‘Jack’, an off-the-grid specialist in such matters. So far, so Tarantino. Then things start to go pear-shaped even for him, as he slowly starts finding himself less a ghost, more a target. He’s got plenty of wits but he’s going to need all of them in the thrilling chess game that follows.

The bigger picture is: Ghostman is as fresh, intriguing and original a depiction of a borderline hero/psycho as you’re likely to come across. A nerdy killer, a brilliant criminal trainspotter.

A very smart gripper indeed.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I don’t think this is a very good book at all but I’m giving it two stars ..., 2 Sep 2014
By 
Derek W. Ridgers "Derek_R" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghostman (Kindle Edition)
I don’t think this is a very good book at all but I’m giving it two stars rather than one because it’s obvious that the author has talent. For someone of 22 (when he wrote it) it does show some promise but he must work much harder. Here he forgot to write a good, engaging story with a decent plot and about characters that are even vaguely believable.

For me the whole book was tedious and a waste of time. It’s all surface and no depth. I suppose one could argue that this is the case with most books in this genre but for a master of the form, like Lee Child, he can make it seem like so much more. And I read this book simply because of the recommendation by Lee Child. I will know better next time.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An ABC (and DEFHIJ....) of Bank Robbing, 15 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Ghostman (Kindle Edition)
I'd just read the autobiography of Simon Day of the Fast Show before starting this, which is maybe why it began to sound like a lecture from Swiss Tony: "Picking a lock is a bit like making love to a beautiful woman. First polish your tool". Or "stealing a car is a bit like making love to a beautiful woman. First check the bodywork". Or "Hitting someone with a shovel....." It was a bit teacher and pupil, but you begin to suspect the teacher learned it all from the Internet. Then you remember the author is twenty four years old, and you start to wonder if not long ago he thought the movie Sin City was a documentary. Calm down son, you can make some assumptions about your readers, like maybe we have read one or two crime novels. We assume that a bank robber may have an idea of where to hide a getaway car. We don't really need to know the logical progression of thought that he will go through to select a hiding place. Elmore Leonard, say, allows us to believe in his bank robbers because of the way they ask for the money when they hold up the bank. They sound authentic and they act authentic. You don't believe or suspect that they read about how to rob a bank in a book.
The book is full of advice for would be hiest masters. "Angela told me only ever to book a room between the second an tenth floors in an hotel. A climber can reach the second floor and fire trucks can only reach the tenth." It's also useful to know that if you surround your hotel bed with newspapers you will hear someone trying to sneak up to your bed. It would be ironic though, if you tripped and fell on those very same newspapers while trying to make a sharp exit from your burning hotel room. The book is overloaded with stuff like this. If a car has to be torched, you learn about the best fuel to use, why it is the best fuel to use, how to light it, what chemical traces it leaves, on and on, until you're ready to scream "Just torch the effing car will you?!"
Interestingly, the only thing that the author doesn't go into detail about is sex. He can write three pages of intense prose about how to clean a Glock pistol, but never tries to unlock the puzzle of undoing a bra strap. All the femme fatales in this novel also come over as sounding a bit like your mum, and just as sexy. As such, it's a very American flashy thriller. Plenty of violence, zero romance.
Despite all this, I managed to finish the book. While I won't rush to read another from this author it was a good effort.
It's easy to poke fun at the inexperience, maybe, but I ask myself, how many books had I published at twenty four? Indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not convincing, 2 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Ghostman (Kindle Edition)
Sorry. It's enjoyable but ultimately flawed. The premise is good but this guy is superman not a bank robber! I wanted it to work but it just didn't
I got bored with it fairly quickly.
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Ghostman
Ghostman by Roger Hobbs (Hardcover - 14 Feb 2013)
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