Ghost Man by Roger Hobbs is an exciting robbery novel. In fact, it is about two robberies. One is a casino heist in Atlantic City New Jersey, and the other is a bank robbery in Malaysia. The novel begins after both robberies have ended in disaster and death.
The “Ghost Man” is the guy in any major robbery whose job it is to make sure that everything runs perfectly. He is the one who does all the intelligence work before the heist. He checks out the alarm system, sees where the guards are, times the police patrols, sees what kind of vault or armored car is used.
After the casino heist in Atlantic City goes bad and the money disappears, Jack Dalton is sent in to figure out what happened and to find the missing money before the cops do. Jack is the best Ghost Man in the world. Of course, his name is not really Jack Dalton. He changes his name and his appearance after each robbery and simply disappears. (Hence the term “ghost”).
The only reason Jack is willing to get involved in such a mess after the fact is that he owes a debt to the crime boss Marcus. Jack was the person who screwed up the Malaysian robbery years before. It was the kind of mistake that got a lot of people killed and there are still lot of people still trying to find Jack to kill him.
As soon as Jack starts to check things out in Atlantic City he realizes the situation is more dangerous than he ever imagined. Not only must he avoid the police and FBI, but it turns out that Atlantic city has a drug lord called “The Wolf”who is a hundred times more violent than Marcus. The Wolf wants to find the casino money for himself, and doesn’t care who he has to kill to get it.
In any crime novel what matters is attention to detail and pacing. Ghost Man is great at both. Roger Hobbs has shown himself to be a master of the big crime genre. Step by step he lays out how to pull off a major robbery down to the smallest detail. Let’s face it, haven’t we all secretly fantasized about what it would be like to rob a bank or casino? Haven’t we imagined what we would do with millions of dollars in cash? Ghost Man shows how you might actually get away with it. Then Ghost Man lets us see how even a slight mistake can get you killed or sent to prison for life.
Ghost Man is terrific and we highly recommend it. Roger Hobbs has also published Vanishing Games which continues with some of the same characters. Best to start at the beginning with Ghost Man, which we are sure you will love as much as we did.