- About the Book
FINALIST FOR THE EDGAR AWARD--BEST FIRST NOVEL In a daring operation, two crooks-for-hire rob an Atlantic City casino. But their heist goes horribly wrong, and only one of them makes it out alive. Now he's on the run with $1/2 million vacuum-packed into a bundle the size of a briefcase. Little does he know it's rigged with explosives.Almost immediately, an expert fixer named Jack is in cross-country pursuit. With less than 48 hours to recover the money, clean up the mess, and--for god's sake--try not to botch the job like he did last time . . .
The book velcroed itself to my hand before I had finished reading the first page and did not let go until the conclusion. Think of one of those barbed fish hooks that do more damage going out than going in. That's GHOSTMAN, though its damage you'll love and yearn for from beginning to end.... I have been reading mystery and thriller novels for over a half-century, and thought that I might be immune to accounts of this nature. I was wrong, and am yearning for more of this character and from this author.
Ghostman is terrific: lightning-quick, absolutely compelling and smart as all get-out.... Jack is a bottomless well of amazing details about all kinds of stuff, criminally minded and otherwise. Much of this has to be taken on faith.... The book's a little overlong perhaps the flashbacks to the botched Malaysian job could have been trimmed. But that's a minor point. Overall, Ghostman is a real piece of work without question, the strongest crime-fiction debut I've read in a long time.
Mr. Hobbs who graduated in 2011 from Reed College seizes our attention and holds it tight, not so much through his plotting or his characters but through his sheer, masterly use of details, and the authoritative, hard-boiled voice he has fashioned for Jack.... Ghostman would have been way more powerful with a more potent and coherent hero, but weirdly this lapse does not prevent the novel from holding the reader's attention. Nor does the somewhat jerry-built plot, which lifts freely from sources like Ocean's Eleven, Entrapment and The Sopranos, as well as a slew of crime novels. What powers the narrative over such bumps is Mr. Hobbs's ability to immerse us in Jack's unsavory world and to make the nefarious transactions he and his cohort engage in seem so palpably real. This is the debut of a gifted crime writer who will only get better with his next endeavors.
—New York Times
—New York Times