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Extended Audio Sample Ghostman, by Roger Hobbs Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,295 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Roger Hobbs Narrator: Jake Weber Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Jack, if that's even his name, is a ghostman. He's a career criminal who lives completely off the grid and helps others disappear, too. He claims to have helped a hundred bank robbers escape, using disguises and fake passports, birth certificates and other identification.

When an Atlantic City casino heist goes wrong, Jack is called in to help clean up the mess. The problem is, the $1.2 million cash bounty is set to explode in only 48 hours if Jack cannot get the heist back on track. He flies in from Seattle via private jet, and is met at the airport by the FBI. Once he gets to the scene, he finds things are worse than he had imagined. One member of the heist team has been shot dead in the parking lot and another is nowhere to be found. The identity of the enemy is a mystery to everyone, and it turns out the FBI isn't the biggest issue.

Jack is hard not to like, despite the fact that he's a career criminal. He's a geeky college graduate, an intelligent loner no thanks to his ghostman lifestyle. Jack's current struggles in Atlantic City remind him of a heist five years before in Kuala Lumpur, which he boggled through a simple mistake. As a result, several of the thieves served time, and his boss's infallible reputation was tarnished.

Ghostman is writer Roger Hobbs's first novel. It was written between his junior and senior years at Reed College, when Hobbs was only 21. It was edited during his senior year, 2010-2011 and published in February 2013. Hobbs has lived a full life, despite still being under age 25 when Ghostman was published. He's previously worked as a rifle range instructor, radio host and a security guard.

When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone who’s occasionally called Jack. While it’s doubtful anyone knows his actual name or anything at all about his true identity, or even if he’s still alive, he’s in his mid-thirties and lives completely off the grid, a criminal’s criminal who does entirely as he pleases and is almost impossible to get in touch with. But within hours a private jet is flying this exceptionally experienced fixer from Seattle to New Jersey and right into a spectacular mess. One heister is dead in the parking lot, another winged but on the run, the shooter a complete mystery, the $1.2 million in freshly printed bills god knows where, and the FBI already waiting for Jack at the airport, to be joined shortly by other extremely interested and elusive parties. He only has forty-eight hours until the twice-stolen cash literally explodes, taking with it the wider, byzantine ambitions behind the theft. To contend with all this will require every gram of his skill, ingenuity, and self-protective instincts, especially when offense and defense soon become meaningless terms. And as he maneuvers these exceedingly slippery slopes, he relives the botched bank robbery in Kuala Lumpur five years earlier that has now landed him this unwanted new assignment.

From its riveting opening pages, Ghostman effortlessly pulls the reader into Jack’s refined and peculiar world, and the sophisticated shadowboxing grows ever more intense as he moves, hour by hour, toward a constantly re-improvised solution. With a quicksilver plot, gripping prose, and masterly expertise, Roger Hobbs has given us a novel that will immediately place him in the company of our most esteemed crime writers.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fast, hard and knowing: this is an amazing debut full of intrigue, tradecraft and suspense. Read it immediately!”

    Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of Killing Floor

  • “A slam-bang, pedal-to-the-metal crime story that fires on all cylinders and then some! Ghostman is a gritty, lean, mean adrenaline machine. Mostly, though, it was just plain fun to read.”

    Christopher Reich, New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Vengence

  • “Hobbs seizes our attention and holds it tight through his sheer, masterly use of details, and the authoritative, hard-boiled voice he has fashioned for Jack.”

    New York Times

  • “Hobbs, a first-time novelist who’s barely out of college but already writing with the poise of an old pro, has put a great deal of wit and ingenuity into Jack’s sophisticated professional skills”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Richly imagined and darkly fascinating.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Stylishly gritty and fast-paced.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • Ghostman is a real piece of work—without question, the strongest crime-fiction debut I’ve read in a long time.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A stunningly accomplished debut.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “A gripping adrenaline rush, a dirty bomb of a crime thriller with a deceptive plot that confounds and stimulates characters and readers alike.”

    Portland Monthly

  • “Hobbs’ unique voice resonates, making this newcomer a strong contender in the world of crime fiction.”

    Wilkes-Barre Sunday Dispatch

  • “A triumph on every level.” 


  • “This watertight debut [is] at once slick and gritty…Straight out of the gate, Hobbs has mastered the essentials of a contemporary thriller: a noir-like tone, no-nonsense prose, and a hero with just enough personality to ensure he doesn’t come off as an amoral death machine [as well as] heart-stopping scenes that illustrate how small mistakes can turn catastrophic.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Ghostman is not just an impressive debut, it's an impressive book. It’s one to buckle yourself in for because the ride is fast, thrilling, and constantly veering all over the road with a very exciting new talent at the wheel.”

    Simon Toyne, author of Sanctus and The Key

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Selected for the February 2013 Indie Next List
  • Winner of the 2013 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller
  • A 2013 Booklist Best Book for Crime
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • A 2013 Washington Post Best Audiobook
  • An NPR Bestseller
  • A 2013 Guardian Best Book of the Year for Crime and Thrillers
  • A 2013 BookPage Best Book
  • A 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best First Novel
  • A 2014 Barry Award Nominee

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sandy | 2/20/2014

    " Felt a bit too much on how to commit a bank robbery, overboard on the detail "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rachael | 2/15/2014

    " Fun read, exposition and plotting handled very well. Metaphor used sparingly -- unfortunately when it is used it lands with a thud. The concept of the character was great, but by the end his motivations were muddy. If there's a sequel I'll pick it up, there's promise here. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Bebe (Sarah) Brechner | 2/7/2014

    " The hype on this book is exactly right. A superb example of classic heist writing - updated for the 21st century. Taut, brutal, with amazing detail, this author's debut novel is exceptional. There are no good guys here, and yet it is compulsive reading. Pace, plot, characters, authenticity are all perfectly formed. An amazing work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Brandon Cahall | 2/4/2014

    " 3.5 stars. good first crime novel. I'll be looking fwd to his next book. "

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