Monday, June 29, 2015

Vanishing Games -- Roger Hobbs

The first-person narrator of most of Vanishing Games doesn't really have a name, but the one he uses most often is Jack.  He's also the protagonist of Roger Hobbs' Ghostman, which got a lot of awards and nominations for others but which I haven't read.   That's okay.  You don't have to have read it to have a lot of fun with this sequel.

In this one, after several third-person chapters of setup, Jack takes over the storytelling when he gets a text from a woman named Angela, whom he hasn't seen in the six years since the fiasco of the failed bank robbery that occurs in Ghostman. Now she needs his help, which of course he's instantly ready to give because she was his mentor in the ghostman game.

This is one of those go-for-broke books that heads over the top at the very start and then just keeps going so far that the top is no longer visible.  It's pretty much nonstop action, and if you like the kind of details that Jack Reacher tosses into the story, you'll find about 100 times that many here, as Hobbs tells you all kinds of stuff about triads, sapphire smuggling, weapons, traffic in Macau, how a ghostman lives, and a lot more.  You're never sure how much of it is true and how much Hobbs is just making up, but it doesn't matter.  It's all in preposterous fun.

Hobbs seems to love "the ticking clock," not to mention plenty of chases and shooting.  You can either reject all this and look for a John Dickson Carr novel to read, or you can go with the flow.  I chose to go with it and had a good time all the way.   Check it out.


Jeff Meyerson said...

I read GHOSTMAN a year ago and if I had to guess I would have said that you were the one who recommended it. Clearly not. I think maybe it was George Easter.

I will definitely read the sequel.


Unknown said...

I may have to go back and read GHOSTMAN.