Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann

I was so excited to read this book, as the premise is set in the twenties, but with a twist! A lover of almost all periods of history, but the twenties is one that I find particularly fascinating. Especially after reading Flappers last year, I seem to be veering towards more stories set in this time of social change. 

Ghosts of Manhattan is set in a steampunk version of 20s America. Jazz and parties entertain the upper class, but the city is ruled by a seedy underworld of suited gangsters. 

Detective Donovan is tired and under pressure. In a town where crime seems to triumph over justice, his workload is increased when a series of gruesome murders of seemingly upstanding citizens start taking place. And to add to his problems, there is the elusive, red-eyed vigilante on the loose, known as The Ghost. 

It seems like it falls to honest, law-abiding men like Donovan to protect the city, so that people like the wealthy playboy Gabriel Cross can throw his lavish parties in peace. But as the the danger for Donovan escalates, it seems that who may have once been perceived as the enemy, may actually be the answer to the city’s problems. 

I really enjoyed how the story played out, from the different perspectives of the main characters; Donovan, The Ghost, Gabriel Cross and his glamorous squeeze Celeste; a jazz singer with a dark secret linked to her past. This novel was an interesting mix of many sorts of genres; steampunk, hist-fic, action, mythology and more. 

It kind of read like a comic book, and was reminiscent of Batman in Gotham City, or Watchmen, with the theme of vigilantism and heroes vs. villains. I think this would be excellent made for the screen, as even with all the different elements, it flowed and worked well together. 

For me, some parts were a little short. By that I mean I wanted more of a back story of each character, although this is just my personal taste. I really wanted to learn more about The Ghost and his motives, as well as more about Celeste and her past. We get snatches but I think I would have liked more elaboration. Maybe in future books this may be possible...hint hint! 

An exciting and original read for fans of any of the aforementioned genres, and I hope to read more Ghost adventures soon!

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