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Vanishing Games

Roger Hobbs
This story is all about thieves and criminals. With 'cool' job names, most of which I had never heard of. 'Jugmarker', 'Ghostman', 'Buttonman', 'Wheelman' and such like. Exciting names, a setting in Macau, loads of underworld terminology. Great, right? Not really.

The main character has no name. He is contacted out of the blue by his mentor after a gem smuggling heist goes wrong. Her name is Angela, and she taught No Name everything about stealing, disappearing and being cool. Angela is described as a chain smoking older woman with blonde hair, which sounded like she was a dried up old lady to me, but clearly the author intended the reader to see her as a mysterious and alluring Mrs Robinson type.

No Name rushes to Macau as Angela is in fear of her life. He has reservations, after all he's not seen her in years and feels she abandoned him over (another) job that went bad. She needs him to retrieve the spoils of the gem heist, but he retrieves something neither of them bargained for and now both their lives are in danger.

The rest of the book is Angela and No Name moving from place to place, trying to stay one step ahead of a hitman who is closing in on them. The Triads are pissed off too.

I found it all rather formulaic in the extreme. Nothing new, nothing exciting and with characters I didn't really care about. The hitman is the only vaguely interesting (if stereotyped straight out of central casting) person in the novel. It would make a good 'B' movie or TV special. It's the authors second book in a series, but its not a badly written piece. If you are bored it would be an easy way of passing a day or two.

2 mushroom heads.
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