Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann

1926. New York. The Roaring Twenties. Jazz. Flappers. Prohibition. Coal-powered cars. A cold war with a British Empire that still covers half of the globe. Yet things have developed differently to established history. America is in the midst of a cold war with a British Empire that has only just buried Queen Victoria, her life artificially preserved to the age of 107. Coal-powered cars roar along roads thick with pedestrians, biplanes take off from standing with primitive rocket boosters and monsters lurk behind closed doors and around every corner. This is a time in need of heroes. It is a time for The Ghost. A series of targeted murders are occurring all over the city, the victims found with ancient Roman coins placed on their eyelids after death. The trail appears to lead to a group of Italian-American gangsters and their boss, who the mobsters have dubbed ‘The Roman’. However, as The Ghost soon discovers, there is more to The Roman than at first appears, and more bizarre happenings that he soon links to the man, including moss-golems posing as mobsters and a plot to bring an ancient pagan god into the physical world in a cavern beneath the city. As The Ghost draws nearer to The Roman and the center of his dangerous web, he must battle with foes both physical and supernatural and call on help from the most unexpected of quarters if he is to stop The Roman and halt the imminent destruction of the city.

The art department at Pyr Books continues to impress. I’ve not read anything by Mann, but damn if this cover doesn’t nail that schlocky 40’s comic book/movie poster look, albiet with a contemporary gloss. The artwork is by Benjamin Carre.

  • The Mad Hatter October 9, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Great art. I believe Lou Anders said the art was by the French artist Benjamin Carre I read Mann’s The Affinity Bridge and found it to be quite fun. I have a feeling Ghosts of Manhattan will be even better.

  • edifanob October 9, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I read The Affinity Bridge and The Osiris Ritual and liked them a lot.
    The cover you posted is for the US edition. The UK cover follows the style of the mentioned books. And I like this style.

  • James October 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Dear god! I need to quit clicking on links, it only adds to my shopping list. Damn, that looks and sounds excellent.

  • Thea October 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Want. It sure says something about cover art when you automatically need to buy a book without even knowing the synopsis. That is one fine lookin’ cover, thanks for the heads up, Aidan!

  • Alexander Waverly July 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    This book nearly got me into trouble at work. I have to make hourly welfare calls, but I couldn’t put this down, and missed a couple. Having read Mann’s other books, I knew that this wouldn’t disappoint. Darker in tone than his ‘Victorian’ books, this has a wonderfully ‘Republic Pictures’ cinema serial feel to it. I could almost see the credits. Packed with excellent action scenes, fallibility [the burnt ankles accident had me wincing], and surprising tenderness in places, I would have no problem at all in recommending this to other readers. More, please!