Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ghosts of Manhattan-George Mann

Ghosts of Manhattan
George Mann
Pyr, Apr 27 2010, $16.00
ISBN 9781616141943

In 1926 Queen Victoria has just died but the Cold War between her kingdom and America remains heated. Violence in the big cities of the United States is rampant as the Twenties are Roaring with murders. In that wake the Ghost walks the city streets of Manhattan with a vengeance. He kills people employed by mobster Roman whose Italian-American gang is particularly known for their brutality and violence. The vigilante’s calling card is an ancient Roman coin left on the eyes of those he murders.

Police detective Felix Donovan is well aware of the Roman mob and the vigilante who stalks them. Each in his belief are criminals. However, though he would prefer to bring Roman and the Ghost to justice, he makes little headway. Meanwhile as the Ghost closes in on Roman, the vigilante learns first hand his adversary is using paranormal connections and fears the end game is to bring a deadly God into the city.

Although comic book gory over the top of the Empire State Building, Ghosts of Manhattan is an entertaining superhero steampunk fantasy that will remind the audience of Darkman. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the Ghost stalks Roman’s legion and never slows down until the climax with half of Manhattan at stake. Although the plot never quite decides between lampooning the two sub-genres and action thriller, readers will enjoy the High Noon over New York war between the vigilante and the mobster with eerie connections.

Harriet Klausner

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