Set in America during 1926 in an alternate world where America is in a cold war with Great Britain, Ghosts of Manhattan by George Mann is a story that blends steampunk with noir vigilante superhero style. The story focuses on The Ghost who uses various steam powered equipment to help him fight crime in a city overrun with crooks. His main battle is with the murder, The Roman. Very reminiscent of characters like The Shadow, The Phantom and Batman, the story is predictable, but filled with action and violence. And okay story that reads fast despite some flaws. Recommend for fans who want to try a noir style hero with no superpowers, but technology and his own wits.
This title will be featured in the Night Owl Reviews magazine. - 7/15/2010
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.