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Literature / The Ghost (2010)

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The Ghost is a 2010 novel series written by George Mann. There are four novels titled Ghosts of Manhattan, Ghosts of War, Ghosts of Karnak and Ghosts of Empire.

This is an ongoing series of noir mystery novels set in an alternate, steampunk-inspired 1920s New York and featuring the adventures of socialite Gabriel Cross and his hard-bitten vigilante alter ego, the Ghost. 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.

There have been targeted murders occurring in New York, with victims found with ancient Roman coins placed on their eyelids after death. An Italian-American group of gangsters and their boss, dubbed "The Roman", appear to be responsible for the murders. However, The Ghost soon discovers that there is more to The Roman than it appears, in the supernatural sense.

This book series provides examples of:

  • Alternate Universe: The series takes place in a 1920s New York where a number of details are played out quite differently, such as America having a cold war with the British Empire.
  • Ancient Tradition: The Sisterhood, an ancient order dedicated to stopping the Roman summoning an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Calling Card: The Roman places ancient Roman coins on his victim's eyelids.
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: The Ghost wears a black coat and fedora, along with goggles that glow red.
  • Commissioner Gordon: Inspector Felix Donnovan.
  • Schizo Tech: Coal powered cars and airships but also rocket propelled bi-planes, holographic sculptures and videophones and SAMs were apparently used in WWI.
  • Steampunk: This series takes place in a 1920s New York that uses steam powered devices.
  • Two-Fisted Tales: The Ghost is very much in the pulp tradition of The Shadow and The Spider.
  • The 'Verse: Apparently set in the same world as The Affinity Bridge and sequels, just two decades or so later.