American thriller writer Roger Hobbs, author of Ghostman and Vanishing Games (Transworld), has died, aged 28, after an overdose.
Gary Fisketjon, Hobbs' editor at Knopf, said in a statement: "It is is a shocking, tragic loss. Roger accomplished so much as a writer in so little time, and his future was sure to be extraordinary in ways we'll now never know. And as his friend I'm doubly devastated."
Bill Scott-Kerr, publisher at Transworld, said of Hobbs it was "too upsetting to contemplate what he might have gone on to achieve", as "a new shining talent on the crime writing scene".
Hobbs' debut Ghostman, he wrote during his senior year of college, made him the youngest person ever to win a CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. As well as winning the award for the best thriller of 2013, he was longlisted for a John Creasey Award for Best First Novel that year. In 2014, he won the Strand Critics award and was nominated for the Edgar, Barry, and Anthony awards. In 2015, he became the youngest person ever to win the Maltese Falcon award.
Rachel Rayner, commissioning editor at Transworld Publishers, wrote for The Bookseller in 2013 that "it’s clear that Roger has an incredible future ahead", after the success of his debut that also secured him a film deal with Warner Bros.
Hobbs begun his writing career at a young age. He completed his first novel (a sci-fi), aged 13, and produced his first play when he was 19. He had his first publication in the New York Times at 20. He signed a movie deal at 21, graduated after majoring in English at 22, and signed a book deal at 23. By 24 he was an international bestseller, and by 25, according to Transworld, he had been nominated for "nearly every major award in crime fiction".
Scott-Kerr said in a note to colleagues: "It grieves me beyond measure to have to tell you of the tragic news of the death of Roger Hobbs, the brilliant, mercurial author of our two Ghostman thrillers, Ghostman and Vanishing Games.
"Roger was a new shining talent on the crime writing scene and from the moment we bought him seemed destined to join the ranks of those American greats like James Ellroy and James Lee Burke he so admired. He won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for Best thriller of the Year in 2013 and was long listed for a John Creasey Award for Best First Novel that year too. He also won an Edgar Award in the US. Equipped with all the tools of the trade at a very young age, a genuinely original and stylish voice, impeccable storytelling elan and showing signs of genuine brilliance from the off, it is too upsetting to contemplate what he might have gone on to achieve.
"Many fans will join us in mourning the loss of a singular talent and a glorious writing career sadly unfulfilled."