Monday, November 17, 2014

The Hollow Man by Oliver Harris [Review]

The Hollow Man (DC Belsey, #1)
4 out of 5 Robots!

The Hollow Man by Oliver Harris
Series: DC Belsey #1
Genre: Mystery/Crime
Release: October 23, 2012
Hardcover:  480 Pages
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
My Copy: Publisher
Reviewer: Shannon

Book Summary:
The first in a series of gritty and original thrillers following cunning detective Nick Belsey from a rising voice in British crime fiction 

"A twisting spiral of lies and corruption, a pitch-perfect portrait of contemporary London and a beguiling bastard of a hero-what a recipe for a great read." -Val McDermid

Waking up on Hampstead Heath in a crashed squad car, still drunk, with no wallet, no phone, and only a Masonic candlestick to remind him of the events of the night before, London police detective Nick Belsey has hit rock bottom. At dawn he checks in at the station to collect his things on what should be the last day of his career, but something in the overnight files catches his interest-a missing person report from Bishops Avenue, London's richest street. Alex Devereux - worth a fortune, never seen, lived alone-has vanished, leaving his Porsche in the garage and a suicide note on his desk. In Devereux's disappearance, Belsey sees a way out for himself: the opportunity for a new start by stealing the man's identity. It's a pity, however, that so many other people are looking for Devereux as well. Belsey quickly realizes that his would-be scam is about to be outclassed by a far more ambitious fraud, as the race to get to the elusive oligarch's fortune becomes a game with life and death stakes.

The Hollow Man is a tour de force of pace and plotting, and a vividly evocative love-letter to London. Oliver Harris is a sharp and stylish writer who has created a seductive, worldly, and cunning anti-hero. Nick Belsey is amoral and cynical but nonetheless deeply serious about his investigation, about a police officer's vision of the world, and about the quest for truth that haunts any good detective.

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
Det. Nick Belsey could easily swill a whiskey with the likes of Marlowe and Spade.  He is gruff, broke, down on his luck, on a bender and not afraid to get his hands dirty.  But he can't shake the need to solve a tough case when it falls in his lap.  Belsey wants to take a break, escape, and is tempted to assume a rich dead man's identity.  Devereux may just be his ticket out of London.  But as Belsey goes further into Devereux's life, he finds himself embroiled in a much bigger (and more dangerous) scheme.

This book seemed like a chunk and I was worried about the pacing, but it managed to keep my attention all the way through.  I loved the noir style and Belsey's grey morals.  The mystery just keeps getting bigger and bigger and the ending came around at a breakneck speed.

Overall, this is one of the better crime drama's I've read in awhile.  And I'm very impressed this is a debut novel to boot.  I think mystery fans - especially those that like intricate plots, will enjoy this novel.

Disclosure:  I reviewed a copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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