Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bookish Thoughts: The Hollow Man by Oliver Harris

The Hollow Man by Oliver Harris
Bourbon Street, 2012
Crime Fiction; 480 pgs

Detective Constable Nick Belsey is down on his luck and rather disgruntled. Having met with financial ruin, homeless, and on the brink of losing his job, he sees an opportunity open up when a wealthy Russian oligarch goes missing in what appears to be a suicide. How easy would it be for someone like Nick to step into the man's shoes for just a little while? Just enough time to get some cash and flee the country and start a new life . . . or that's the plan anyway. Only, Nick is more than a little good at his job as a detective and can't let a mystery go unsolved. It would seem the man whose life he has stepped into has a few enemies, not to mention has come under the scrutiny of Scotland Yard.

This is not a fast paced thriller, but once it got its hooks in me (which was pretty much from page one), I didn't want to stop reading. The writing is beautiful, capturing the mood and tone of the London setting and story perfectly: a bit dark and brooding while at the same time intelligent. There are subtle nuances to the story and characters that I think could be overlooked if not read more carefully. And yet, if missed, probably wouldn't hurt one's enjoyment of the story--it just wouldn't be as fulfilling.

I wasn't sure what to make of the protagonist, Nick Belsey, at first. He begins the novel in a bad place, having just crashed a stolen police car while drunk. It becomes clear soon enough that he has a problem with gambling and doesn't mind bending the rules, sometimes outright breaking them. He's a man who has lost his direction in life and wants only to escape. His behavior, particularly his criminal activity, doesn't exactly lend itself to making him a well liked man, but as the story unfolds, I found myself rooting for him--and yes, even liking him. I can't say I ever felt sorry for him though. His vices are kind of hard to overlook.  I got the impression though, that despite his best intentions to jump onto dark side, he has a strong sense of justice, however convoluted that may be.

The Hollow Man takes readers into the world of identity theft, corporate greed and corrupt power. The story, as are the characters, is multi-layered and complex--my favorite type of crime fiction novel. I thoroughly enjoyed Oliver Harris's novel.

Rating: * (Very Good +)

To learn more about Oliver Harris and his books, please visit the author's website.

I hope you will check out what others had to say about The Hollow Man on the TLC Book Tours route!


Many thanks to the TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to be a part of this book tour. Copy of The Hollow Man provided by publisher.




© 2012, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

11 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about a flawed character that just grabs you, and sometimes that makes for the best kind of book. I love that you loved this one and that it kept you flipping pages eagerly. I would totally read this book. I may have to look for it. Very enticing review today!

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    1. Heather - I think you'd like this one, Heather, and do hope you read it. There was so much more to it than just a good story and I liked the way the author put the story together.

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  2. I always think its a sign of a good novel when you find yourself liking the 'baddie'. Great review, thanks for recommending it.

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    1. Petty Witter - Yes! That's always a good sign. :-)

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  3. I received this book lately for review and I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the lovely review, Wendy!!

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    1. Melody - I can't wait to read your thoughts on this one!

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  4. Please ignore my last comment! Here's what I meant to say:

    There is certainly a lot going on in this book and it is good to know that everything works together and builds toward a conclusion that makes sense!

    Thanks for being on the tour Wendy. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

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    1. Heather J. - There was a lot going on, and the other manages it all so well. I definitely am looking forward to reading more by this author.

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  5. This one sounds good.I have always enjoyed your reviews.

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  6. Yolanda - Thank you! I really enjoyed it. :-)

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  7. This looks good. Adding it to my wishlist.

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