The Hollow Man by Oliver Harris is a novel introduction to a new character, cop Nick Belsey, in what seems to be the first of a series. Nick Belsey is an English policeman who seems to have no ethics and corrupt morals which constantly traps him in the lure of easy money.
It is when London police detective Nick Belsey woke up in a crashed police car, drunk, no phone, and no wallet, did he realize that he hit rock bottom. As he goes to the police station, certain that he is going to get fired, he sees a missing person’s report from a luxurious section of London.
As he goes into the house, Belsey assumes the identity of its occupier, Alex Devereux who lived alone, has no heirs and it seems that he simply vanished. The broke detective sees an opportunity to start his life anew wearing a new identity. But there are people looking for Devereux, and Belsey quickly realizes that the scammer is about to be scammed and scrammed if he isn’t too careful.
The Hollow Man by Oliver Harris moves at a breakneck speed with a spectacular ending which plants destruction and bedlam in the English countryside.
The book introduces anti-hero Nick Belsey, a Detective Constable in the Hampstead CID. Belsey has a serious drinking problem, is ethically challenged and is in personal debt up to his eyeballs. In fact, his paycheck no longer covers the minimum amount owed on his loans.
Belsey breaks every rule he could find, from squatting in a house where a crime has happened, to taking money, identity theft and more. All while getting away with whatever he can, justifying himself to … well… himself knowing all the while that he’s full of bull.
The story starts off a bit slowly, but then moves at breathtaking speed. The book is written with a noir feel to it, almost like watching an old movie where the cop is drunk and grumpy in an attractive, world weary sort of way
This is an excellent first novel, I loved the corrupt character of Nick Belsey and am looking forward to more corrupt shenanigans. Suspend disbelief, put on your seat-belt and get ready for a good time.
The Silent Oligarch by Chris Morgan Jones