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The Hollow Man (Nick Belsey #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  504 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
“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, author of The Mermaids Singing

Describing London police detective Nick Belsey, hero of The Hollow Man, an enthrallingly original thriller from British crime novelist Oliver Harris—the Daily Mail declared
ebook, 480 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Harper Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2011)
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Oct 07, 2012 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite Easter candy!

Can't wait to read this!
I must say that I am a little disappointed here. Although a gal tends to like a bad boy, this cop didn't really win my favour. He is an out-and-out crook yet still sort-of the hero. Maybe it's just me.
Book Addict Shaun
Apr 22, 2014 Book Addict Shaun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
My good luck of reading nothing but excellent books continues with this one. I recently discovered this author on Twitter when I read about his second book, Deep Shelter. The blurb immediately jumped out at me as something I would love reading. Oliver very kindly sent me a copy of Deep Shelter but first I bought this book as even though some people just jump into series without reading other books, I felt it would be better to read this first book to acquaint myself with Nick Belsey. And am I gl ...more
Mike Gabor
Feb 06, 2013 Mike Gabor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-mystery
Detective Nick Belsey is a mess. He wakes up in a field one morning after a hard night out. He's broke and has no place to go as he's just been evicted from his last residence. He's a man of excess, drinks too much, gambles too much, just an all around mess.
On what he believes will be his last day of work, as the previous night in addition to his drunken behaviour, he also stole a squad car, which he wound up crashing and had a bit of a dalliance with a superiors wife, he begins to investigate t
D.E. Meredith
Sep 11, 2011 D.E. Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read. I know nothing about the author and it was a random selection but the writing was really really good. Smooth as silk prose, some lovely descriptive pieces, some great one liners and I thought the whole play on hollowness - the corrupt cops, the seedy images of London, the lead detective's hollowed out complacency and gambling debts etc was spot on, zeitgeist stuff. Oliver Harris is going to go on to big things, is my guess, if he keeps up this standard.
Book Him Danno
Nov 03, 2012 Book Him Danno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is funny how when you really have nothing else to lose it seems to make sense to double down and go for broke. Nick Belsey is a police detective with problems. He drinks too much, he gambles, he is broke and homeless. We find him waking up with a crashed police car, which he stole, hung-over, and most likely to be shortly unemployed. All in all his life is crap.

But as the hammer is about to fall he avoids his bosses with one last call, a missing person case. And were off on the wild ride invo
I got into this one quickly, but then it seemed to go nowhere. I'm 4/5th of the way through, and still feel like I know nothing about the protagonist, and have no connection to any other character. The plot is sort of flat, always at the same pace, and very little suspense. I'll finish it because it's an easy enough read, but I'm a bit let down.

Update: didnt care, didnt finish.
John Lee
I think that I read somewhere , a very positive review of the authors next book - and that is how I came to find this one.
It was an exciting enough tale which kept you turning the pages but whereas with other novels I felt the need to know who everyone was, here I wasnt really bothered. Perhaps because I felt the characters were inadequately drawn they didnt register and it became a bit of a 'surface' read.
Throughout the story I had the feeling 'but would you do that?'. If you looked too closely
Ian Mapp
Jan 18, 2016 Ian Mapp rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Start of a new crime series which introduces us to anti Hero bad cop, Nick Belsey.

Starts in a totally breathless style, with Nick waking up on Hampstead Heath, having crashed his stolen police car the night before and in a confused and hungover state.

He pieces together the elements of the night before by nicking the change in the tip jar of a coffee house to get this thoughts together. My the time the recollection has been completed, I thought he may have stolen a blind man's white stick. He is
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
The Hollow Man by Oliver Harris is a noir police procedural featuring Detective Constable Nick Belsey. This is a procedural novel with a twist: Belsey is an antihero. He's broke, homeless, corrupt, and on the verge of unemployment. He just wants to find a way out of London and his life. When he is sent to investigate a missing person case and discovers the apparent suicide of enigmatic Russian millionaire Alexei Devereux he sees a way out. No one really seems to know the elusive Devereux. Belsey ...more
Peter Meehan
Sep 04, 2016 Peter Meehan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like many good thrillers, this exceptional tale opens with mystery and only gradually reveals the nature of the main character and his situation. He has fallen on hard times, and as the title suggests, has given in on his job (as a detective), his self worth, and perhaps on life itself. He plods on, almost by accident, avoiding contact with his peers and the upcoming totality that is clearly his due. But soft! What light in yonder window breaks? There is a small chink of his former self remainin ...more
Jun 19, 2016 Inga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oliver Harris (*1978 in London) entwirft in "London Killing" mit Nick Belsey einen Ermittler der verkommenen Art. Er ist Detective Constable der Londoner Polizei, spielt und trinkt, ist völlig abgebrannt und wegen des Disziplinarverfahren, das ihm droht, denkt er ernsthaft über Flucht nach. Sein letzter Auftrag soll eine Vermisstenanzeige sein - deshalb sucht er das Haus eines russischen Oligarchen namens Alexej Devereux auf und findet diesen tot in einem Versteck auf. Währe
Oct 21, 2014 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Intricate plotting is satisfying while somewhat tiring, following our antihero as he races around London. The site description is intensive, gives a real feel for the setting.
May 17, 2016 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Detective Constable Nick Belsey, based in London's leafy and expensive Hampstead, is one for whom the ordinary rules of policing don't apply, unless they're his own, made up on the spur of the moment in response to his current situation. The despair of his police bosses and colleagues, Nick is a survivor who thinks on his feet and lives on the edge. He's drawn into some dark and shadowy corners whilst investigating Russian oligarch Alexei Devereux, but it seems that Nick feels quite at home in t ...more
Jul 03, 2014 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: experimentation
The first half of the book moved pretty slow for me but the closer I got to the end the better it was and the more I couldn't put the book down. There were parts of the story that I found a little implausible. As smart of a con as Nick was trying to pull he could have got a lot of money out of the situation. It's hard to explain without giving things away but he passed up a chance to make some hardcore cash. Also if we were being completely realistic Nick probably wouldn't have survived the book ...more
george burns
Aug 06, 2014 george burns rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strange Hero

Strange Hero

He is bankrupt. He has a drinking problem. He will steal a hot stove. He rarely tells the truth. He is Detective-Constable Nick Belsey and he sees a way out of his problems when he investigates a rich missing man: Belsey will steal the missing man's identity. But rich people seldom go missing without a good reason and the detective soon finds himself in more trouble and conspiracies, violence and surprises abound as Nick tries to plan his getaway while figuring out what i
A different sort of police procedural. Detective Nick Belsey is a mess, no doubt. Alcoholic, gambler, borderline indigent. So when he's assigned a missing person case that happens to be about an ultra-rich guy, he formulates a plan to take on the dead guy's identity, cash out, and move someplace with no extradition.

It's the storytelling that makes this book. Despite this being a one character story in which we learn very little about the character, I was pulled in by the style of writing and th
Robert Intriago
Nov 22, 2014 Robert Intriago rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-noir, 2014
Nick Belsey is a detective with an unusual ability of deduction. This would make him an ideal policeman but he is also morally and ethically flawed. He is a gambler going bankrupt, a drinker, a drug user and stretches the limits of his authority to the maximum edge. He is at the end of his rope and about to get fired. So what does he do? Assume somebody else's identity of course, that seems obvious. The catch is that the individual he chooses has more problems than he does.

A dark tale with so ma
Luanne Ollivier
The Hollow Man is Oliver Harris's debut novel and the first release from Bourbon Street Books - Harper Collins' new imprint.

I loved the opening chapters and introduction to Detective Constable Nick Belsey. "The earth was cold beneath his body,. His mouth had soil in it and there was a smell of blood and rotten bark." Has he been attacked? In an accident? Well, yes, but Nick himself is the car wreck. He has a drinking problem, a gambling problem and at this point no possessions and no home.
Jun 11, 2013 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, author of The Mermaids Singing

Describing London police detective Nick Belsey, hero of The Hollow Man, an enthrallingly original thriller from British crime novelist Oliver Harris—the Daily Mail declared, “He’s got to be London’s coolest cop.” Crime fiction fans are sure to agree, especially those hooked on the novels of Ian Ra
Zohar -
Nov 25, 2012 Zohar - rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
The Hollow Man by Oliver Harris is a novel introduction 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
Jan 18, 2016 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Detective Nick Belsey is in a bit of trouble: he's broke and the creditors are lining up. He's got no place to live and he's just woken up bloody and bruised, laying in the grass. Nearby he finds a wrecked cop car (not even from his district) and no sign of his phone, wallet, or ID. Not to mention the fact that he has little to no memory of how he got here. It's a great way to start the day. When he arrives in the office he finds a missing persons notice on his desk. A wealthy businessman has di ...more
Nick Belsey, London Police Detective Nick Belsey, is a man that has hit bottom with a vengeance. He wakes up on Hampstead Heath still drunk by a crashed squad car, no money, no wallet, no home and soon no job. While piecing together his night he casually starts investigating a missing person and figures out how to get himself out of this mess.

It will be oh so simple to step into the shoes of the missing business man, clean out his accounts and disappear himself. Its not like there is a body and
Jun 08, 2013 Buchdoktor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Belsey nahm die Black Friars Bridge über den Fluss. Die Sonne ging unter. Nach der Hälfte der Old Kent Road hatte er das Gefühl zu fallen. Das elastische Band der Zeit schnalzte zurück und katapultierte ihn durch seine einst vielversprechende Karriere, durch Southwark zurück in Richtung Elephant und Castle." (S. 97)

Detective Constable Nick Belsey von der Londoner Metropolitan Police hat einen Black Out. Widerwillig tastet er sich in die Realität zurück, erinnert sich wie er bäuchlings in den Ha
The plot kept me interested but the main character is despicable. It is worrisome when you root for a criminal and want him to make his escape out of the country. Nick Belsey is a totally crooked cop and not someone I can respect:he's an alcoholic, a drug user, treats woman like objects, lacks compassion, and lies,cheats and steals. But it is a fast paced mystery with lots of twists and turns and an interesting British setting.
Brandy Bacala
Dec 03, 2012 Brandy Bacala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
If I'm being fair, this book probably deserves 3.5 stars. It's an entertaining read with plenty of plot twists and action that kept my attention all the way through. Dirty cop, Nick Belsey, gives readers both a criminal and investigator's point of view as he works the case. Several times throughout the novel I thought he had abandoned his corrupt plans and switched back to the straight and narrow path only to be surprised when his vices resurfaced. I think I missed out on some of the London refe ...more
Definitely not your average detective novel. When I first read about identity theft in the blurb, I thought the detective's identity was stolen. This is more of a borderline rogue chip story, a cop who just happens to get caught yo in a murder investigation when ask he's trying to do is flee the country and his debts and problems. You don't often see a novel about a rather morally ambivalent cop, so this was a refreshing change.
Jul 22, 2014 Kenneth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa, this was a good one! It started out OK, but not particularly special: We're introduced to down-&-out Detective Constable Belsey and follow his first steps towards escaping his dead end life. By indulging in a bit of identity theft, he plans to cash in (literally) on the recent suicide of foreign financier Alexei Devereaux. Then, about a third of the way in, the story just takes off. The plot twists and turns, fractures and reassembles, doubles back and heads in unexpected directions. A ...more
I thought I would really like this book when I read the first few pages. Starting off with an apparent mess of a cop sounded like a good, original premise. Then it got boring. The narrative was entirely too dry for me. I have been more absorbed by textbooks than by this book. I kept reading because I thought that it would get back to interesting me like the first few chapters. It didn't. I think it actually got more boring and dry as it went. Belsey sort of became Rambo, which didn't make much s ...more
Jun 21, 2016 Harry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
When I started this book I really disliked the main character, Nick Belsey. That changed and I ended up mainly feeling sorry for him while respecting his abilities and some of his choices. Hollow Man was an apt title for him and apparently not a very unique title. Not so many twists in this as acceptances.
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Oliver Harris is one of the freshest new crime writing talents on the British scene; his novels to date are The Hollow Man (2011) and Deep Shelter (2014). Both feature DC Nick Belsey, a man of contradictions who fights crime and isn't afraid to break the law in the process.

Oliver was born in north London. He has a first-class degree in English Literature and an MA in Shakespeare Studies from UCL,
More about Oliver Harris...

Other Books in the Series

Nick Belsey (3 books)
  • Deep Shelter (Nick Belsey, #2)
  • The House of Fame (Nick Belsey, #3)

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“I liked the idea of a person shedding their life, and someone else putting it on.
-Oliver Harris on writing The Hollow Man for Crime Time online magazine”
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