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The Hollow Man (DC Belsey #1)

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  336 ratings  ·  82 reviews
Waking up on Hampstead Heath not far from a crashed squad car, Detective Nick Belsey wants out—out of London and out of the endless complications of his life. When Alexei Devereux, a wealthy hermit, vanishes, leaving behind a suicide note and his Porsche, Belsey discovers an opportunity—a new identity and a fortune—waiting for the taking.

Unfortunately, there are others who
ebook, 480 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Harper Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2011)
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My favorite Easter candy!

Can't wait to read this!
Book Addict Shaun
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
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
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.
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
Book Him Danno
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.
Rating: A- This book takes the reader on a whirlwind ride around London with a charming sociopath, who just happens to be a detective constable. Belsey is ready to be done with his career in the police, but despite his best efforts, his career doesn't seem to be done with him. A dark and wickedly fun read--I enjoyed this book and look forward to Belsey's continuing escapades.
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.
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
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
Robert Intriago
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.
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 -
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
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
"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
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.
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
Red Letter
Our readers said:

Zoe: B+ "fast paced, character driven and offers an insider’s view of London, that I, born and raised in SE London, didn’t know existed."

Rosie T.: C "The character was so carefree with his own troubled life – how could I trust him to unravel the mystery unfolding throughout the book?"

MJ: B+ "You always know you have read a good book when you get to the end and you immediately go online to discover when/if more books will be coming."

Stacie: D "I rarely fail to finish a book, but
Pat Sul
best book i have read this year.

nick,a copper down on his luck and at the end of his tether, stumbles across a missing person case.
the person in question is a very wealthy russian financier living in a luxurious house in hamstead.
nick decides to have one last shake of the dice and sees what he can 'take' from the missing russian. and so starts convoluted tale of fraud, swindle, hoax and murder.
well told. comfortable style.
nick is an interesting character - very flawed but still someone you r
A crackling and fast-paced introduction to a slightly scummy but oddly compelling anti-hero, DC Belsey. He's pretty much at the bottom of the barrel, nine lives used up and on his way out, when the book starts - and although it seems like it's just going to be another "cop who doesn't play by the rules" sort of novel, it ends up being way more. Some tenuous plotting at the end aside, it's a hell of a read and sprinkled with some great wit to boot. If you're looking for a crime novel that isn't N ...more
Detective Constable Nick Belsey wakes on Hampstead Heath after a night of drinking and discovers he has crashed a police car. Homeless and broke, he's planning on leaving the police anyway until he responds to one last call. Finding himself in the home of a missing rich man, he starts developing a plan to use the man's identity in order to start over. But the mystery of his disappearance isn't as innocent as it originally seems and as Belsey's detective instincts kick in, he gets increasingly in ...more
Good new find for me with a very interesting main character, one would hesitate to call him a hero but you still root for him to succeed. Recommend and book 2 is on my list to be red shortly.
Dec 19, 2012 Scott rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Detective and mystery fans
Recommended to Scott by: Goodreads
Shelves: first-reads
Once you get past the odd first sentence, this book has a lot to offer. The lead detective is definitely a different type of antihero and the book shows off with interesting plot angles and characters - along with a sense of misdirection throughout. Somewhat reminiscent of the Scandinavian authors - Nesbo and Adler-Olsen. I got this book from a Goodreads giveaway and didn't know what to expect. For those looking for a slightly different type of detective novel that holds your attention, I would ...more
An exceedingly well crafted novel.

That said, it isn't without flaws. There are a few missteps for the sake of the story - for one small example, despite being in very rough shape the antihero protagonist manages to bed a woman early in the novel with very little effort - but the compact timeframe of the events keeps it mostly on the plausible side of things.

As well, the plot twists and turns, effortlessly changing shape and scale and all within the confines of information we have on hand, and L
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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

DC Belsey (3 books)
  • Deep Shelter: A Novel (DC Belsey, #2)
  • The House of Fame
Deep Shelter: A Novel (DC Belsey, #2) The House of Fame Bundle: Family Treatment: Evidence-Based Practice with Populations at Risk, 4th + Helping Professions Learning Center Printed Access Card

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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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