The Hollow Man - Oliver Harris“A booze-soaked brawl of a party… Mazey, pacey London noir.” Ian Rankin

“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

“Harris has plundered London’s underworld for his richly plotted and unusual detective series – the underworld of the impossibly rich and powerful and corrupt, the kind who bypass governments and laws and financial regulations and will stop at nothing to achieve their aims. It’s heady stuff.” Carla McKay, Daily Mail

“…ending in a spectacular finale with James Bond-esque levels of chaos and destruction. Suspend your disbelief and hang on to your hat, and you’ll have a whale of a time.” — Laura Wilson, author of A Capital Crime in The Guardian

“The book we have been waiting for without knowing we were is a credible modern London thriller. For the city that produced Sherlock Holmes, we have had a pretty thin offering on chillers that make the capital as eerie as Le Carré’s Berlin or Larsson’s Stockholm. But I am engrossed in Oliver Harris’s The Hollow Man, which is sublimely rude about the capital and extremely well written.” — Evening Standard

“DC Nick Belsey, facing the sack after drunkenly totalling one squad car too many, decides to move into the plush Hampstead home of the mysterious businessman whose suicide he is investigating and devises a scheme to get his hands on his cash…[Harris] is so generous with the thrills, spills and fine writing.” — Jake Kerridge, Telegraph

“The plot of The Hollow Man rushes on, passing through London’s worlds of traditional crime and recent international financial scams… The mixture is fast and furious.” — Ruth Morse, TLS

“This is an astonishingly good first novel. Its plot is original, its dialogue lively, and in DC Belsey – the man who can’t make up his mind whether he’s a corrupt slacker or a dedicated detective and seems cursed to be both at once – it has a protagonist who truly stands out from the crowd.” — Mat Coward, Morning Star

“Just when he thought he was out, a Russian oligarch’s disappearance pulls DCI Nick Belsey back into Hampstead CID. Belsey doesn’t so much as bend the rule of law in his search for the tycoon as belt it repeatedly with a blunt instrument until it breaks. You can imagine Rhys Ifans playing him in the TV adaptation, of which there will surely be one…” — Holiday Crime Reads, Shortlist

“From the wilds of Hampstead Heath to the nether world of Elephant & Castle to the Square Mile, Belsey pounds the pavements and on doors, investigating and interrogating at great speed, desperate to keep ahead of his colleagues in a bid for freedom. Grittily specific on London, its denizens and its interlopers, this debut is the first of a series, and, if its climax – a Stansted Airport spectacular – is anything to go by, worth keeping an eye on.” — Daneet Steffens, Time Out

“Belsey is everything you could want from a cop: he’s a conman, a chauvinist, never at a loss for a sardonic comeback – hell, he doesn’t even flinch when he’s spitting out teeth. A sharp, slick and relentless thriller, Oliver Harris’s debut also casually, brilliantly skewers the capital, from the seediest of South London boozers to the ‘heritage plumpness’ of Hampstead itself.” — Stephanie Cross, The Lady

“Harris knows the streets, broad and narrow, of Hampstead and Highgate like the proverbial. And this knowledge, plus scrupulous research into police procedures, pays off, as does the author’s wide reading, which he passes on to Belsey. High suspense, fast action and a moral frame, because alongside the lover of crime-writing, double-agents, and human fallibility, there’s an academic crouching in Harris’s back garden.” — Piers Plowright, West End Extra

“As with the best of crime fiction, The Hollow Man utilises place beautifully. Set in the wealth centres of the capital where the oligarchs roam, the book shows us not the prosperous paradise of workaday fantasy, but instead a shadowy world of corruption and greed, paranoid and cynical…. The overall effect brings about something of a dark night of the soul. The isolation, greed and amorality in The Hollow Man are vivid and easily recognisable in the real world… For a curtain raiser, The Hollow Man is a superbly accomplished urban thriller.” — Mike Stafford,


  1. Bob Tyghe

    Fantastic story! Hope this is the start of another great crime series to match – and maybe surpass – the Vincent Ruiz series from Michael Robotham.

  2. Manda Booth

    Just finished this book and adored it!! Love how real it was and the London geography was spot on. Belsey was very believable – a lovable roque. I can see this in movie form. Will you write again about Belsey? Maybe one more book about him would be ok but please dont let him “jump the shark” . Im sure you can make up new exciting characters. Thanks for a fab read. xx

  3. Mary

    Dr. Mr. Harris,
    I’ve been searching for noir charachters and plots worthy of mentioning in the same sentace as Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe and Hammett’s Sam Spade. I think you’ve updated the genre wonderfully. I much prefer the corruption and amorality of government and business pushing the plots (as in the old noir books and films of the 1930s and 40s) instead of the culprit turning out to be a certified lunatic preying on victims otherwise unknown to him/her. Nick is a great charachter; hope to see more of him. Keep up the good work.

  4. Thelma Miller

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading “The Hollow Man”. Found it compulsive reading, especially as I know the Hampstead district very well. My daughter lives in Crouch End, so have visited the area many times. Looking forward to reading more of Nick Belsey’s adventures in the sequel. A really excellent first novel, “Good on Ya’ Lad”. !!!

  5. Alex

    Hi, Oliver!
    Hail from Moscow, Russia!
    Couldn’t believe that “The Hollow Man” is your first novel! Such a success!
    What a pleasant surprise it was to find your book!
    I’ve lived near Camden/Hampstead for 6 months ..that places are so deliciously nostalgic in your book.
    Can’t wait to put my hands on “Deep Shelter”!
    My hat’s off to your talent!
    Keep up producing Great Stories!

  6. Peter Robson

    Hi, have loved both Belsey books, strong plots and a great hero, please don’t be too long with the next one, and perhaps make it a bit longer. Enjoyed the conspiracy theory and the strength of the plot, will have to google about nuclear shelters in my area.

  7. ruth vary

    The Hollow Man is stunning read… as with ian rankin ( rebus) and the earlier michael connelly ( harry bosch) brilliant character portrayal. Looking forward to more of belsey.
    Ruth( hermanus -south africa)

  8. Aleš

    Hi Oliver,
    Last year I found your book London killing in german language (Hollow Man) in the apartment where I spent my summer vacation and I just couldn’t stop reading it. Excellent writing style, great main character and tense story. Probably the best thriller I’ve read so far. I also liked your second book. Finally I just happilysaw, that the third book in german (London stalker) will be issued in march ’17 (more than ten months after english version) – I can’t wait to get it. Continue the good work – you and Nick are the best team.
    Aleš (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

  9. Mike A

    Oh my goodness!!

    Stumbled across a review for House of Fame and decided to start with Hollow Man. Wildest ride – loving it. Haven’t finished but travelling tomorrow (to London ironically) so I’ve just bought the next two.

    Why haven’t I heard of you before?

    Fire your publicist – you should be HUGE

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