Review: The Hollow Man by Paul Hollis

The story is set in 1973 (a notable period in Spanish history) with an atmospheric opening. Paul Hollis’ mastery of language creates a relaxing, informative and entertaining read.

Doc, the chief protagonist , is a master of disguise with a poor self-image. To the reader he may be a flawed hero or a hard-man who gets the job done any way he can.

The action-packed narrative begins during the dictatorship of Franco, with Spanish Prime Minister Blanco’s assassination in a bomb blast. It continues with Doc tracking down the perpetrator in Paris (the famous city is described in tantalising detail).

Doc’s beautiful MI6 girlfriend adds glamour with a striking female presence. And there’s an unexplained character featuring in his dreams who I hope will reappear in Hollis’ follow-up book: London Bridge is Falling Down.

If I have any criticism I’d say the occasional chapters written from a different viewpoint to the main text could have been more powerful in the overall story.

Mostly though, this is an exciting read with just the right level of humour.