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by Rob McCarthy

THE HOLLOW MEN by Rob McCarthy

Harry Kent is a dedicated registrar at a London hospital – a critical care registrar who throws his all into his job, and gets by with the minimal amount of sleep. This suits Harry who has no time for dreams, having come back from being a medic in Afghanistan.

Among one of the long term critical care patients is pink-haired ‘Zara’ who was delivered to the hospital during the Tottenham riots and has been in a coma since. No one has come to claim her and her real identity is a mystery. Harry is on a quest to find out who she is, and uses his role as a Force Medical Examiner to the police – or ‘police surgeon’ as he prefers – to call in favours when he can.

When Harry is sent into a hostage situation in a Chicken Restaurant to assist the hostage taker with his rapidly detoriating health, he finds himself drawn into sympathizing with Solomon Idris – a teenaged boy driven to desperate measures.

The siege spirals out of control and Solomon is rushed to hospital, on the brink of death.

Harry is compelled to look into the cryptic secrets the dying boy tells him, and is soon unravelling the mystery of the death of a young woman.

Harry is stretched to the limits as he desperately balances his hospital work with his desire to help Solomon; compounding this is his struggle to build bridges with his best friend as they cope with the fall-out from their time in Afghanistan and an unexpected chemistry with D.I. Noble. And what of pink-haired ‘Zara’?

Books Available.UK: Hodder / Mullholland 2016; Germany: Rowohlt; Film and TV rights optioned to See Saw Films

Rob McCarthy is a medical student who has written a stunning debut. THE HOLLOW MEN is a complex and pacy novel vividly set in contemporary London and a busy hospital. Harry is a compassionate and determined hero, and THE HOLLOW MEN is the first in an intended series.


‘This ferocious debut from a young medical student is one of the finest first crime novels I have encountered this year… Written with admirable verve and lacerating detail, it announces the arrival of a shiny new talent in British crime writing and grips from the start.’ Daily Mail.

‘This is a good story, well told, and very much enriched by an insider’s knowledge of illnesses and their treatment and hospital procedure. My copy of the book came garlanded with praise for this one and promises about McCarthy’s next. I look forward to it.’ The Literary Review

‘McCarthy is an original new voice who uses his inside knowledge to great effect in this memorable novel.’ The Sunday Times Book of the Month.

‘A high-level conspiracy, every page is full of tension.’ The Sunday Mirror

‘The author uses his insider knowledge to great effect in a thriller which is gritty, authentic and has enough twists to keep readers guessing until a shocking conclusion. McCarthy is a bright talent.’ 5 stars. – The Daily Express

‘Rob McCarthy wrote this book while in his fourth year of medical school and, technically, it is superior to many previous medical thrillers I've read. I found myself gripped from page one.’ – The Herald on Scotland

‘Just as well this book proof was sent in a medical bag as I need a doctor now. Shortness of breath, a dagger to the heart and a heart stopping story bleeding all over the pages.’ @thebooktrailer

‘It most certainly won’t be the last we hear from Rob McCarthy, a hugely talented and original author.’ ­ For Winter Nights – A Bookish blog

‘I loved it. Roll on the next Harry Kent novel. Long may he be around.’ Liz Loves Books

‘This is a gripping yet comfortingly predictable thriller. I’m sure the first of many featuring the damaged but dedicated Dr Kent.’ The Independent.

The best crime fiction makes readers look at the world in new ways, while also giving them enjoyable distraction from it. McCarthy does both.’ – Book Oxygen