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The Hollow Men

UK Publisher: Hodder / Mullholland
US Publisher: Pegasus

Dr Harry Kent. Former Army medic, hospital registrar, police surgeon, drug addict and defender of anyone the world would rather push aside. His critics say he has a weakness for lost causes.

Usually his police work means minor injuries and mental health assessments. But Solomon Idris’s case is different. Solomon Idris has taken eight people hostage in a chicken takeaway, and is demanding a lawyer and a BBC reporter. Harry is sent in to treat the clearly ill teenager… before the siege goes horribly wrong.

When Solomon’s life is put in danger again from the safety of the critical care ward, it becomes clear he knows something people will kill to protect.

Determined to uncover the secret that drove the boy to such desperate action, Harry soon realises that someone in the medical world, someone he may even know, has broken the doctors’ commandment ‘do no harm’ many times over.

And now only he stands in the way of them causing further hurt…


‘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 conspiract, every page is full of tension.’ The Sunday Mirror

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 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

‘Rob McCarthy is, astonishingly, still a medical student and The Hollow Men is his debut novel. He writes with the assurance of an experienced wordsmith.’ The Times.

‘This is an impressive start to what should be a succesful career for McCarthy.’ – Sydney Morning Herald 

‘McCarthy’s accomplished first novel… provides a fascinating look at the sociology of crime and policy.’ Publishers’ Weekly US starred review.

‘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

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

‘A fascinating read. Part British police-procedural, part medical thriller, McCarthy has packed his debut with one beautifully described, tension-filled scene after another. A particularly sharp and incisive medical thriller.’ –

This fast-paced mix of medical thriller and crime novel keeps readers guessing until the surprising finale. McCarthy’s medical knowledge as a fourth-year medical student and the South London setting give this book an authenticity that draws mystery fans in and will have them looking forward to the next Dr. Harry Kent novel.’ —Library Journal

‘A most impressive first novel, delivered with the encouraging report that McCarthy is preparing more adventures featuring Dr. Harry Kent. — WBAI

The Hollow Men delivers its gruesome details in the authentic voice of the medical student McCarthy happens to be. The plot, centered on violent youth gangs in depressed areas, is, presented with jarring realism and zero sentimentality.’ —Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

 ‘The Hollow Men is gritty and intense; it’s complex and explosive… but the characters in this debut are exemplary and McCarthy is unquestioningly a writer to watch’ –

 ‘Satisfying… anything but hollow.’ The New York Journal of Books