The Hollow Men

A fried chicken shop on a cold night in South London.

A teenager walks inside, fires a gun into the ceiling, and takes seven people hostage. The police surround him.

Dr Harry Kent gets the call. The teenager, Solomon Idris, is ill, coughing up blood, and DI Frankie Noble has negotiated a deal. Three hostages freed in return for medical attention. Harry’s no stranger to high-pressure situations, but when he enters the shop and Solomon begins to talk, it becomes clear that this young man is a tortured soul on the verge of death. But when the police are manipulated into opening fire, wounding Solomon, Harry realises that somebody wants his patient dead.

With the police distracted by politics, Harry starts his own investigation, plunging him into the brutal world of South London estates, the mystery of Solomon’s dead girlfriend, and a community gang rehabilitation project with ties to the hospital he works in and some of his closest friends. What follows threatens to destroy not just Solomon’s life, but also Harry’s own fragile existence.

Faced with betrayal on all sides, Harry finds he may have to break the oath he swore to do no harm to bring those responsible to justice…

THE HOLLOW MEN is published by Mulholland Books, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton, in the UK, as TODESZEITPUNKT by Rowohlt GmBH in Germany, and by Pegasus Books in the US.



‘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, 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.

‘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