Monthly Archives: November 2013

Midwest Book Review – November 2

Unbelievable, another excellent book review!

Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
The Hollow Man
Paul Hollis
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 9781457520419
ASIN: B00DON62CK, $4.99

The Hollow Man is a thriller revolving around terrorism, and centers around a young field analyst assigned the task of protecting an unpopular Spanish prime minister. When said prime minister is murdered, it falls upon the analyst to uncover and learn the tactics of a terrorist plot that involves destroying Europe’s economy and sparks a cross-continent chase between warring factions.

The first thing to note about The Hollow Man is that it’s not just a thriller. It’s a romance, mystery, and thriller bundled into one; with more than a touch of history added to solidify backgrounds and create interesting contrasts between European cultures.

The use of the first person to trace this analyst’s journey immediately involves readers in a chase which blends politics with personal interests – and also succeeds in creating scenarios so realistic that one can almost feel the surroundings and events being described: “I began to regret not bringing my gloves and scarf as a cold gust cut through my long coat. The bitter weather reminded me of winters growing up in Chicago. No matter which way I turned, the swirling wind was still in my face. The frigid air seeped through my clothes and froze muscle as hard as bone.”

Add the companionship of agent and lover Zita (who in many ways is more savvy about survival than her companion) and high profile players that constantly threaten to murder them both and you have many scenes of intrigue and deception that document the protagonist’s constant challenges to remain undercover and effective: “I was followed again, or played. With the smell of death sticking to me like tree sap and my photograph decorating most of the country, I was finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a low profile on the peninsula.”

That The Hollow Man is based on true events only lends authenticity and intrigue to its story line. Readers will be pleasantly surprised by a plot which goes beyond surface tensions to probe underlying motivations, politics, and social and cultural interactions. This is not a romance/thriller for light readers and those looking for entertainment alone may be stymied by the complex, always-evolving plots and subplots that permeate this complex, well-detailed story.

Without giving away The Hollow Man’s surprise ending, a friend sums it up well: “It is not over,” she said. “You do know there’s more to come before you can rest, don’t you? There are many lessons to learn before you know who you are. It’s your beginning and my ending.”

Don’t expect a simple story line, logical progression of events, or neat wind-up of plot. DO expect a fast-paced, world-spanning saga packed with high-octane energy, unexpected twists and turns, constantly-evolving challenges to protagonists in a story line that’s hard to put down.