Hollow Man's intriguing narrator, our protagonist Dominic, is an Englishman living in Austin making his living as a prosecutor and musician. He’s also a psychopath; or as Dominic prefers, a sociopath. It sets up an interesting plot with a cast of curious characters. I met author Mark Pryor, himself an Englishman living in Austin, at BookExpo America in May, and received an early release of the book. As my first foray into reading Pryor’s work, it was definitely a fun read.
The story begins with Dominic providing us an education about his condition. In his arrogant, yet affable voice, we hear how he has a rather troubled history as a youth, how his parents shipped him off to America, and he is now adept at hiding behind a well-crafted facade. In coming to America, Dominic says, “I donned the local camouflage and learned to fit in.” This friendly guise hides his complete lack of emotion, save for anger and lust. “Governed by logic, reason, and manipulation”, he clearly understands right from wrong and is successful building winning arguments in the courtroom. Dominic is able to deal with death and injustice without sentiment - except when the injustice directly affects him, situations in which he finds himself in Hollow Man.
We follow Dominic through a demotion at work (success has its price), a huge disappointment in his music career, his “close” friendships and the introduction of a beguiling woman. After several setbacks, his friend Gus talks of someone he knows who is making lots of money illegally and carrying large sums of cash. Dominic’s mysterious girlfriend chimes in, and a plan is hatched - no weapons and no one gets hurt; the money is split evenly. Well, that was the plan.
My only criticism is the protracted description of Dominic’s personality disorder - it drives the point home a little too well. But read it, and get past that. Hollow Man has a unique storyline and was a good read. Pryor has written several books. You can find him blogging here: http://www.daconfidential.com/.
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Vickie’s Rating: 3 stars