Oli Harris will be joining a panel for a chat about crime novels. His own book, The Hollow Man, is the first of a series following the exploits of Detective Nick Belsey – who starts the book next to a crashed squad car on Hampstead Heath, hungover, broke and almost certainly about to be kicked out of his job. But then he spots a case report about a missing person from posh Bishop’s Avenue. Getting drawn in, Belsey ends up pursued by both sides of the law in a thriller that races all over London.
In an interview with the Crime Time website, Oli explains the idea behind his hero and premise:
I wanted clarity of sight that wasn’t just bleak or cynical but slightly awe struck. It would be cold, certainly, and unflinching, but also obsessively, irresponsibly curious. I felt perhaps this mentality would only become obvious if it was applied beyond the bounds of a routine police enquiry. So I thought about an opening scene. It had to be a situation in which a detective was thrown back purely on his own resources, confronted with the world as never before.
Oh, and in possibly one of the odder recommendations we’ll list on this site, The Lady magazine picked the book as one of its Sizzling Summer Reads.
Oli is currently studying for a PhD in psychoanalysis and Greek myth at Birkbeck and reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, but he’s done his fair share of other jobs in warehouses and even as a TV and film extra! Ask him about that or anything else during the Q&A slot at the festival.
Oli and Samuel Bonner will be appearing at the Festival on Sunday 11th September at 4pm. The events page has more information and online booking.