Thursday, December 28, 2017


Dominic by Mark Pryor
Prometheus Books: 1/2/18
eBook review copy; 239 pages
ISBN-13:  9781633883659
Hollow Man #2

Dominic by Mark Pryor is a recommended novel featuring a psychopathic antihero.

Dominic is a charming Englishman, prosecutor in juvenile court, and musician living in Austin, Texas. He is also a psychopath who got away with murder a year ago. Dominic has known since he was in school in England that he is a psychopath. He has no natural sense of empathy, guilt, or fear, so he has studied other people to learn how to imitate appropriate responses. But he can also recognize other psychopaths, which is how he recognized that Bobby, the teenage brother of the young woman he is seeing, is also a psychopath. For his nameless girlfriend, Dominic has been trying to protect Bobby from incarceration and steer him in the right direction, but, as he well knows, psychopaths think they are too clever to get caught and aren't good at impulse control or following directions.

When Brian McNulty, Dominic's annoying fellow juvenile prosecutor, expresses interest in a judicial position that Dominic is also interested in, Dominic knows he's going to have to orchestrate a plan. Adding to the problems is Detective Megan Ledsome, an officer who is still keeping an eye on Dominic and suspects he was involved in the unsolved murder from a year ago. Dominic needs to come up with a complicated plan to keep himself safe and get what he wants.

You can easily follow the plot in this second novel featuring Dominic without having read the first novel, 2015's Hollow Man. The chapters alternate between the voices of Dominic, Brian, and Dominic's girlfriend. Dominic plans out his dark, evil scheme while maintaining his charming facade, although readers are privy to his darker thoughts.

Dominic is well-written and certainly has some surprising plot twists. It held my attention throughout. The biggest hurdle Pryor has to clear is helping readers find, if not sympathy, at least some rapport with his psychopathic antihero who lacks normal human emotions. It's kind of a hard sell that, while it has worked for other readers, didn't really work for me. I began to hope that Brian McNulty was not the schlub he seemed to be and was secretly planning his own long-con behind Dominic's back. I guess it doesn't bode well for your antihero protagonist when the reader is hoping he gets taken down.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Prometheus Books.

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