Flagged Victor

Keith Hollihan. HarperCollins/HarperCollins Canada (HarperCollins, North American dist.), $29.99 (360p) ISBN 978-1-44340-997-1
Hollihan's second novel (following his debut success with The Four Stages of Cruelty) explores hubris and nemesis against a backdrop of toxic friendship and betrayal. Set in the Halifax, Nova Scotia, of the late 1980s, the novel reveals how two promising boys—one the son of a cop and the other the son of a bank executive—embark on a crime spree; Chris, the cop's kid and the dominant one of the pair, launches into his new career as a bank robber with the same careless assurance he brings to his endless series of seductions, while his friend, a would-be writer and the unreliable and unnamed narrator of this tale, remains steeped in pessimism while his jealousy grows. The reader is left in no doubt that things must go horribly wrong; the mystery lies in how. Based on his friendship with a convicted bank robber, Hollihan skillfully allows his narrator to sabotage his own self-serving narrative. As untrustworthy as he is pretentious, the narrator paints a damning sketch of himself as a man consumed by jealousy and sabotaged by moments of self-knowledge. The result is a clever subversion of the cliché about history and winners; this is a history told by the loser. Agent: Chris Bucci, Anne McDermid & Associates. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/07/2013
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FORMATS
Paperback - 376 pages - 978-1-4434-0998-8
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4434-0999-5
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