Cover image for Hollowpoint : a novel
Hollowpoint : a novel
Reuland, Rob, 1963-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Random House, [2001]

Physical Description:
273 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In the steps of John Grisham and Scott Turow: a brilliant debut novel of psychological suspense by a Brooklyn assistant district attorney.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Andrew Giobberti's life fell apart the day his five-year-old daughter, Opal, died in a car accident, partially due to his negligence. A year later, he is still emotionally frozen, going through the motions in his job as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn and in his relationship with Stacey, a much younger coworker he is involved with physically but not emotionally. When the murder of 14-year-old Kayla Harris lands on his desk, it seems like an open-and-shut case. Giobberti relentlessly pursues the drug dealer he is convinced is behind her death, even when his associates see holes in the case. His own demons get in the way of his objectivity as he struggles with the shambles of his personal life and his shattered faith in the system. Giobberti finally solves the case, although it's somewhat anticlimactic because the murder case plotline itself is a little thin. Reuland's primary focus is on Giobberti's personal struggle and redemption, which is more fleshed out and ultimately far more satisfying in this debut novel. --Kristine Huntley

Publisher's Weekly Review

First-time novelist Reuland walks a fine line in this bold, blackly comedic thriller, painting a gritty, poetic picture of ghetto life yet indulging his self-involved hero and stumbling over details at crucial junctures. Andrew "Gio" Giobberti, a young Brooklyn assistant district attorney, is haunted by his role in his five-year-old daughter's death a year before; he failed to fasten her seat belt, and she was killed in a minor car accident. Abandoned by his wife, Gio wanders through drunken one-night stands and days filled with the routine prosecution of killers, rapists and narcotics dealers. But when the case of Kayla HarrisDa 14-year-old shot point-blank in her bedDcomes along, Gio can't help drawing personal parallels. While he prefers to see drug dealer Lamar "LL" Lamb as the murderer, the evidence pushes him to investigate Kayla's junkie mother, Nicole Carbon, as the accidental killer of her own daughter. Reuland takes chances in depicting the chauvinistic habits of his protagonist, who abandons one of his many office conquests in a bar after a tryst in the bathroom, and is permanently sunk in a self-pitying haze. Still, his irreverent take on antihero Gio is a refreshing dash of candor in the genre, granting credibility to a story whose racing pace has an addictive effect. ReulandDhimself a Brooklyn ADADdescribes the Brooklyn Cypress Hills projects in convincing detail, and he captures the dialogue of its crack-addicted dwellers with a sharp and sympathetic ear. Agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. (Mar. 30) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This first novelist is a senior assistant district attorney in the homicide bureau of the Brooklyn D.A.'s office. His hero is also an assistant D.A., burdened by the death of a daughter, who seeks to relieve his own pain by pursuing a young girl's murderer with a vengeance. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



CHAPTER 1 Another dead body in East New York, and nobody could give a shit. Not even her family, if you can call it a family -- a single half sister with a different last name and a stringy, sloe-eyed, coke-worn woman of thirty-eight but looking sixty, the selfsame crackhead mother who lay spent on the couch in the sultry midnight of her roach-spotted living room, who lay in a chemical miasma while Lamar Lamb killed the girl in her own bedroom, hardly bigger than the stained mattress on which she died. Another dead little girl, if you can call her a little girl -- with a little girl of her own. The mother and the sister are sitting in this place, doing nothing except that. Neither seems to care about this dead girl who was not even close to the fifteenth birthday she will never see, and the funeral is no big deal for anyone at all except for me in the back, looking at them. But in truth even I am not thinking about that girl in the box but my own dead girl and the green Oldsmobile on an ordinary Thursday afternoon, on an ordinary street one year ago. Mine is the only white face in here -- I am the only white man in these several blocks of east Brooklyn except for the detective who brought me here. He is not wearing sunglasses, but he has the look of a man who is. No one else is here. The mother and the sister sit in the middle of the room, not too near the box with the dead girl, and the dead girl's little girl (about three months old) is crying unobtrusively. Someone's prettied her up. Her ears are pierced. The mother now looks me over with hostility, a glint in her rheumy eyes. I walk over and seat myself in the row of folding chairs behind her, but she has already turned away and is hefting the baby around to quiet her. She tells the baby to shut up and clicks the twiggy yellow fingers of her free hand at the sister to fetch a bottle or something from a tired diaper bag on the floor. I lean over to get her attention. She tosses the baby around in her sinewy arms. I wait, looking at the back of her head, sparse hair with individual curls like a patch of dying garden. There is the smell of her and the smell of the baby. When I say the mother's name, she swivels suddenly, swinging the baby around with her. The baby looks at me, too, with a damp, open mouth. I tell her my name and give her the usual about being sorry and doing everything we can -- a tired, threadbare line of horseshit under the circumstances but all I have. Sometimes it makes a difference. Not now. There is something drab and perfunctory about this whole sorry scene. Even the picture of the dead girl is nothing more than a photocopy from her yearbook, enlarged. I have seen this same face in Polaroids of her lying wide-eyed in death. The dead girl, unlike her child, is dark. In the photocopy, her features are obliterated by her blackness. The mother tells me it was LL who did Kayla and everyone knows it was LL. "Miss Iris saw him runnin outa my house," she says. "You talk to Miss Iris, Mr. D.A.?" I tell her I haven't spoken to Miss Iris, but at this moment Lamar Lamb is in a holding cell on the second-floor squad room of the Seven-Five Precinct station house and has been there since last night, when they brought him in. "Where you find him at?" she asks, turning back to me and genuinely surprised. "At home," I say in a hush. "LL ain't got no home." She tells me about LL in her full-throated scratch. "He ain't got no home no more. Last I hear, he be livin on the street. And before that he was in jail." With her free hand she fans herself with a pamphlet. The air is stifling here and moist. There is no air-conditioning. The front door is propped open, but no relief blows in with the street sounds. Atop a pole in the corner, a single fan spins without effect over the dead girl, its head hanging mournfully limp -- an overtall sunflower. "At his grandmother's," I tell her. "At Cypress Hills." Her face takes on the hostile glint again. "I know where his grandmother live at. She don' want him there no more. She told me she had an order. From the judge. She show me the paper. He can't go there no more." "From what I hear, it wasn't her idea." "What you mean?" "He just came back," I say. "His grandmother didn't have any say." "So why you here? If you arrest him already?" "I wanted to show our -- " I start again with the horseshit but then don't bother. "I have to present the case to the grand jury. To indict him for the murder." "So?" "I need to speak with you about that night. I don't mean now. Not today. But I'd like you to come down for the grand jury. And your other daughter." I look at the sister, whose green gaze now focuses intently upon me. "You were there?" I ask her. "Oh, sweet Jesus," the mother interrupts. "I already told the cops what I saw -- which was nothin. And she din't see nothin. We was both sleepin." The baby begins to act up, squirming in the dead girl's mother's arms, and she waves me away. I have no choice. I walk to the back, and the detective gives me a nod. He's right. Let's blow. But there is someone now in my way -- a man with a shaved head like an obsidian bulb. He stands close to me. He stands too close to me. He stinks like liquor and there is a carnival atmosphere about him. Who he is I have no idea, but he wants to know what the D.A.'s office is gonna do about it. He, too, knows it was Lamar Lamb who did the girl. He tells me Lamar should die. "Let me ax you," he says to me. "This nigger should'n get the death penalty for what he done?" "That's not what I'm -- " "Let me tell you about that young lady, because you did't know her. She was a fine young lady. She was" -- he says, then stops short, thinking -- "in school. Beautiful girl. Never bothered no one. And the D.A. is gon -- what? Gon give that nigger some kinda, some kinda plea bargain and shit? Let him out -- in five years or some shit? That ain't right." "No one said -- " He gets even closer to me, if that is possible. His right index finger is pointed at my sternum like a gun. "Don' you, don' you think they should give him the death penalty for what he done to Kayla?" "Absolutely," I say for no other reason than to shut him up. I'm tired. I'm tired of the dead. I'm tired of the living. I'm tired of this mean-looking motherfucker with the finger like a gun. I'm tired of the dead girl's mother, who won't talk to me about the man who killed her daughter. I'm tired of the sun and the heat and these streets. But mostly I'm tired of Lamar Lamb. I was tired of Lamar Lamb before I heard his name. He's just the latest horror, and even the newspapers wouldn't have touched him except the girl was fourteen and naked and killed in her bed. arrest in teen sex slay, read today's Post headline over a few lines of copy on page seventeen -- beneath a leggy nude virtually guaranteeing safe and effective cellulite removal. Excerpted from Hollowpoint: A Novel by Robert Reuland All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.