The Tower


Micheal Duffy wastes no time cutting to the chase in this taut thriller, a two-paragraph prologue depicting the body of a woman falling from a huge, half constructed tower in Sydney late one night.

Unhappily married homicide cop Nicholas Troy is one of the cynical detectives called in to get to the bottom of the death, and after a gunfight in the windy upper floors leaves a colleague injured and a suspect dead, a labyrinthine cesspool of corruption involving an enigmatic Hong Kong businessman and an illegal immigrant scam is unearthed.

Duffy achieves a nimble pace by creating smart, suspicious characters who frequently speak in half-riddles to hide their emotions and in doing so he manages to load a lot of subtext into little dialogue.

But it also leaves the story strangely devoid of feeling, nobody ever letting their inner state to the surface for each other (or you) to see, making too much of the novel feel self conscious and glib and leaving the text hard to engage with.

It’s well structured and plotted however, and when it gets personal for the hero it’s an effective sucker-punch that’s not as hammy as is in most books or films.


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