Thursday, September 17, 2009


Ken Bruen's many novels include The Guards, the book that introduced Jack Taylor, which was a finalist for the Edgar, Barry, and Macavity Awards, and winner of the Shamus Award for the Best Novel of 2003. Reed Farrel Coleman's sixth novel, The James Deans, won the Shamus, Barry and Anthony Awards for Best Paperback Original, and was further nominated for the Edgar, Macavity, and Gumshoe Awards.

Coleman applied the Page 69 Test to Tower, their highly acclaimed new novel, and reported the following:
Tower is a collaboration that Ken and I discussed many years ago at Bouchercon. It was to be a story of two tough guys from Brooklyn who grew up and apart together and whose fates were tied together by their long painful history. But after a few months and no further discussion of it, Ken sent me about 85 pages of the book and said, “Here’s my part of the book. Have at it, brother.” The rest, as they say, is history. The book is unique as it is told in parallel narratives and P69 features a crucial section of “Nick’s” narrative.

Boyle was nose deep in the good book, Griffin reading the Daily News. They surveyed me,
hard to read their expressions, but if I had to, I’d say Griffin, as ever, was amused. Boyle, he was just unpredictable. He closed the Bible a with slow grace, gave it a touch and then blessed himself, said

“So they shot yah?”

Biblical Boyle is the head of a Westies-like crime gang in Manhattan and Griffin is his ex-IRA enforcer. Nick’s been shot outside a Brooklyn bar after meeting with his friend Todd, but it’s unclear who did the deed. Was it the cops? A jealous rival for his girlfriend Shannon? A rival gang? Boyle wants to know if the cops have questioned his “wild colonial boy.”

“The cops been to see you?”

“Yes, sir.”

The sir definitely helped. He seemed to uncoil and with his cigar, signalled for me to continue and I did.

“They asked me if I knew who did it, why anyone would want to shoot me and I gave them nothing.”

Boyle smiled, said

“That’s me boyo.”

Well, as Boyle finds out later, that’s a questionable assessment.
Learn more about Tower.

Visit Ken Bruen's website and Reed Farrel Coleman's website.

The Page 99 Test: Tower.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue