Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quickly read: "Tower" by Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman

Quickly Read: Tower by Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman, 2009, 9781935415077.

I just read that Tower won an award at Bouchercon for Best Mystery. Tower is not a mystery it's a crime novel. A good book though.

Told in three sections by main characters Nick and Todd and secondary character Leeza. Nick and Todd work for minor crime boss Boyle and Boyle's psychopathic right-hand man, and former Provisional IRA soldier, Griffin. Set in Brooklyn in (about) 2000.

Nick is an angry young dude who enjoys violence as a release from stress or (perceived) humiliation. But, Nick is not up for the savagery of torturing a doorman with Griffin and Boyle. Nick is working his way up in Boyle's crew and starts dating a gal he really digs. Nick is then told to kill Todd because Todd is a cop. Nick gets shot by his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend and is then set-up for that guy's murder to induce him to kill Todd. Todd gets Nick into witness protection.

Todd's narrating turn. Todd gets pressured into joining the police or have the cops say he is an informant. Todd tells criminals he is leaving to be with a broad. Todd goes to Philadelphia and gets crash course police academy. Todd falls for US Marshal chick, Leeza, who is part of his cover. Todd goes back to NYC. Todd gets sent by Doyle - with advance knowledge from Todd's cop handlers - to Boston to assist Boston crime lord. Todd bangs local chick. Todd is found out as cop and local chick is tortured. Todd ends up killing three local hoods when looking for broad. Todd returns to NYC. Todd does cop stuff and helps Nick out.

Leeza section. Leeza hooks up with Todd when Todd flees NYC and lands in Milwaukee. Leeza gets pregnant. Criminal case against Boyle proceeds. Nick and Todd back in NYC. Nick and Todd have lunch at World Trade Center on Sep. 11 but Leeza's water breaks and she does not go.

1. I liked the Nick part better. Did Bruen and Coleman each write a section or did they collaborate through and co-write everything?
2. IRA connections. Not as many of those guys running around now I imagine.
3. Gratuitous use of Richard Katz in Milwaukee. I'll blame Coleman for that one.
4. Comments by Leeza about what a beautiful blue day September 11th was. Dang straight. I was in Arizona but the weather in NYC was beautiful with clear blue skies.
5. Gratuitous use of fake Irishness. Boyle speaks with a fake Irish accent and talks about "back home". Boyle is from Hoboken and has never been to Ireland. What a turd. A violent and deadly turd.
6. I just checked the circ stats and this novel has only checked out 3 times since it went on the shelf in April.

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