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December 30, 2009

Brothas in prose

The Holiday Issue #112 of Mystery Scene magazine praises Bruen and Coleman's hard-hitting novel:

"My top recommendation is Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman’s Tower.

I’m certain that at some point Ken Bruen has written bad prose, but I haven’t found it yet. Here the brilliant Irish noirist shares a byline with Coleman as they work in tandem, telling the story of two tough Brooklyn boys who eventually fall in with the mob. Bruen writes the voice of Nick in gorgeous, mean, Irish punk prose, while Coleman does a superb job with Todd, Nick’s less volatile Jewish friend.

Set before the events of 9/11, Nick’s father is a bitter, shot-up cop working security at the World Trade Center. 'Rage kept him grounded,' Nick comments. A battered child, Nick grows up taking out his frustrations on other men’s chins, and eventually winds up working for Boyle, a Bible-spouting psychopath.

But not all is grit and gloom. Nick’s interior monologues are quite amusing, especially when he says the exact opposite of what he thinks. Coleman’s Todd is deeply satisfying, too, but in a different way. While foregoing the music of Bruen’s prose, Coleman masterfully paints a picture of an essentially decent Todd whose petty-thief life forces him into a corner he’d rather not be in."

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