Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ken Bruen & Reed Farrel Coleman's "Tower"

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. 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.

Coleman applied the “Page 99 Test” to Tower, their brilliant new collaboration, and reported the following:
Man, does pg 99 of Tower pass the Ford Madox Ford test. More than any of my other works, this page features all the elements of the book and, not coincidentally, showcases the three characters—Nick, Todd, and Leeza—whose narrative voices are heard in the book. Leeza, a US Marshal working undercover as Todd’s girlfriend, Nick, Todd’s best and oldest friend, and Todd go out for a night of drinking and pool in a Brooklyn bar. Here are just a few lines from pg 99:

Leeza wasn’t Nick’s type. Well, to fuck maybe, but not to love. Had trouble picturing her not being anyone’s type… Then why the fuck was I sick with jealousy at watching Leeza and Nick shoot a game of Eight Ball? For fuck’s sake, was this what pure rage was like? If it was, then God had put his finger on my shoulder. Knowledge was revealed.

Then Todd, who has always been the calmer of the two friends riffs on his new found rage.

Rage got me as high as I’d ever been. It was coke and crystal meth cooked until it turned black and thick as breakfast syrup. Excuse me, waiter, can I have some rage for my pancakes? Christ, I tell you I could have killed them both and myself in that brief second.

“Watch out for that one,” Nicky said…

My heart jumped into my throat, but I managed a question, “How so?”

“She loves you. Love’s trouble.”

Neither one of them nor Leeza could have possibly envisioned just how much trouble.
Learn more about Tower.

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

The Page 69 Test: Tower.

--Marshal Zeringue