> Skip to content

The Tall Man is the story of Palm Island, the tropical paradise where one morning Cameron Doomadgee swore at a policeman and forty minutes later lay dead in a watch-house cell.

The story of a death, a policeman, an island and a country.
The Tall Man is the story of Palm Island, the tropical paradise where one morning Cameron Doomadgee swore at a policeman and forty minutes later lay dead in a watch-house cell. It is the story of that policeman, the tall, enigmatic Christopher Hurley who chose to work in some of the toughest and wildest places in Australia, and of the struggle to bring him to trial. Above all, it is a story in luminous detail of two worlds clashing – and a haunting moral puzzle that no reader will forget.

'The country's finest work of literature so far this century. A haunting moral maze, described with such intimate observation and exquisite restraint that I kept pausing to take a breath and silently cheer the author . . . [I]n her tale of the fatal collision between two 36-year-old males, black Cameron Doomadgee and white Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley, Hooper . . . has produced an Australian classic.' Robert Drewe, The Age

'Hooper followed the case and its main characters for two and a half years, and she does their complexity a remarkable justice . . . Extraordinary.' Alison McCulloch, New York Times Book Review

'A gripping, heart-stopping piece of true-crime reportage . . . Deserves the widest possible audience.' Brian Schofield, Sunday Times (UK)

'The book is everything it should be: a sad, beautiful, frightening account of one man's death, interwoven with the brutal history of Palm Island and a golden thread of Aboriginal mythology . . . It is The Tall Man's triumph that Hooper finds the common humanity in the accused and the accuser, the police officer and the street drinker, the living and the dead.' Mark Dapin, Sydney Morning Herald

'The north has chosen to reveal itself to Chloe Hooper.' Paul Toohey, Weekend Australian

Selected for 'Best books of the year' lists by Ali Smith, Colm Tóibín, Matt Condon, Peter Carey, Salon.com, The Globe & Mail and Dwight Garner in The New York Times.

Reviews

'Ms. Hooper tells this story carefully and ingeniously, constantly turning it over to explore new facets. She sees the world through alert, appraising eyes.' New York Times

PRH, PRH

'Hooper followed the case and its main characters for two and a half years, and she does their complexity a remarkable justice.' New York Times

PRH, PRH

'A compelling human story' Sydney Morning Herald

PRH, PRH

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143010661

    September 9, 2009

    Penguin (AU Adult)

    288 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Chloe Hooper

The Engagement
The Tall Man
A Child's Book Of True Crime
The Tall Man

Recommendations

Red Notice
Captive
Pablo Escobar
Murder in Mississippi
The Cocaine Diaries
The Spider Network
Living With a Serial Killer
Blood on the Page
Catching a Serial Killer
The Adversary
The Krays: The Prison Years
The Fall of the House of Fifa
The Red Parts
The Cartel
Teacher's Pet
The Black Hand
American Kingpin
The Parkhurst Years
In the Land of Giants: hunting monsters in the Hindu Kush
The Doctor's Wife is Dead