Fiction Review: Observation Hill by Tim Jollymore (2015)

OBSERVATION HILL: A novel of class and murder, Tim Jollymore, Finnsway Books, 5/30/2015,

Police detective Paul Tuomi is caught between East and West in Duluth, Minnesota, where drugs, arson, and greed figure in a series of mysterious deaths. Here the drug culture of the 1960s stands in relief against the backdrop of a glowering steel industry where workers from the West side risk mutilation and death at a mill controlled by wealthy industrialists on the East side – men “whose souls had been scorched barren not at the two-thousand-degree open hearth . . . but by the mammonish glow of money and mounds of wealth.”*

Despite marital ties with East side aristocracy, Paul’s heart is in the West, with the mother of his child, and with his private detective father, PS Tuomi, whose reputation is tarnished by link with an earlier murder in a bootlegging enterprise. Although his West-side connections put his job in the East in jeopardy, Paul follows his instincts, as he pursues the trail of the spoiled teenaged son of a privileged East side family.

As the second novel of award-winning author Tim Jollymore, “Observation Hill” is as tightly constructed as a rubik’s cube, every scene leading into the next with unrelenting suspense. On a level with best-selling authors such as Robert Crais and Joseph Wambaugh, “Observation Hill” is a gripping thriller, a must-read for any lover of mystery fiction.

Kitty Fassett

*page 186

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