Publisher's synopsis

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.


  • Winner 2008 WA Premier’s Book Award for Non-fiction
  • Winner 2008 WA Premier’s Book Award for Book of the Year
  • Winner 2009 Australian Book Industry Awards for General Non-fiction
  • Winner 2009 John Button Prize for Writing for Young Adults
  • Winner 2009 QLD Premier’s Book Award for Non-fiction
  • Winner 2009 NSW Premier’s Book Award for Douglas Stewart Prize
  • Winner 2009 Indie Award for Non-fiction
  • Winner 2009 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for the Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction
  • Winner 2009 Ned Kelly Awards for Best True Crime
  • Winner 2009 Davitt Awards for Best True Crime
  • Shortlisted 2008 Human Rights Award for Non-fiction
  • Shortlisted 2008 Walkley Award for Non-fiction
  • Shortlisted 2009 Australian Book Industry Awards for Book of the Year
  • Shortlisted 2009 QLD Premier’s Award for Advancing Public Debate
  • Shortlisted 2009 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards for Gleebooks
  • Shortlisted 2009 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-fiction