The Tall Man : Death and Life on Palm Island, Paperback Book

The Tall Man : Death and Life on Palm Island Paperback

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


When Cameron Doomadgee, a 36-year-old member of the Aboriginal community of Palm Island, was arrested for swearing at a white police officer, he was dead within forty-five minutes of being locked up.

The police claimed he'd tripped on a step, but the pathologist likened his injuries to those received in a plane crash.

The main suspect was the handsome, charismatic Senior Sergeant Christopher Hurley, an experienced cop with decorations for his work.

In following Hurley's trail to some of the wildest and most remote parts of Australia, Chloe Hooper explores Aboriginal myths and history and uncovers buried secrets of white mischief.

Atmospheric, gritty and original, The Tall Man takes readers to the heart of a struggle for power, revenge and justice.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages, Illustrations, map
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & criminology
  • ISBN: 9780099520764

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Palm Island, November 2004. A 36 year old Aboriginal man, Cameron Doomadgee, is arrested for swearing at a police officer. He is drunk, and as they arrive at the station he strikes Senior Sergeant Christopher Hurley in the face.45 minutes later Cameron Doomadgee is dead, his liver cleaved in two as you might see after a fatal car crash. The police say he fell on a step but others disagree. A week later there is a riot during which the police station is burnt to the ground and Hurley’s residence with it. A relief team is sent in and Hurley goes into hiding. But the case doesn’t go away. An inquest is launched, then a criminal trial. It’s the first time in Australian history that a police officer has been brought before the law to answer for the death of an Aboriginal prisoner in their care. In the process the trial comes to embody all of the hurt and guilt and prejudice that underline relations between native and white Australia.

Review by

A difficult book to read, because it is a worldwide wide not an Australian book about an Australian problem.Before I had gone far, I knew what the outcome was going to be. Be it Australia, The United States, Africa or Europe, the problem is the same. Book needs to be read. But more importantly, people need to change.