By Chloe Hooper
272 pages; Scribner
An adrenaline rush to the heart, Chloe Hooper's Tall Man takes us inside a remote township in Queensland seared by violence, corruption, and racism. In 2004 an Aboriginal man named Cameron Doomadgee was arrested for swearing at Chris Hurley, a white policeman. Soon after, Doomadgee's horribly bruised body was found dead in his cell. Hooper's brilliant, humane reporting on the trial of Hurley—at 67 a "tall man" like the eponymous soul-clawing demon of local legend—is laced with complex questions about the meaning of justice in a land of poisoned dreams.