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Paperback Book Details
  • 04/2015
  • 9780991476329
  • 442 pages
  • $20.00
Observation Hill: A Novel of Class and Murder
Police Detective Paul Tuomi has his hands full: He has just been assigned the highest profile murder case of his career, is in the middle of investigating the strange death of a family member, and is about to cross the line on a long ago failed marriage. Paul’s love of his working-class beginnings—embodied his involvement with his high school sweetheart and her son—and bond with his private detective father who lives under the cloud of a 40 year-old bootlegging murder fray the ties he’s made with the city’s old patrician elite. Paul can set to right his own life only if he can solve the puzzles of the deaths of three others. Complicating the already complicated is Tuomi’s nemesis, Ingstrom, a teenage crime-magnet from the toney side of town. Out east, with pressure from the powerful and the press to arrest the black sheep of the murdered heiress's family, Paul is pushed to disregard eye-witness fact and bring to heel his west end sensibilities or face demotion on his job, the end of his marriage, and the loss of his long-time lover. He learns that the key to everything lies in catching the illusive Ingstrom.
Amazon Books

The Music Behind the Music
by Dabí Sánchez, publisher and playwright
October 21, 2015


I should start by disclosing that I was an advance reader of this book, and an early sympathizer. In the crush of things it's easy to lose mental track of something you haven't seen for about a year--even if books are not as perishable as movies. In a good read, you are re-creating the book as you go, while movies more often than not are done to you. This novel by Tim Jollymore is the essence of liberty. It opens wide the door to a place you haven't seen. While giving you just the amount of guidance you need, it invites you to roam in its vast and interesting spaces. As I was reminded when I checked off the questions supplied by Amazon, Observation Hill manages to be quite racy without ever crossing the line into those dispiriting regions of graphic sex and violence that the conventions of modern storytelling have mandated. This is elegant storytelling that packs a punch. At its best, it reaches what the Finnish poet Lassi Nummi has called «the music behind the music». And when the story is done, it's the musical essence which stays in the memory, as intimate as a quartet or as big as a symphony. This is great writing which allows for great reading, and will live in you for a good long time after your encounter with it.


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.

*page 186

Kitty Fassett

Oakland, California

St. Paul Pioneer Press

Duluth native Tim Jollymore, author of "Listener in the Snow," signs copies of "Observation Hill," his new, fast-paced thriller that explores class differences in the city by the lake.

With an exquisite sense of place (beginning writers should read this book to understand that term), Jollymore tells the story of Detective Paul Tuomi, caught between the West Side where in the 1960s workers risked death in steel mills controlled by wealthy industrialists on the East Side. Tuomi's heart is in the West, where his connections put his job in the East in jeopardy as he follows his instincts and pursues the trail of a spoiled teen son of a privileged East Side family.

The murder at the center of the story was influenced by the Elizabeth Congdon murder at Glensheen.

Jollymore holds English degrees from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and has taught writing in California, where he relocated in midlife.

Posted: 08/22/2015 10:26:44 AM CDT

Duluth native Tim Jollymore's new thriller has exquisite sense of place

OBSERVATION HILL, a novel of class and murder is honored as the St. Paul Pioneer Press pick of the week by SPPP literary critic, Mary Ann Grossmann.

Paperback Book Details
  • 04/2015
  • 9780991476329
  • 442 pages
  • $20.00