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Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel by Rory…
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Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel

by Rory Flynn

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Eddy Harkness, a disgraced ex-Boston PD narcotics detective, is now a cop emptying parking meters in the quaint community of Nagog, MA. After a night of heavy drinking in Zero Room, a sleazy Boston joint he raided years before, Harkness wakes up to find his gun missing. Already the butt of jokes, he hides this loss by buying a toy gun. While emptying meters, he witnesses a local businessman fatally smash his car into a historical monument. Drugs are found in the car, and Harkness gets the OK from the Nagog police commissioner to secretly investigate. The drug, Third Rail, is new, powerful, and expensive. Harkness learns it is manufactured locally. He also uncovers a Boston mayoral candidate's connections to organized crime figures Whitey Bulger and Mach, the gangster owner of Zero Room. Things heat up and bodies turn up in this high-powered police thriller.

Many plot points in Flynn's first crime novel seem contrived. However, unconventional, down-on-his-luck cop Harkness is a solid character, and the Boston area always makes a vivid mystery setting. There is a lot of action. Some strong secondary characters just might make this new series take off. [Rory Flynn is the pen name of indie publisher Concord Free Press founder and publisher Stona Fitch.] ( )
  EdGoldberg | Aug 14, 2014 |
The author’s publishing house, Houghten Mifflin Harcourt, gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my review. I received this book as an uncorrected Advance Reader’s Copy. Content may have changed between the version I received and date of publication.

Eddy is kind of sinking into himself when his gun goes missing. Not a good mark on the balance sheet for a man who is being scouted to one day go back to his old unit of Narco-intel in Boston. Society bothers Harkness, suburbia bothers Harkness and he’s not prepared to think the best of anyone and nor, we learn, should he when one of Nagog’s upper tier citizens crashes into a statue while high on the new wonder drug. As annoyed as he is by most things, the most important thing to Harkness is making it back to his old unit. Flynn peppers Eddy’s narrative with flashbacks and personal reflections to show us how far he rose and the distance he had to fall. On Page 28 he mentally begs whoever took his gun not to use it to kill anyone. He would be done and knows it and that sense of passion for something humanizes a man who would be a complete jackass otherwise. We may not cheer for him but we’re locked into who he is as a character.

“Third Rail” is a truly dark story. I am not a fan of present tense in story telling but for Flynn’s story it works. Flynn brings readers into the moment so that the desperation, emotion and shock of the main character shows a dark but human side where Harkness might be unrealistically too jaded and cool. Harkness, in the absence of his Glock, is carrying a plastic gun and in witnessing an accident and on page 40 he thinks of how easy it would be to take the drivers gun and cover the loss of his own if only it looked like a Glock. He looks for the loopholes and beyond the purpose of the case we know that Harkness is driven by his greater purpose.

“Third Rail” is a beautifully dark story set in a gritty and dangerous visually compelling world. If you like noir hardboiled fiction like that written by Dashiell Hammet and JD Rhoades, you will love Rory Flynn’s “Third Rail.” ( )
  TammyDewhirst | Jun 9, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0544226275, Hardcover)

At crime scenes, Eddy Harkness is a human Ouija board, a brilliant young detective with a knack for finding the hidden something—cash, drugs, guns, bodies. But Eddy’s swift rise in an elite narcotics unit is derailed by the death of a Red Sox fan in the chaos of a World Series win, a death some camera-phone-wielding witnesses believe he could have prevented. Scapegoated, Eddy is exiled to his hometown just outside Boston, where he empties parking meters and struggles to redeem his disgraced family name.

Then one night Harkness’s police-issue Glock disappears. Unable to report the theft, Harkness starts a secret search—just as a string of fatal accidents lead him to uncover a new, dangerous smart drug, Third Rail. With only a plastic disc gun to protect him, Harkness begins a high-stakes investigation that leads him into the darkest corners of the city, where politicians and criminals intertwine to deadly effect.

With a textured sense of place, a nuanced protagonist, and a story that takes off from page one and culminates in a startling finale, Third Rail has all the elements of a breakout mystery success.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:32 -0400)

Scapegoated for the death of a baseball fan, a brilliant young narcotics detective with a penchant for noticing elusive clues returns in disgrace to his Boston hometown only to be embroiled in a local investigator's drug-related search for a police-issue gun. At crime scenes, Eddy Harkness has a knack for finding the hidden something. But scapegoated for the death of a Red Sox fan in the chaos of a World Series win, a death some camera-phone-wielding witnesses believe he could have prevented, Eddy is exiled to his hometown just outside Boston. Then one night Harkness's police-issue Glock disappears-- and a string of fatal accidents lead him to uncover a new, dangerous smart drug, Third Rail. His investigation leads him into the darkest corners of the city.… (more)

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