Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel by Rory Flynn

Publication Date: June 10, 2014


RF_Third_RailIn [easyazon-link asin=”0544226275″ locale=”us”]Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel[/easyazon-link], Narcotics Detective Eddy Harkness is on the rise when one questionably, preventable incident takes him from the streets of Boston back to Nagog, Massachusetts, the small town in which he was raised. Harkness soon finds himself on the trail of a terrifying new dug called Third Rail. As Harkness descends into the dark underbelly of the city will he find the source Third Rail and get out alive?



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 we meet him, which is coincidentally also 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 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.

[easyazon-link asin=”0544226275″ locale=”us”]Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel[/easyazon-link] 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 on page 40; he thinks of how easy it would be to take the driver’s 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.

Flynn is a very visual writer. Candace Hammond, the one-handed waitress and daughter of the first “victim” is a really interesting character. She has a baby, and when Harkness comes to speak with her about her father’s accident, she fills in some background, but Flynn makes clear in an organic way that she has lots of secrets, few of which she’s willing to trust to Harkness. Like Harkness she has one passion, but unlike Harkness her passion is imbued in her child, May. “No one’s ever going to hurt you” she tells the baby on Page 52. There’s a strong chemistry between Harkness and Candace, but don’t expect a love story because Flynn isn’t going there.

[easyazon-link asin=”0544226275″ locale=”us”]Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel[/easyazon-link] has a serious sense of connection with its setting. The Red Sox are mentioned many times, as is Harvard. The wharf is a backdrop acting as almost an independent character in one scene. It’s beautiful and dances. It lures metaphorical sailors to danger. Boston is a cash-strapped debutante in last season’s dress. There is a sense of love from Flynn for the city.

There is not a “To Be Continued…” at the end of [easyazon-link asin=”0544226275″ locale=”us”]Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel[/easyazon-link], but the last paragraphs could not make it more evident that readers will be seeing more of Detective Eddy Harkness. This crime noir character isn’t someone we like; he isn’t someone we cheer for, but he sure is someone that readers will want to see again and again.

[easyazon-link asin=”0544226275″ locale=”us”]Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel[/easyazon-link] 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 [easyazon-link asin=”0544226275″ locale=”us”]Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel[/easyazon-link].

[easyazon-link asin=”0544226275″ locale=”us”]Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel[/easyazon-link] is Rory Flynn’s first novelin the Eddy Harkness series.


For more information about Rory Flynn, visit his website. You can connect with him on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter @MrRoryFlynn.

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