4 November 2014

Review #52: Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel by Rory Flynn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Frank Vincent Zappa, an American composer, musician, and film director, has mentioned about "drugs" as:
“A drug is not bad. A drug is a chemical compound. The problem comes in when people who take drugs treat them like a license to behave like an asshole.”

That's true, a simple chemical compound having so much power to turn people into impulsive zombies with no brain. Rory Flynn, a Boston-based mystery writer, explores the lucid world of a new drug found in the dark dingy alleys of Boston, in his debut of the Eddy Harkness series, Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel .

At crime scenes, Eddy Harkness, the "Harvard Cop," is a human Ouija board, a brilliant young detective with a knack for finding the hidden something—cash, drugs, guns, bodies. Harkness's swift rise in an elite narcotics unit is derailed by the death of a young Red Sox fan in the chaos after a World Series win, a death some camera-phone-wielding witnesses believe he could have prevented. Scapegoated, Eddy is exiled to his hometown, Nagog, just outside Boston, where he empties parking meters and struggles to redeem his disgraced family name.
But one night Harkness’s police-issued Glock disappears. Harkness starts a search—just as a string of fatal accidents in Nagog lead him to uncover a dangerous new smart drug, Third Rail. With only a plastic gun to protect him, Harkness begins a high-stakes investigation that sends him into the darkest corners of the city.

From the beginning, the plot simply gripped me with its pace and adrenaline-rushing actions and mysteries. Eddy is a hero, who can sometime look very stupid with his toy gun, but he made me fall for his unflattering heroism and determination. He always saw the glitches, he always sniffed the foul smell, and he always bet on the suspected characters- in short, he always was right! Unfortunately, because of a past mistake, his guys in Narco-Intel had a hard time in believing his theories. I liked the fact that how Eddy stood against the tide to find the origin of a killer drug, although he used to work in a town where everything had a negative color, where everything was flawed and where people loved to get stoned and wasted rather than behaving meaningfully. I almost felt drunk with the aura of this ploy\t where the underbelly of the criminal world looked so bright and striking.

The characters are maybe very faulty and flawed, but they all had the power to hook you into the core of the book. From well-developed characters to well-written plot, Flynn knows how to turn his simple plot into an action-packed pot-boiler story. I liked the narrative, it was kept short, simple and thoroughly intriguing, and the best part being every chapter ending on a mysterious note, and that peak my interest in this book. To be honest, there were not much twists in this story, moreover, they were not even meant to keep hidden from the readers, I guess, because, from the very first moment, I can see who the real thief of Eddy’s gun was. Moreover, the book felt more like as if I was watching the whole scene in front of my eyes rather than reading it. The author has strikingly portrayed the underbelly of a city and while reading this book, you almost feel its sick stink at the bottom of your stomach. And Eddy is indeed a marvelous character, stupid-at-times, yet brilliant.

Verdict: Read this power-packed debut book to get swept away in the wild ride of crime and drugs.

Courtesy: Many thanks to the author, Rory Flynn, for providing me with a copy of his book, in return for an honest review. 

Author Info:
Rory Flynn is a Boston-based mystery writer whose novels include Third Rail, the debut of the Eddy Harkness series (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 2014). Author Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins) calls Flynn "a suspense writer to watch." And readers compare his work to Robert B. Parker, Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, and George V. Higgins.  
Visit him here

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