Reviewer Janet Walker: Janet is the author of Colour To Die For, first of the Fee Weston Mystery Series. Janet lives in Australia and when she is not writing about P.I. Fee Weston's fight for truth, justice and a livable cash flow, she writes articles for magazines and fund raises for Australia's wildlife carers - heroes of the bush. For more about Janet and Fee visit Janet's WEBSITE
Author: Rory Flynn
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Eddy Harkness – a guy with a death wish or severely traumatised? Work related trauma gets my vote. Eddy, the main character in Rory Flynn’s new suspense thriller, Third Rail, is a Boston detective with what seemed like a bright future. Blamed for and haunted by the death of a Red Sox fan after a World Series game, Eddy has taken to repeating the fans tragic last run along the yellow line of the Boston Turnpike. Dodging, not something Eddy does, he faces the oncoming traffic in a game where there are no winners only the chance to end the images that have taken over his waking hours.
Eddy is cleared of wrongdoing by the Boston Police Department but with public opinion against him, gets demoted. He is redeployed to Nagog, his home town just west of Boston – his job: empty the town’s parking meters.
Disliked by his immediate superior, Sergeant Dabilis, Eddy, performs his daily round with dogged determination accepting the shame and jeers that are part of his fall from grace... and then it gets worse.
After a boozy all-nighter with sometime girlfriend, Thalia, Eddy wakes up to a cop’s nightmare – he can’t find his gun. The police issued Glock has gone awol and Eddy needs to find it double quick or demotion will be replaced on his clipboard by dismissal.
The job description for ex-cop not something Eddy wants to think about, he re-traces his previous night’s steps. It’s all a blur and he’s beginning to suspect that he was drugged and maybe Thalia had something to do with it.
His search of surrounding lanes and interrogation of Thalia fails to give Eddy a lead on the whereabouts of his Glock. A scheduled weapon inspection looming, Eddy buys a plastic gun while he figures out the who and why of the Glock’s disappearance.
Nagog, a small town with the regulation number of corrupt officials, bad guys and girls has sinister undertones. There’s a new drug in town – Third Rail, immediately addictive, take it and bad memories are re-run with good outcomes only trouble is: the more you take the more out of control you become and when it wears off the memories flood back worse than ever.
Eddy, caught up in the search for his gun, is worried Nagog’s community is headed for disaster if the town’s young people become captive to the new smart drug.
Not much he can do about it, Sergeant Dabilis tells him to keep right on emptying the town’s meters and Station Head, Captain Munro, a family friend, confides that if he keeps his head down, he’ll be back in his job in the Boston narcotics unit before you can say Bob or somebody else is your uncle.
Eddy, not making much progress with the hunt for the Glock, is on the scene when a guy, seemingly nuts, crashes his car into the town statue. Badly injured, he’s taken to hospital where Eddy renews acquaintance with the guy’s daughter Candace.
Candace is at the hospital with her partner Declan and their baby daughter. Eddy pegs Declan as being weirder than weird and has a hunch that Third Rail and Declan have more than a passing acquaintance. Eddy tells Candace to call if she ever needs help and leaves the hospital... he’s got to find his gun.
Things start to heat up; looks like Nagog’s major gangster has Eddy’s gun and he wants big bucks in exchange. Meanwhile Eddy finds the location where Third Rail is being manufactured and discovers the makers have planned a weekend party to launch it on the market with the inducement of try before you buy: free hits to all the guests.
Eddy decides to suss out the party’s riverside location. His surveillance discovered, Eddy pilots a kayak down the river, pursued by a crazy avenger, he almost loses his life in the town mill race.
A young woman is found dead in the woods. Eddy goes to the Third Rail party determined to stop not only the party but the sale of this insidious new drug.
A nail-biting rip-roaring conclusion had me turning the pages fast – Rory Flynn’s debut thriller is an accomplished work. Dialogue convincing and appropriate, the pace never falters; I was right there with Eddy as he stood alone and against the odds, derailed the murderous spread of Third Rail.
So, everything good... good main character, good writer, good read. Can’t ask for anything more except the next Eddy Harkness story.
Follow Here To Purchase Third Rail: An Eddy Harkness Novel