Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Third Rail by Rory Flynn

It's been one year since Eddy Harkness's was put on forced leave. One year since the embarrassment of the Turnpike Toreador. Since then, he's been biding his time working for the local police in his hometown of Nagog, waiting for a chance to return to the city force. But an evening of drinking leads to the loss of his gun and then he starts to receive phone calls from a dead man. Someone has it out for Eddy and he's going to have to figure out who before his bosses realize he's no longer in possession of his service weapon. Then Eddy discovers something odd in Nagog, a series of "accidents" where a new designer drug seems to have played a part. The further he gets into his investigation, the more it becomes clear that the drug and his missing gun might be connected. 

I hate to rip off Forrest Gump with the whole "life is like a box of chocolates" thing, but really with books it is the same: you never quite know what you're going to get. Sure you have the cover design and the jacket copy to lead you in the right direction - to give you hints of what you can expect. You have the author (if you've read or heard of him/her before) and you have blurbs. You even have the publisher itself. But none of that really matters because each book is something new and different

I sometimes wish that I could dive into more books without any prior knowledge. Seems like it would make for some adventuresome reading. But I am like most readers in that I do like to know a little something about a book I'm about to begin.

With Third Rail, however, I don't know that any amount of info (short of spoiling the whole book) can really prepare a reader for what's inside. First, I received my copy from a trusted source who does tend to send me really fabulous books, so of course I was going to read it. But it arrived a few months ago and after I scheduled my review I put it aside. My Swiss cheese brain took care of the rest and I was able to go into Third Rail with little expectation other than that it was a mystery/thriller.

And it was super cool! The reader is thrown into the story midstream. We meet Eddy as he stumbles along the freeway waiting to get hit by a car. Whaaaa?! Then he's onto his binge drinking with a new girlfriend and just pages later he's discovered his gun is missing. Now we're off and rolling! The truth about the early case is revealed slowly throughout the book, leaving the reader wondering much of the time exactly what happened to have landed a cop - who by all accounts is pretty fantastic at his job - in such hot water.

I won't tell you anymore except this, Third Rail makes it to my highly recommended list for being dark, gritty, and a standout! (Rory Flynn is a pseudonym for Stona Fitch, Third Rail is the first release in a new series - I can't wait for more Eddy Harkness!)

Rating: 4.5/5

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