Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Third Rail by Michael Harvey

In The Third Rail, a sniper is killing people in Chicago. Michael Kelly, a former Chicago cop turned Private Investigator, just happens to be on the scene of the first shooting. As more bodies drop, Kelly becomes personally involved when the killer contacts him directly. It leaves him wondering how he could be connected to all of this. Maybe it's something in his past. He becomes even more motivated to find out what's going on when his girlfriend is kidnapped and he must find the killer before Rachel becomes the next to die.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was so good. There's plenty of action, lots of great characters and a plot that kept me guessing right until the very end. I like how in the Harvey switches point-of-view from Kelly to the bad guys and back again. It sort of gives the reader a leg up on the detectives. This is the third book in the series, but it can certainly be read as a standalone book. I haven't read the other two, but I plan to track them down and read them as soon as I can.

One of my favourite characters was Hubert Russell, the 20-something cyber hacker. You just got to love those guys who can find out anything about anyone at anytime.

The book is based in Chicago and contains lots of details about the city. I really liked all of the city references and felt a little like I had traveled there myself while reading the book. That was pretty cool. However, I've only been to Chicago once. A native or those more familiar with the city will probably enjoy those parts and get more out of them than I did.

There were two chapters in the book that stood out for me, Chapters 24 and 57. In chapter 24, I loved the
explanations of the victims' lives unfulfilled. It was really well done and though provoking. As for Chapter 57, the author eluded to the man's identify. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out if the man's identify was purposely left open or if I was supposed to know who this was. I quickly searched the book looking for a few clues I found in the chapter, but didn't have any luck. Finally, I contacted the publicist who put me in touch with the author. He quickly cleared up everything for me. Thanks so much Michael!

Normally, I like my mysteries all tied up in nice little packages by the end of the book. Harvey doesn't do this, though. He has purposely left a few loose ends. I like the way it was done. Even if those ends are not dealt with in the next book, the tension is tense and I can use my imagination as to what happens next. Having said that, I hope that the next book in the series does continue on with the open storylines and ties up a few of the loose ends. It should be an exciting ride.

Highly recommended. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series, We All Fall Down.

For more information about this book, please visit the Random House website.

For more information about the author and his other books, please visit Michael Harvey's website.

Thanks to Dana Kaye from Kaye Publicity for this review copy.

The Third Rail by Michael Harvey, First Vintage Crime (Random House), ©2010. ISBN 9780307473639(mass market), 366p.

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