Synopses & Reviews
The ferocious new novel from the author of The Chicago Way
("A major new voice" — Michael Connelly) and The Fifth Floor
finds Michael Harvey at the top of his game in an expertly plotted, impossible to put down thriller set in Chicagos public transit system.
Harvey's tough talking, Aeschylus quoting, former Irish cop turned PI, Michael Kelly, is back — in a sizzling murder mystery that pits him against a merciless sniper on the loose. After witnessing a shooting on an L platform — and receiving a phone call from the killer himself — Kelly is drawn toward a murderer with an unnerving link to his own past, to a crime he witnessed as a child, and to the consequences it had on his relationship with his father, a subject Kelly would prefer to leave unexamined. But when his girlfriend — the gorgeous Chicago judge Rachel Swenson — is abducted, Kelly has no choice but to find the killer by excavating his own stormy past.
Stylish, sophisticated, edge-of-your-seat suspense from a new modern master.
"A series of terrifying crimes threatens to paralyze Chicago in Harvey's stellar third novel featuring Chicago PI Michael Kelly (after The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor). First, a gunman executes two people, apparently at random at different locations, while they ride the T, the city's elevated railway. Next, the sniper shoots at commuters on Lake Shore Drive, killing three people while missing Kelly's girlfriend, Judge Rachel Swenson. Kelly suspects the shooter has an accomplice, a theory dismissed by official law enforcement. The hard-boiled investigator, who at age nine survived a horrific subway accident at the site of one of the T murders 30 years earlier, wonders if there could be a link between that past tragedy and the current spree. The author deftly alternates between his hero's first-person perspective and third-person accounts of the mindsets of the men Kelly seeks. Harvey stakes a persuasive claim as the pre-eminent contemporary voice of Chicago noir. 100,000 first printing; 8-city author tour." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Harvey dispenses the pressure plays, cruel surprises and heartbreaking setbacks of his plot with crack timing, never allowing the reader a moment to unfasten his seat belt. And all the while Harvey renders Kelly's Chicago in crisp, tough and ironic prose." The Washington Post Book World
"The mixture of high-speed drama and historical elements showcases the author's journalist roots. It comes off like a juicy true-crime story with abundant twists, ensuring that the reader is left feeling unbalanced most of the time." Library Journal
"Harvey unfolds his tale with no preliminaries, no digressions and barely an extra word — just a book-length jolt of pure adrenaline." Kirkus Reviews
"[T]he action is nonstop, Harvey once again captures the unique zeitgeist of the city, and Kelly, tough smart, and a bit rough around the edges, is a true native son." Booklist
A woman is shot as she waits for her train to work. An hour later, a second woman is gunned down as she rides an elevated train through the Loop. Two hours after that, a church becomes the target of a chemical weapons attack. The city of Chicago is under siege, and Michael Kelly, cynical cop turned private investigator, just happens to be on the scene when all hell breaks loose.
Kelly is initially drawn into the case by the killers themselves, then tasked by Chicago's mayor and the FBI to hunt down the bad guys and, all things being equal, put a bullet in them. Kelly, of course, has other ideas. As he gets closer to the truth, his instincts lead him to a retired cop, a shady train company, and an unnerving link to his own past. Meanwhile, Kellys girlfriend, Rachel Swenson, becomes a pawn in a much larger game, while a weapon that could kill millions ticks away quietly in the very belly of the city.
The Third Rail is stylish, sophisticated, edge-of-your-seat suspense from a new modern master.
About the Author
Michael Harvey is the author of The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor, and is also a journalist and documentary producer. His work has won numerous awards, including multiple Emmy Awards, two Primetime Emmy nominations, and an Academy Award nomination.