The Third Rail: Book summary and reviews of The Third Rail by Michael Harvey

The Third Rail

by Michael Harvey

The Third Rail
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2010
    304 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

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, Kelly’s 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Harvey stakes a persuasive claim as the preeminent contemporary voice of Chicago noir." - Publishers Weekly

"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

"The mystery is lumpy and unsurprising, but Harvey unfolds his tale with no preliminaries, no digressions and barely an extra word - just a book-length jolt of pure adrenaline." - Kirkus Reviews

"[The] edginess and noir sensibility that were central to the earlier book’s appeal are lessened a bit this ... That said, the action is nonstop, Harvey once again captures the unique zeitgeist of the city..." - Booklist

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Author Information

Michael Harvey Author Biography

Photo: David Turner

Michael Harvey is a writer, journalist, and documentary producer. He is the co-creator, writer and executive producer of the Prime Time Emmy-nominated television series Cold Case Files and a former investigative producer for CBS in Chicago. Michael's work as a documentary producer and journalist has won numerous national and international awards, including multiple Emmys and an Academy Award nomination for the Holocaust documentary Eyewitness.

Harvey earned a law degree from Duke University, a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a bachelor's degree in classical languages from Holy Cross College.

Harvey was born and raised in Boston and graduated from Boston Latin School. He now lives in Chicago with his wife, Mary Frances.

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