Books

by Rory Flynn
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 2014, $23

Eddy Harkness is an absolute whiz at finding hidden evidence, much to the amazement of his fellow Boston cops. Drugs, guns, cash, bodies—you name it and “Harky” can find it.

What he can’t seem to find these days is a break.

Once an up-and-coming detective assigned to Narco-Intel, a cutting edge task force, his big-city plainclothes career ground to a halt a few years ago after he was blamed for the death of an over-exuberant Red Sox fan. In sports-mad Boston, the mistake is tantamount to treason, and the hotshot was sent packing back to his white-flight hometown of Nagog, just west of Boston, where he was lucky to land a job with the hopelessly small-town local force—back in uniform, emptying parking meters.

The fall from grace eats at Eddie. He’s drinking too much, hanging around questionable bars, sleeping with even more questionable women. Like his “slippery girlfriend” Thalia, an artsy punkette who has trouble written all over her. Following a woozy night of sex and booze, Eddie wakes up in Thalia’s bed. She’s there, but his police issue Glock is missing.

Already on the outs with most of his townie colleagues, Eddie sets out to find his weapon alone (packing a toy gun in the meantime), but the increasingly frantic search unearths a string of peculiar fatalities possibly connected to the use of Third Rail, a new designer drug hitting the streets. Teaming up with an old Narco-Intel buddy, Eddie begins an off-the-books investigation, with hopes of getting his old life back—until the trail of corruption starts leading him to places he’d rather not go.

But, as his pal cautions him, “There’s worse things than giving a shit.”

Rory Flynn may pile on the tropes a little high, but he’s found a fresh, compelling hero with which to shore them up, making this a wobbly but promising debut, and the series, with its throbbing, cocksure prose, one to watch. But mostly because Eddie, for all his faults, does give a shit. In the bleaker-than-thou pissing contest that is neo-noir, a little heart can go a long way.

Kevin Burton Smith

Eddy Harkness is an absolute whiz at finding hidden evidence, much to the amazement of his fellow Boston cops. Drugs, guns, cash, bodies—you name it and “Harky” can find it.

What he can’t seem to find these days is a break.

Once an up-and-coming detective assigned to Narco-Intel, a cutting edge task force, his big-city plainclothes career ground to a halt a few years ago after he was blamed for the death of an over-exuberant Red Sox fan. In sports-mad Boston, the mistake is tantamount to treason, and the hotshot was sent packing back to his white-flight hometown of Nagog, just west of Boston, where he was lucky to land a job with the hopelessly small-town local force—back in uniform, emptying parking meters.

The fall from grace eats at Eddie. He’s drinking too much, hanging around questionable bars, sleeping with even more questionable women. Like his “slippery girlfriend” Thalia, an artsy punkette who has trouble written all over her. Following a woozy night of sex and booze, Eddie wakes up in Thalia’s bed. She’s there, but his police issue Glock is missing.

Already on the outs with most of his townie colleagues, Eddie sets out to find his weapon alone (packing a toy gun in the meantime), but the increasingly frantic search unearths a string of peculiar fatalities possibly connected to the use of Third Rail, a new designer drug hitting the streets. Teaming up with an old Narco-Intel buddy, Eddie begins an off-the-books investigation, with hopes of getting his old life back—until the trail of corruption starts leading him to places he’d rather not go.

But, as his pal cautions him, “There’s worse things than giving a shit.”

Rory Flynn may pile on the tropes a little high, but he’s found a fresh, compelling hero with which to shore them up, making this a wobbly but promising debut, and the series, with its throbbing, cocksure prose, one to watch. But mostly because Eddie, for all his faults, does give a shit. In the bleaker-than-thou pissing contest that is neo-noir, a little heart can go a long way.

Teri Duerr
3708
Flynn
June 2014
third-rail
23
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt