About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Third Rail by Michael Harvey

47. – 607.) The Third Rail by Michael Harvey – It has been awhile since I read a high octane thriller in which I raced through the book impatient to read the next drama.

Michael Kelly is a former Chicago police officer turned private detective. A killing on the train is staged for him. Chasing the killer he is ambushed in an alley. A gun is put to his head and he is asked if he is ready to die. Instead, his attacker knocks him unconscious.

Another slaying a few minutes later on another train the city is in a panic over a killer preying on citizens using public transit.

While the FBI has been drawn into the investigation Chicago’s flamboyant mayor, John J. Wilson, invites Kelly to take vigilante action on behalf of the city.

What does not make sense to the investigators is why an apparently random killer seeking to create chaos in the city has tied Kelly to the killings. Can a traumatic childhood event experienced by Kelly be connected to the murders?

The FBI, led by agent Katherine Lawson, put vast resources into the investigation.

The book roars ahead with Kelly seeking to solve the killings while officialdom is content to find the easy solution. There are some unexpected twists upping the suspense level.

In his quest Kelly draws on a talented computer guy and a friend on the Chicago police force.

It is not a book with significant character development. There is no time for reflection. Kelly is charging forward with the investigation. Pages just kept turning. It is a very good action thriller. I read it in just over a day. (Aug. 21/11)


  1. Bill - Thanks for this review. I'll be candid; usually I don't turn to thrillers first. But this one really does look absorbing. I like the fact that there seem to be interesting sub-plots, too. Even if the characters aren't as well-developed as they are in some other novels, it sounds as though they're engaging, and that's good.

  2. Margot: Thanks for the comment. The Third Rail will not challenge your intellect but you will find it difficult to put down.