The Third Rail

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, Kelly's 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—as 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

Praise for the Third Rail

“A jolting drama… Chicago looks darker and scarier in The Third Rail.”
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times

“[A] stellar third novel. . . . Harvey stakes a persuasive claim as the preeminent contemporary voice of Chicago noir.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] book-length jolt of pure adrenaline.”

“[A] knockout thriller… 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.”
—Gerald Bartell, The Washington Post

“The suspense hums and the dialogue is truthfully tough, but it's the writing that elevates Harvey to the top of the P.I. genre. He's the best Chicago novelist I've read since Nelson Algren -- and that was 50 years ago. Grade: A”
—Les Roberts, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Somebody needs to notify the authorities, because Michael Harvey is bound to create havoc and mayhem with his new thriller…. you'll find yourself altering your morning commute. Harvey does for the Windy City what Michael Connelly did for Los Angeles: He commandeers it, warts and all, and wrangles it into his fiction.”
—Julia Keller, The Chicago Tribune

“…one of my top ten books for 2010… It’s classic Chicago and Harvey captures all the nuances perfectly in this non-stop tale. Try to start it on a Saturday so you won’t have to put it down until the very last page.”

"Michael Harvey has quicly become one of the brightest lights in crime fiction, and this book shows why. A white-knuckled thriller with a heartbreaking human story at its core. The Third Rail is a helluva book. Don't miss it."
—Sean Chercover, author of Trigger City

“The Third Rail” is an electric, high-voltage page turner that smokes, sizzles and scorches. 
—Vick Mickunas, Dayton Daily News

“The 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.”
—Thomas Gaughan, Booklist

“Michael Harvey twists a plot with the best of them, and his characters and dialogue are crisp and entertaining. This is a great read.”
—Salem Macknee, Charlotte Observer

“Harvey… is a gifted new writer who is quickly becoming a pro.”
—Larry Cox, Tuscon Citizen

“The Third Rail is a great story with a gripping and complicated plot; interesting, precisely drawn characters; fast-paced, crisp dialogue; and unforgettably creepy settings. The Third Rail is a top-notch mystery.”
—Noir Journal

“In The Third Rail, Michael Harvey has created another first-rate thriller set in the Windy City. Fast-paced action, dialogue that crackles, realistic characters, a killer on the loose, no-holds-barred Chicago politics, a scandal within the Chicago Archdiocese, a historic catastrophe, and a Pentagon cover-up with potentially dangerous consequences contribute to an exciting, suspenseful novel, with a promise of more thrills to come.”
—Donna Volkenannt,

“Harvey drives his third Michael Kelly entry (after The Fifth Floor) like an efficient train. . . . It comes off like a juicy true-crime story with abundant twists, ensuring that the reader is left feeling unbalanced most of the time.  Harvey shares his passion for Chicago, much like Gabriel Cohen does with his Brooklyn crime novels.”
—Teresa L. Jacobsen, Library Journal

“Chicago, and Michael Kelly, are brilliantly brought to life in a book that's impossible to put down, Harvey's terrifying The Third Rail.”
—Lesa Holstine,

“It is worth the time of mystery fans.”
—Albert Riehle, Sacramento Book Review

“As always, the Chicago sense of place in Havery’s work is seamless and pitch perfect. If you haven’t read Harvey yet, you’re missing, in Michael Kelly, a protagonist worth following…”
—Dan O’Shea,

“For you fans of Mr. Connelly and Mr. Coben, Michael Harvey is an author you will want to get to know. “
—Julie, Girls Just

“The characters are well-drawn, the pace is brisk, the writing is catchy and the local Chicago color is true-blue.”
—Harry Levins, St. Louis Post Dispatch

 “I love action.  And this book made me tired just reading it.”
—John Jordan Crimespree