Thursday, December 19, 2013

three mini-mystery reviews: The Third Rail, We All Fall Down, and The Lewis Man

The Third Rail by Michael Harvey

The first two novels in Michael Harvey's Michael Kelly mystery series, The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor, were both 5-star reads. By those standards, The Third Rail fell a little short, but it is still an excellent mystery. Michael Kelly finds himself at the right place at the right time (or perhaps the wrong place at the wrong time) when a sniper kills a woman on the L. It soon becomes clear the killers have far bigger plans to terrify Chicago, and they want Michael Kelly along for the ride. Harvey lets the bad guys share narration in this novel, and the insight into their actions wasn't as compelling of the rest of the mystery. The ending, however, is delightfully ambiguous.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: library

We All Fall Down by Michael Harvey

What I thought was a delightfully ambiguous ending to The Third Rail turned out to be a cliffhanger, as We All Fall Down picks up immediately after it left off. Thus, I won't spoil the set up of the fourth novel in this excellent series because doing so would detract from The Third Rail. I will say, however, that We All Fall Down is Michael Harvey's most ambitious mystery to date--both its scope and its stakes. I'm eagerly awaiting the next novel in this series.

Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: purchased

The Lewis Man by Peter May

The Lewis Man is the second novel in Peter May's Lewis Trilogy. The first in the trilogy, The Blackhouse, was a five-star read. I loved it so much I ordered the final two volumes from the UK because they don't have a US release date yet. Peter May's writing is beautifully fluid and his characters are richly developed. Once again he manages to combine a compelling police procedural with the continued exploration of the inhabitants of the Isle of Lewis, both their past and their present.

Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: purchased

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