22 May 2016

Review #439: Dark Horse (Eddy Harkness #2) by Rory Flynn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The trouble with conspiracies is that they rot internally.”

----Robert A. Heinlein

Rory Flynn, a Boston-based mystery writer, is back with yet another edgy and twisted thriller in his new book, Dark Horse that is the second book in the Eddy Harkness series where the stories are revolving around a Boston-based cop, Eddy Harkness, the local hero, commonly known as the "Harvard Cop" and his adventures while serving the Narco-Intel department of his city. This book unfolds the story of a deadly drug wiping clean of any lives, those are found alive despite of a deadly hurricane, of a fictional town in Boston and the few lucky ones are wandering into Eddy's hometown, thus creating more trouble that Eddy can sniff from the very comfort of his own home.


Boston narcotics detective Eddy Harkness is on the case again, and this time the soul of the city is at stake.

When a late-summer hurricane slams into Boston, Detective Eddy Harkness and his Narco-Intel crew are thrown into the eye of a very different kind of storm. Dark Horse — an especially pure and deadly brand of heroin — has infiltrated the gritty Lower South End. Harkness soon finds that the drug is also at the center of an audacious land grab by the city’s corrupt new mayor and his shadowy power brokers. Meanwhile, Lower South End residents displaced by the storm use an obscure bylaw to move into Eddy’s hometown, and soon enough tensions are running high along Nagog’s tree-lined streets.

Fast-paced and atmospheric, Dark Horse moves from dive bars to Harvard dorm rooms to the city’s elite social clubs, as Harkness puts everything at risk — his department, his nascent family, and his life — to try to derail the seemingly unstoppable conspiracy before it’s too late.

Eddy is back and this time the mystery is tied up with the VIPs of his town, messing with whom can cost Eddy his job. Dark Horse, a killer drug, is spreading like a deadly virus and is infiltrating the lives who braced the hurricane bravely in the Lower South End town, thereby forcing the handful of people to flee this killer town and shift to Eddy's hometown, Nagog, and these kind of people although mean no harm, but can cause trouble if not kept under surveillance. Eddy is quite a sniffer when it comes to trouble with a capital letter 'T'. He can smell that there is poison spreading in their town, but those responsible for it holds an invincible rank in the town and disrupting their high-class lifestyle might put an end to Eddy's career. Can he make his boss believe about the people who are responsible behind the sacrifice of so many innocent lives with the help of a drug just to benefit themselves?

Having read the previous book, I already had this connection with the protagonist, hence Eddy easily seeped into my mind's eyes right from the very first page, thus allowing me to agree with his decisions and actions. Now this I do not consider as an added advantage, instead, the author has penned the book in such a way that the readers reading an Eddy Harkness book for the first time can easily comprehend with the story line. Flynn's books' titles are quite unique signifies the core ingredient of his plot- drugs! And not to mention the book cover images are ever so striking that has an ability to arrest the eyes of the readers.

The writing style of the author is articulate and that will make the readers contemplate with his equally emphatic prose. The narrative is short and simple and easy to understand yet has enough power to hook the readers right into the heart of the story. The pacing is moderate as the story keeps developing and forming with new twists that will keep the readers glued. This book falls in the crime-fiction genre where the "whodunit" or the people responsible for the deaths are very obvious right from the very start, but putting them to justice was the real challenge for the protagonist that will push the readers to the edge of their seats in order to giving the hero the essential company until the very end.

The characters are interesting and are drawn from realism. Eddy is an unusual hero, who can be tad boring and stupid at times to be a fearless cop. In this book, the author explores Eddy's relationship with his live-in girlfriend and his daughter thus portraying and emotional, mature and caring side to Eddy's demeanor. Even though he is laced with flaws and backstory, the first time readers might find it bit difficult to connect with Eddy deeply. The side characters are also well-developed and they might be able to keep the readers interested into the story.

The author paints yet another dark fictional town in Boston which is every bit believable and vividly captured into the plot thus giving an extra edge to this already enticing story. The author even brings out the misuse and the evil effects of a strange new killer drug and uses it to paint his story intriguing as well as frightening. There are some adrenaline-rushing action scenes which are not only strikingly depicted but will also make the readers feel like getting high on an invisible power erupting from this compelling story.

Overall, this book is perfect companion for crime fiction readers on a slightly windy evening along with a glass of red wine.

Verdict: Thanks to the author, Rory Flynn's publicist for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. 

Author Info:
Dennis Lehane says that Boston crime/mystery writer Rory Flynn "is a terrific writer who knows how to spin a yarn with grit and confidence." Flynn created the Eddy Harkness series (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) – which debuted with THIRD RAIL in 2014. The much-anticipated second novel in the series, DARK HORSE, arrives in bookstores this June.
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