Rory Flynn is the author of Third Rail. From his Q & A with Janet Walker for The Culture Concept Circle:
Third Rail is the first in the Eddy Harkness series. What inspired Eddy Harkness and the series?Visit Rory Flynn's website.
I wanted to create a different kind of cop, of course. Every crime writer wants to do that, create someone new. With Eddy, it’s the unusual combination of intuition, which lets him find hidden drugs and other evidence, and a strong moral compass, which leads him to do what he feels is right, even if it means going against the rules. He also combines a certain amount of smart sophistication (he went to Harvard!) with a street-wise toughness that comes from having been part of Boston’s very rough-and-tumble hardcore punk scene back in his youth. He’s also intimately aware of the Harkness family’s mixed heritage. After all, his father was a charming swindler. And he knows the centuries of history accumulated in Nagog, his colonial hometown, and beneath the crooked streets of Boston, the city he loves so deeply.
Well, there’s a long tradition of great crime/mystery novels coming out of Boston, from George V. Higgins to Robert B. Parker to Dennis Lehane. Boston’s in the middle of a new renaissance in so many ways. The restaurants don’t suck anymore, thanks to Barbara Lynch. The streets are cleaned up. The Combat Zone’s gone. The Seaport screams prosperity. We’ve got a great new mayor whose Boston accent is even thicker than the last guy’s. But there’s still a lot of violent crime and deep corruption – which all adds up to make the city a natural for fiction. For example, the last three Speakers of the House in Massachusetts have been indicted on felony charges. That’s got to be some kind of record.
Crime in Boston is different now – pockets of...[read on]