George V. Reilly

Review: The Wrong Kind of Blood

The Wrong Kind of Blood
Title: The Wrong Kind of Blood
Author: Declan Hughes
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: William Morrow
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 312
Keywords: mystery
Reading period: 12-13 January, 2007

Ed Loy has returned to Dublin after 20 years in Los Angeles to bury his mother. An old friend asks him to find her missing husband. This sends him into a viper’s nest of corruption among property developers and upwardly mobile gangsters, as he confronts the demons of his past.

Loy, after his long, self-imposed exile, finds a very different Dublin to the one that he left. The economic miracle known as the Celtic Tiger has wrought huge changes over the last 15 years, cat­a­pult­ing Ireland from a country that haem­or­rhaged emigrants to having one of the highest living standards in the world. The less desirable con­se­quences include out-of-control house prices, enormous traffic congestion, and a gap between rich and poor that rivals the United States’.

I emigrated from Ireland in 1989, so I experience some of Loy’s culture shock whenever I visit Ireland.

Hughes has written a taut, effective hard-bitten detective novel, which casts a critical eye on modern Ireland. Ed Loy, in the best PI tradition, has a perverse streak, a little attitude problem, and a fondness for drink and women. Well-worn elements, but not often applied to the mean streets of Dublin’s gated com­mu­ni­ties.

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