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.