The Wrong Kind of Blood (Ed Loy Series #1)

( 12 )


After twenty years in Los Angeles, Ed Loy has come home to bury his mother. But hers is only the first dead body he encounters after crossing an ocean.

The city Loy once knew is an unrecognizable place, filled with gangsters, seducers, hucksters, and crazies, each with a scheme and an angle. But he can't refuse the sexy former schoolmate who asks him to find her missing husband—or the old pal-turned-small time criminal who shows up on Loy's doorstep with a hard-luck story and ...

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The Wrong Kind of Blood (Ed Loy Series #1)

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After twenty years in Los Angeles, Ed Loy has come home to bury his mother. But hers is only the first dead body he encounters after crossing an ocean.

The city Loy once knew is an unrecognizable place, filled with gangsters, seducers, hucksters, and crazies, each with a scheme and an angle. But he can't refuse the sexy former schoolmate who asks him to find her missing husband—or the old pal-turned-small time criminal who shows up on Loy's doorstep with a hard-luck story and a recently fired gun. Suddenly, a tragic homecoming could prove fatal for the grieving investigator, as an unexplained photograph of his long-vanished father, a murky property deal, and a corpse discovered in the foundations of town hall combine to turn a curious case into a dark obsession—dragging Ed Loy into a violent underworld of drugs, extortion, and murder . . . and through his own haunted past where the dead will never rest.

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Editorial Reviews

John Connolly
“Distinctive, witty, violent and moving...Irish crime fiction has come of age.”
Michael Connelly
“Declan Hughes breathes new life into the private eye story...[an] artful thrill ride of deception.”
“[Hughes] vividly conveys the sights, sounds, and smells of the Dublin streets.”
Publishers Weekly
In this overly busy and bloody crime thriller from Irish playwright Hughes (Shiver), Edward Loy, an Irish PI transplanted to L.A., returns home to Dublin for his mother's funeral. A friend's request to locate her missing husband puts Loy on a trail that leads to a corpse found within the foundations of the city's town hall, a notorious family of brothers who head an organized crime ring, heroin funding, numerous murders, possible IRA involvement and much more. When the pace momentarily slackens, the author supplies some nicely observed pastoral views of Dublin and the Irish countryside, but the ongoing cacophony of violence deafens one to all but the most sanguinary details. Hughes has talent, but this caper, his first, doesn't whet one's appetite for more of the same. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
L.A. private detective Edward Loy has returned to Dublin to bury his mother. He's been away longer than he'd like to admit: the drab and seedy neighborhoods of his youth have given way to a buzz of gentrification, trendy cars, and new money. As he sifts through his mother's sparse belongings, he is contacted by the wife of a boyhood friend who thinks her missing husband may have been caught up in some questionable real estate and rezoning deals. Loy's initial query uncovers a quagmire of drugs, guns for hire, and mob-related dealings among those of his chums who have not done well in the high-tech economic upturn. Loy's boyhood friend turns up dead, Loy becomes a suspect, and his drug-running chums are sent to warn him off the trail of the real killers. And of course the police come after him for working without a permit. Much blood is shed before the case is solved, and Loy learns more than he bargained for about going home again. This debut novel from Dublin playwright Hughes is an intricately crafted tale of murder and betrayal in one of the most rapidly changing capitals of modern Europe. Recommended for most mystery collections.-Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A transplanted Irishman goes home to find that Thomas Wolfe pretty much had it right. Ed Loy had been doing okay as an L.A. shamus until a shattering personal tragedy put paid to his career, converting him into a lost, embittered husk who spent too much time seeking answers in a bottle. But now he's suddenly back in Ireland, a stranger in a land that's become strange, attending his mother's funeral and trying with limited success to pick his way through a thicket of ferocious hatreds ancient and modern. At the outset, his involvement is deceptively low-key. His professional services are requested by an old friend whose husband has gone missing. Loy, eager to dust off his neglected detecting skills, is easily persuaded to sign on. The old friend's kisses are persuasive, too, while causing Loy to wonder in less tempestuous moments just how deeply she regrets her husband's absence. Whatever the actual measure, a murder makes it academic-a murder that presages more to come and involves Loy in an investigation unsettlingly close to home. Warned off by thugs and Garda alike, knocked about at every turn, Loy persists, and in the time-honored Yank/shamus tradition takes his lumps and cracks his case. An overload of backstory burdens long stretches of dialogue in an otherwise promising debut.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060825478
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/27/2007
  • Series: Ed Loy Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 627,558
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

An award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Declan Hughes is cofounder and former artistic director of Rough Magic Theatre Company. He was Writer-in-Association with the Abbey Theatre and lives in Dublin with his wife and two daughters.

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Read an Excerpt

The Wrong Kind of Blood

An Irish Novel of Betrayal
By Declan Hughes

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Declan Hughes
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060825464

Chapter One

The night of my mother's funeral, Linda Dawson cried on my shoulder, put her tongue in my mouth and asked me to find her husband. Now she was lying dead on her living room floor, and the howl of a police siren echoed through the surrounding hills. Linda had been strangled: a froth of blood brimmed from her mouth, and her bloodshot eyes bulged. The marks around her neck were barely perceptible, suggesting the murder weapon had been a scarf or a silk tie. Cyanosis had given her already livid skin a bluish tone, deepest at the lips and ears, and on the fingernails of her hands, which were clenched into small fists. They lay stiff in her lap, and her eyes gaped unseeingly through the glass wall toward the sky; her corpse looked like some grotesque parody of the undertaker's art.

The siren's howl reached a deafening crescendo and then stopped. As the car doors slammed, as the Guards stomped up the drive and began to pound on the front door, my eyes looked out past Linda's, out at the gray morning sky, then down along the cliffside, down between the stands of spruce and pine, down among the great Georgian houses, the Victorian castles and modern villas of Castlehill, down to where this all began, barely a week ago. •••

We were standing on the terrace of the Bayview Hotel, watching a bloated old moon hoist itself slowly above the sea. Out in Dublin Bay, the city lights flickered in the haze. Across the road, framed by gorse -- thatched cliffs and a scrubby pebble beach, the railway station stood deserted, the signal stuck on red. Everyone else who had been at the funeral had gone home, and I was waiting for Linda to finish her drink so I could drive her home. But Linda didn't want to go home. She untied her hair and shook it down, then back from her face. She narrowed her dark eyes, forced her brow into a frown and set her red lips in a small pout, as if, all things considered, she definitely agreed with what she was about to say.

"I can't take it," she said. "I can't take another night on my own in that house."

Something in my eyes must have warned her that now was not necessarily the best time to be making her problems my problems.

"Oh, Ed, I'm sorry," she said. "To-night of all nights, this is the last thing you need." She began to cry suddenly, deflatedly, like a lost child too sad to panic. I took her in my arms and lent her my shoulder. The sea was silver gray beneath the moon, and it glistened like wet granite. The railway signal changed from red to amber. A mild breeze blew the clean balm of eucalyptus up from the hotel garden below. I could feel Linda's cold cheek brush my neck, and then her warm lips were on mine, and she was kissing me. I kissed her back, and then moved her cheek alongside mine and held her. Her body went rigid for a moment, then she tapped me twice on the back, like a wrestler ready to submit. We separated, and she finished her drink, dabbed her eyes and lit a cigarette.

"I'm sorry."

"No need to apologize."

"It's just . . . I'm really worried about Peter."

Peter Dawson was Linda's husband. I'd been at school with Linda; her husband had been a child of three when I left Ireland. I hadn't seen either of them for over twenty years. Kissing another man was an unorthodox way of expressing concern for your husband, but then Linda had been known for doing exactly as she pleased, and nothing I could see in her face or figure suggested much had changed, in that regard at least.

"You said he was away on business."

"I don't know where he is. He's been gone four days now. He hasn't called me, they haven't heard from him at work."

"Have you told the police?"

"No, we . . . I didn't want to."

"Why not?"

"I suppose . . . I suppose I thought the police would make the whole thing more real, somehow. And I've been half expecting Peter to just walk back in the house as if nothing had happened."

A fresh drink suddenly materialized in Linda's hand; she must have snagged a waitress by means I didn't notice, or understand. I gave in, ordered a large Jameson from the girl and lit one of Linda's cigarettes.

"You say that as if it's happened before. Has Peter disappeared like this in the past?"

"Not for four days. But occasionally . . . well, we do have the odd row. And Peter's favorite response has always been to storm out. You know how marriage is. Or do you? It's been so long, I don't know if you . . . I don't really know very much about your life, Edward Loy."

"I was married, yes."


"It didn't take."

"Were there children?"

"A little girl."

"I suppose she's with her mother. You must miss her. But of course you do, what a stupid thing to say."

An express train crashed out of the cliffside tunnel and blazed through the station. The carriages were brightly lit, and crammed with passengers. I wished I was one of them, and that I was on that train now, hurtling into the night.

My whiskey arrived. I splashed some water into it and knocked half of it back.

Linda was still talking.

"Tommy Owens was saying he visited you out there."

"I wouldn't have thought you kept up with Tommy Owens."

"I saw him in Hennessy's the other night. And no, I don't go there much either, just when I'm feeling . . . even more trapped than usual."

"Hennessy's. Is it still the same dump?"

"What-ever you want, you can get it in Hennessy's. God knows how they never closed the place."

"We used to think Hennessy had a friend high up in the cops."

"If he has a friend. Anyway, Tommy said you found people who were missing. You helped a family locate their daughter."


Excerpted from The Wrong Kind of Blood by Declan Hughes Copyright © 2006 by Declan Hughes. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 6, 2010

    Great voice

    I've never been anywhere east of London (and the trip to London was during only my fifth year of existence) but it's almost as if I could hear the Irish lilt in Ed Loy's voice, as well as his boyhood friends'. Hughes writes in the same vein as Chandler and Hammett (maybe more so Hammett since Ed seems a bit less damaged than Marlowe)...but he does it well enough to draw these comparisons without getting smacked on the knuckles for trying to imitate the Masters and failing.
    Of all the writers I've read recently, he most reminds me of the old hard-boiled tradition without seeming out-dated or shallow. There's depth to Loy that will make me want to go on reading about him, even if only to see how much physical damage (or how many broken bones) he can sustain.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Forget it

    No character in this book was remotely likable. Egregious obscenity and violence.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2012


    Curls up in a tight ball and falls asleep.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Good plot and ending

    I normally don't read procedurals where the main character is not a DI but this was not bad. The story was intricate yet believable and the final made sense. I will try the next book in the series and hope that the character does not develop more angst.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2006

    Death And Deceit In Dublin

    Edward Loy returns to Dublin for the funeral of his mother after living in L.A.for the past 20 years.The night of the funeral he runs into an old friend Linda Dawson,who asks Loy to look into the disappearance of her husband Peter.While in L.A. Loy had worked as a P.I./Bodyguard as well as a bartender.Good jobs to have when gaining insight into the wicked ways of humanity.He'll need all of his skills while working this case.No one is on the level in this one from Linda Dawson,the Garda,to the Dublin underworld.When Loy runs afoul of the Halligan brothers (the dapper and smart George and the brutish Podge)the case takes a darker turn.There is violence,but not the over the top kind that has been mentioned in some reviews.I've read worse.The blood in The Wrong Kind of Blood is family.The whole story is tied up in a very poignant ending.This is a lean and muscular debut from a new voice in crime fiction and of course a sequel to follow in 2007.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exhilarating Irish private investigative tale

    Over twenty years have passed since Edward Loy left Dublin for the United States, but the private investigator returns home for his mom¿s funeral. On the same day his mother is buried, an old school chum, Linda Dawson tongue kisses Edward while asking him to locate her missing husband Peter gone four days. Though he struggles with the concept of tonguing one man while allegedly missing your spouse, Edward agrees to investigate as his mother¿s death serves as a reminder of his tragedy back in L.A. that has left him with a bottle as his only comfort this is an opportunity to begin the climb back out of the alcoholic haze.-------------------- Loy follows Peter¿s last known trail, which leads him to a corpse in town hall. From there he runs afoul of an organized crime mob, the IRA, and the Garda each in their own style warning him to not just back off, but to go back across the ocean. Other murders and more kisses follow as Loy continues his inquiries refusing to allow anyone to scare him off as death seems easy compared to the fall into the ooze beneath the food chain that he already has taken.------------- Although there are too many subplots intruding in this violent exhilarating Irish private investigative tale, readers will appreciate Loy¿s first person lament. What is fascinating is the comparison between Loy¿s ¿world¿ filled with hostility and cruelty vs. the pastoral setting of Dublin. Loy is an interesting protagonist whose hard boiled investigation makes for a fun armchair tour of the Irish capital.-------- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted June 28, 2011

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    Posted August 11, 2011

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