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

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

by Declan Hughes

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060825478
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/27/2007
Series: Ed Loy Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 769,886
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.88(d)

About 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.

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.

What People are Saying About This

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.”

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Wrong Kind of Blood (Ed Loy Series #1) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
F_O More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
maneekuhi on LibraryThing 8 days ago
Completed 5/5/11, 4 1/2 stars, first in the series but now I am caught up and am current. No info on the next book. Like all the other books in the series lots of local color, tough, gritty, good tension, Ed Loy gets beat up 3 or 4 times. Lots of booze, lots of interesting characters, a bit of non-graphic sex. In the background is Ed'd Da, who just left one fine day and was never seen again. Ed has come to Ireland to bury his Mom and has every intention of returning to his California PI job when he is asked by an old (sexy) contact to find her missing husband. Bodies start turning up left and right, and current events of course tie back to the time of Ed's Dad and his disappearance. There is tons of old history and if you are not paying close attention to the most obscure of clues (as I did not) you will miss the un-obvious solution, but Thank God Ed was paying attention. But it's not the crime solving that makes this book so interesting, it's the Journey. Had I read this one first, I would have gone on to read this series in order with the same level of enjoyment but no more than my helter skelter approach to this excellent series. Hurry up and write another one, Declan.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing 8 days ago
I really enjoyed The City of Lost Girls which is the 5th in this series so I thought I'd go back and read the others.So far this has been a disappointing experiment. Maybe this book suffers in comparison to the later one and it probably isn't helping things that I read it after finishing The Whisperers by John Connolly which I absolutely adored, but the fact is that finishing this was a struggle.Mr. Hughes writes and plots well, but overall the book is sort of gray and cold and more drab than grim (if it had been more grim it might've been more compelling). It reminds me of the feeling I used to get when I lived in Seattle when February rolled around and days were short, gray, cold, and indescribably dreary and had been that way for the past 350 years or so.Not a terrible book, but not a great one, either.
crazybatcow on LibraryThing 8 days ago
This book was suggested to me when I was looking for a replacement for Lee Child's Reacher and coming from that perspective, this book was a great disappointment.The action is so long in coming that it got mired down in some Irish political scandal with murders of people we never met before they died and investigated in the first person. By the time anything interesting had started occurring (over halfway through), there were dozens of characters to keep track of, doing things of a political/bribery nature, about which I really didn't care.I guess if you like political detective novels with some organized crime and a bit of an edge (albeit an Irish edge), this might fit the bill. If you're looking for a detective that kicks butts and takes names... nope...
RidgewayGirl on LibraryThing 8 days ago
Hennessy's had always been Bayview's little secret. Never mind the drugs and the underage drinking. Hennessy's was simply where you came if you didn't fit in. Daddy's little princess never came here, but her sister did, and she came with something to prove. It was the one place guaranteed to be free of rugby, golf, of competitive sport of any kind, and of the people who played it. Hennessy's clientele was pretty ambivalent about basic functioning, let alone competition.Declan Hughes's The Wrong Kind of Blood is a classic noir. A smart talking private eye with a grudge and a tragic past: check. A beautiful dame with troubles and secrets of her own: check. A sidekick who just can't function in the real world: check. Corrupt politicians, policemen on the take, drugs and booze: check, check and check. Throw in a gritty, decaying version of Dublin and you get a fast paced, hardboiled rocket of a book. The mystery extends into the past and echoes up into the bloody present of a Dublin rife with new money and new development built with the results of back room dealings and love turned sour.The Wrong Kind of Blood is set in the Dublin of five years ago, when the celtic tiger was roaring, but the story could have just as well occupied the mean streets of Los Angeles or New York in a film starring Faye Dunaway and Robert Mitchum.
msf59 on LibraryThing 8 days ago
Ed Loy has returned to Dublin to attend the funeral of his mother. He has been living in LA and has been gone for twenty years. He is approached by a drunken female acquaintance and she asks him to look for her missing husband. He had been working as a private detective in the States and word gets around. He agrees and quickly finds himself mired in a complex web of land-deals, gangsters and murder, reaching back decades and slowly drawing in his own parents. Hughes has constructed a solid, somewhat convoluted tale, bringing in some nice Irish color, like in this passage: ¿ I¿d had it with Dublin, where everyone was someone¿s brother or cousin or ex-girlfriend and no one would give you a straight answer, where my da knew your da and yours knew mine, where the past was always waiting around the next corner to ambush you.¿ In this story, blood is everything!This is the first book of a series and is a strong introduction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rtpana More than 1 year ago
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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Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No character in this book was remotely likable. Egregious obscenity and violence.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Curls up in a tight ball and falls asleep.